Posts Tagged ‘Steenbergs’

Brexit, Steenbergs and the future

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

While I had been nervously expecting that Brexit result, it’s not until you hear it that the impact really hits you.  And while it remains a shock, we must look forward and deal with the additional risks that it throws at us, as well as seek out those opportunities that we have been told are on the horizon.

I voted for Remain for myself, for my children and for the business, and live in one of the few regions outside of Scotland, Northern Ireland and London that voted to Remain.  Brexit will be narrow the opportunities for everyone, but especially the young.  But we lost, that’s democracy, and it’s time to move on – you can’t undo a result you don’t like, because that’s undemocratic, abuses the just rights of those that voted to Leave and makes a mockery of the British – and yet I really, really don’t like this result.

So what to do.  It’s time to get down into the detail, and to hold those that pushed to Leave to deliver on their promises.  But I expect there to be a wide gap between the promises and reality – few savings and no extra cash for public services nor it even appears cuts in immigration because the labour provided by Poles, the Latvians etc is needed.  And we have many “Europeans” as relatives (my mum, aunts, uncles and cousins), friends and colleagues and we will do everything possible to protect us and them from any impact from Brexit, especially xenophobia.

But back to Steenbergs.

Firstly, as a food business that mainly sells into the UK, but largely imports raw materials and packaging from the EU and exports into the EU, as well as with India and Sri Lanka etc etc, I would like to know what the new legislation is going to be.

Why?  Because the whole of Steenbergs’ business is dependent on and completely based on primary regulation from the EU as is the UK food industry.  There is effectively no UK food legislation.  These regulations cover food safety, food labelling, food information, allergen declarations, organic imports/exports/manufacturing, food packaging, waste regulations, chemical residues in food whether from pesticides, mycotoxins etc etc.  We’re designing new packaging – what will the new UK labelling rules be?  The current regulations are not onerous, are good and protect customers and the give us safe food to eat each and every day, and they work from Ireland to Romania.

Also, not only is food and drink the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, but 75% of UK food and drink exports go to the EU (or £18.3 billion); the sector employs 3.8 million people, or 14% of all UK employment (IGD, 2015) – so how the UK government deals with this is vital for real people and their livelihoods.

When will this new legislation come into place and how will it differ?

Secondly, we want to continue to buy from the EU and sell into the EU.  What are the terms of this trade deal going to be?  What extra paperwork will there be?  My accountant will want to know how to treat VAT, or even if our whole accounting package is now redundant.  And so on and so on.

Ultimately, while the politicos say be patient.  I cannot wait 2 years for the politicians to plan, negotiate etc as we have staff that need to know next week what this means for them, and our current investment plans must now be put on hold while we wait for the powers that be work it all out.  We say get a move on.

Our suspicion is that the EU legislation will just become UK legislation and, for Steenbergs to be able to trade with our EU friends, we will need to meet EU rules and regulations for all the above (Soil Association, 2016).  So what’s it going to be.  Our guess: it will be business as beforehand with some wrinkles from the new empowered Westminster government (ex Scotland), but (and here’s the rub) Steenbergs and all but the smallest food businesses will still need to meet all (and we mean all) the EU food and packaging legislation, but our honourable friends in Westminster or our Eurocrats will not be at the negotiating table to determine what those rules are.

What will be the longer-term impact? Overall, I suspect not that much, except less control over how we run our business, plus a few extra hoops to jump through.  That’s less freedom and accountability, not more.

So let’s get down to it, and make the best of what this new path throws at us.  Finally, I doubt that I will ever forget those who took us down this wrong path.

Reference

IGD (2015) The UK’s food and drink industry, accessed 25 June 2016
Sawyer, M. (2016) Soil Association Certification and the EU Referendum, The Soil Associations, 24 June 2016, accessed 8 July 2016

Enter our competition to win Esther Veerman’s new cookbook From Field & Moor + Steenbergs Spices

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016
Click here to view this promotion.

 

Hemsley & Hemsley’s new cookbook Good + Simple

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

cover jpegThe lovely Hemsley & Hemsley sisters are back again, with a great new book packed full of ‘Good + Simple’ recipes. Still with the same philosophy for eating food that is ‘delicious, nutritious and sustainable’, they aim to create ‘fast food that is good for you’.

Their dishes are packed full of nutrient laden foods to create a happy, healthy gut and therefore ultimately leading to a healthy body and mind.  There are plenty of vegetables, lots of interesting herbs & spices, but definitely no lack of meat – in fact the sisters advocate ‘boiling the bones’ to make nutritious stock. Natural fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, butter and egg yolk are also encouraged as great ways to add taste and give sustainable energy but they do steer clear of grains, preferring fibre-filled pseudocereals such as quinoa & buckwheat.

From a breakfast of Butternut & Almond Butter Porridge, to lunch of Noodle Pots, soups and salads, these are healthy recipes that also fill you up.

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

Take the Huevos Rancheros, which is one of Melissa’s all time favourite recipes.  A delicious spicy tomato sauce, zesty guacamole and handfuls of spinach all enveloping the comforting baked eggs – definitely the perfect brunch!

For the full recipe take a look at our website here or catch up with Jasmine and Melissa’s new TV show on Mondays at 8pm on Channel 4. The baked eggs were in the first show aired on Monday 9th May and the show runs for 10 weeks so there will be plenty of delicious recipes to feast your eyes on.

Here’s a trailer for Eating Well:

Here at Steenbergs, we do love to get baking and were so excited by the delicious recipes that we tried some out ourselves! The Carrot Cake was nutty, satisfying and particularly moreish and is now a favourite with gluten free friends…

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

and the Blueberry Muffins were lovely and fruity and made a very healthy snack – perfect with a cup of Steenbergs Rose & Bergamot Tea.

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

We’d love to see photos of any of your creations so do share with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and don’t forget that many of the ingredients are available to buy online at www.steenbergs.co.uk. Happy cooking!

For more information on Hemsley and Hemsley, please visit their website: www.hemsleyandhemsley.com

Steenbergs Update on 11 Hallikeld Close

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Developments at Steenbergs new unit have been in fits and starts.

First coats of paint have been done and meeting room finished, copper for phones and optical fibre (80Mbit/s download, 20Mbit/s upload) connected to building then internal fibre to broadband hub point all in, plus computer cabling and electrical wiring all in.

But studio kitchen just started yesterday, smaller kitchen not yet begun, and the structural engineer is still to come on site to look at building.  Slow progress but we’ll get there.

Studio kitchen started

Studio kitchen started

 

Enter for the chance to win a signed copy of Henrietta Inman’s Clean Cakes cookbook and Steenbergs goodies

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Click here to view this promotion.

Recipe: Potatoes Dauphinoise With Long Pepper and Grains of Paradise

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

With the nights drawing in and the leaves turning a rusty orange colour, I had promised Sophie that I would make Potatoes Dauphinoise, one of her favourites.  This is a tasty, homely dish that is full of the richness from the cream and milk.  I prefer a Maris Piper potato for this, as well as for roasting potatoes in general, so I have used them here.  You can use any potato as long as it does not get too floury and collapse.

For seasoning, I used the classic garlic and onions, but instead of simply pepper and salt, I have gone more exotic and used Indonesian long pepper and Ghanaian grains of paradise, plus some nutmeg.  These are all old, classic spices, but the long pepper and grains of paradise are certainly much less used these days.  Then I sprinkled over some delicious, bright red paprika from Murcia as a final garnish.

Potatoes Dauphinoise is delicious with almost any main course, but I think it goes better with meats than fish, because of its richness.

Steenbergs Recipe For Potatoes Dauphinoise Before Baking

Ready For Baking – Steenbergs Potatoes Dauphinoise With Long Pepper And Grains of Paradise

Steenbergs' Recipe For Potatoes Dauphinoise With Long Pepper And Grains Of Paradise

Potatoes Dauphinoise With Steenbergs Long Pepper And Grains Of Paradise

Recipe for Potatoes Dauphinoise with Long Pepper and Grains of Paradise

900g potatoes, about 4 large Maris Piper potatoes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic, finely chopped
425ml double cream
150ml milk
15g butter
1 Steenbergs long pepper
½ tsp Steenbergs grains of paradise
½  tsp Steenbergs organic nutmeg or mace powder
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of Steenbergs organic Spanish paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Peel and slice the potatoes thinly, then parboil for about 4 minutes, then drain.
3. While the potatoes are boiling, butter a large ovenproof dish.
4.  In a pestle and mortar, crush the long pepper and grains of paradise until quite fine.  Mix in the nutmeg powder and a pinch of sea salt.  Crush again lightly to break down the salt crystals.
5.  Arrange a layer of the potatoes in the ovenproof dish, then sprinkle over some of the onions and garlic.  Next season with some of the spices mix.
6.  Place a layer of potatoes over the garlic-onions-seasoning.  Repeat the sprinkling over of onions and garlic, then season.
7.  Alternate such that you end with a layer of potatoes.
8.  Mix the milk and cream and pour over the potatoes.  If you need to add some more liquid, simply add  little more milk.  Cover with foil.
9.  Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes until golden brown.
10. Sprinkle with the paprika before serving.

Top 5 teas chosen by Sophie

Friday, September 18th, 2015

 

 

We drink a  lot of loose leaf tea here at Steenbergs. All of us tend to change around our favourites depending on the weather or our moods.

Please enable images to view

Currently I’m favouring tea without milk and my current favourite picks are:

Morning Brew – this caffeine free herbal infusion is the way Sophie starts each morning, with its blend of redbush, oatstraw, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and orange peel. (This brew has just become organic at Steenbergs – finally managed to track down some organic oatstraw)

Rose and Bergamot – this is Sophie’s current favourite of all of the Earl Grey style teas that Steenbergs blend. Great for all day drinking It’s a floral mix and adds cardamom in a Persian style twist to this tea.

Organic Green tea with lemon verbena and ginger – this is a very cleansing tea with the great flavours of lemon verbena and ginger, perfect for all day drinking – although Sophie moves to it particularly in the afternoon.

Organic Happy Hippy Tea – One of the beautiful teas – a blend of organic chamomile, organic double mint and organic rose petals. Completely caffeine free, a very mellow tea, one that Sophie drinks in the evening.

Organic Fairtrade English Breakfast – this is our standard cuppa, to be drunk black, with milk, with or without sugar, it has malty overtones and is a very refreshing brew.

For other ideas on favourite teas at Steenbergs look at our Time for Tea section on the blog, where we talk to a whole range of people about their tea preferences. We’ve also got feedback from the Steenbergs tea taster panel. Let us know your favourites.

Top 5 tea picks – chosen by Axel Steenberg

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Axel’s top 5 tea picks – loose leaf

We (Sophie and I) both drink a lot of tea – all loose leaf and Steenbergs. We take our current favourites away with us on holiday and when we are away for the weekend. (Although depending where we are going we also may take the odd loose leaf tea infuser). What we drink varies on the day, how the day is going, the time of day and who we are with.

Axel’s top picks for tea at the moment are:

Organic English Breakfast tea – I start the morning early with a large pot of our organic and Fairtrade English Breakfast tea. It sets me up for the day

Organic Gunpowder green tea – a traditional Chinese green tea – whose leaves look like little shots of gunpowder before they are immersed in water. You only need a few grains to make a wonderfully refreshing cup of tea. I drink this for a large part of the day, along with jasmine tea.

Organic Jasmine green tea – another traditional Chinese green tea – this time flavoured with jasmine. Again, you don’t need much of the leaf to create a wonderful infusion. I can drink this all day long, along with the gunpowder tea.

Organic 1st Flush Darjeeling Puttabong tea – It’s one of the most delicious Darjeeling I’ve tasted for a couple of years and is a real treat.

Chillax infusion – a calming herbal tea we designed to dissipate life’s stresses. We developed its unique relaxing herbal blend with oatstraw, St John’s wort, lime flower, skullcap, chamomile, red clover, catnip and lemon balm. Lemon balm, oatstraw and St John’s wort lifts your flagging spirits, while the catnip, chamomile, lime, red clover and skullcap soothe those angsty nerves.

For more views on teas, look at the Steenbergs Time for Tea columns, where we talk to people about what they love most about tea. Alternatively we also have the feedback from the Steenbergs tea panels – where customers are asked for their views on different teas throughout the year.

Recipe For Fragrant Rose Rice Pudding or Rose Kheer

Friday, August 7th, 2015
Rose Rice Pudding With Raspberries

Rose Rice Pudding With Raspberries

I have recently finished reading “The Architect’s Apprentice” by Elif Shafak, starting while on our holidays in Portugal.  It is a lovely read about unrequited and so a forlorn love between a lowly architect’s apprentice and the Sultan’s daughter,  It’s slightly magical, but with a far fetched end that sees Jahan, the main character, living a very long life to stretch his influence across the centuries.  Based in Turkey, it is redolent with the smells of roses and rose water, e.g.

“Jahan tried to utter something to raise her spirits, but he could find no words that she would follow.  A while later a servant brought her a bowl of custard, flavoured with rosewater.  The sweet scent…”

It turned my thoughts to roses, so I made today a Rose Rice Pudding that we ate warm because outside it was raining again – summer where have you gone.  I then let it cool and made the leftovers into a Raspberry & Rose Kheer per the photo.

Rose Rice Pudding or Rose Kheer

Ingredients

1 litre / 1¾ pints / 4¼ cups full fat milk
100g / 3½oz / ½ cup pudding rice
50g / 1¾ oz / ¼ cup golden caster sugar
½tsp organic cinnamon powder
Pinch of sea salt
½ teaspoon of vanilla powder or a vanilla pod, slit lengthways
150ml / 5¼ fl oz / ½ cup double cream
½tsp organic rose blossom water
1tsp ground dried rose petals (optional)

How to make rose rice pudding

Put the pudding rice, caster sugar, organic cinnamon powder and salt into a heavy bottomed pan.  Give it a quick stir to mix it up a tad.

Add the milk and the vanilla pod, then bring to the boil.  When it starts to boil, reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently for 35 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

Add the double cream, rose water and rose petals, then cook for a further 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly until nice and it has thickened.

If you want to eat it warm, sprinkle some caster sugar over the top and either caramelise it with a blowtorch or under the grill.

For rose kheer or a nice cold rice pudding, leave to cool for around 30 minutes, then place into the fridge for at least an hour.  To make it into a Raspberry & Rose Kheer, I put some raspberries in the base of the glass and three delicately on the top.

Rose Kheer With Raspberries

Rose Kheer With Raspberries

Cinnamongate: is cinnamon safe to eat?

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

We regularly get asked questions about the safety of cinnamon, e.g. “is cinnamon safe to consume?” or “how much coumarin is there in Steenbergs cinnamon?”  There’s a lot of chatter about this issue in webworld and in blogs.

Cinnamon Quills_02

Cinnamon quills packed into boxes from Sri Lanka

Because of these queries, I thought it useful to investigate the situation and find out the levels of coumarin in some Steenbergs’ products.

In summary:

  • Cassia cinnamon and true cinnamon are very different spices but both are generally sold as “cinnamon”
  • Steenbergs labels and sells true cinnamon as “cinnamon” and cassia cinnamon as “cassia”
  • Cassia cinnamon contains high levels of coumarin, but true cinnamon almost no coumarin
  • Coumarin, so cassia cinnamon, should be ingested in limited amounts:

No more than 1 teaspoon of cassia cinnamon per day, based on EU recommendations for Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of 0.1 mg of coumarin per kg bodyweight every day

  • Cinnamon (true cinnamon) is safe to eat in terms of coumarin and your health
  • Coumarin may cause liver damage in some susceptible people, but its effects usually appear to be  reversible and so overeating of cassia for short periods does not usually appear to be a problem

If you need further information, you should consult a doctor.  I have taken the data for this blog from official Government sources and current scientific papers, so it is up-to-date as of 19 July 2015.

MORE DETAIL

What is coumarin?
Coumarin is a naturally occurring volatile oil (benzo-α-pyrone), found in many plants, e.g. cassia, cinnamon, tonka beans, vanilla and woodruff.  It gives that pleasing and heady cinnamon aroma – a direct, sweet, fresh hay character.  It was first isolated in tonka beans in the 1820s and took its name from the old botanical name for tonka – Coumarouna which in turn came from the native French Guianan name for the tonka tree, kumarú.

Where is coumarin found?  As mentioned above, it is found in various spices.  However, the most important route of intake is via cassia or cassia cinnamon and this is the cinnamon that the various studies relate to.

This distinction is very important – true cinnamon (Cinnamon verum or Cinnamomum zeylanicum) contains much reduced levels of coumarin.  At Steenbergs, we only sell true cinnamon as cinnamon.  Also, we only use cinnamon as cinnamon in our blends, and if we use cassia it is labelled as cassia not cinnamon.  We do, also, sell cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia, a.k.a. Cinnamomum aromaticus or Cinnamon burmanii), but always label this as cassia and never as cinnamon.

You can tell the difference quite quickly – true cinnamon is a light tan and has a subtle woody aroma like box or sandalwood, with hints of cinnamon and citrus, whereas cassia cinnamon is a darker tan and has a more direct, blunter petrochemical aroma that is strongly “cinnamony” and reminiscent of German Christmas biscuits (Spekulatius or Zimtsterne) and Danish pastries.  As an aside, we are sometimes told Steenbergs cinnamon does not taste like cinnamon, but then find there has been confusion between cassia and cinnamon, because this is the more readily-found form of the spice.

The confusion arises because cassia cinnamon is quite legitimately, also, sold as cinnamon and is the cinnamon used in baking – hence, it’s other name “baker’s cinnamon”.

From a chemical view, cassia and cinnamon are noticeably different.  True cinnamon contains eugenol and benzyl-benzoate and no (or trace) coumarin.  In contrast, cassia cinnamon contains high amounts of coumarin.  Both cassia and cinnamon contain cinnamaldehyde.

In terms of levels of coumarin in powder versus quills, cassia quills have coumarin levels 75% lower than the powder.  For true cinnamon, quills have higher coumarin levels than powder, but both are still low.

Why is coumarin a concern? In high doses, coumarin can cause liver damage in small group of sensitive individuals.  However, only some individuals are susceptible to liver issues from coumarin, and those individuals would need to exceed the TDI for more than two weeks before liver issues might arise, then if they do occur the toxicity is reversible.  Maximum daily limits of coumarin have been set in the EU.

This issue originally arose with a report on cassia cinnamon in 2006 by the Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (“BfR”), the scientific agency charged with providing scientific evidence for consumer health protection in Germany.  This showed that consumption of foods containing cassia cinnamon can result in the TDI of coumarin being exceeded, because of the high levels of cassia cinnamon used in some recipes.  Consequently, there has been a knock-on impact for bakers of traditional European bakery goods, e.g. cinnamon rolls (Danish pastries/kanelsnegle) and cinnamon Christmas cookies (Zimtsterne) within Europe, and people who use cinnamon to reduce their sugar intake by sprinkling it onto their cereal.

EC Regulation 1334/2008 gives the following limits for coumarin, which specifically excludes spices and mixes of spices, herbs, teas and infusions:

Table 1: Limits for coumarin in particular food categories per EC Regulation 1334/2008


Compound food in which substance is restricted

Maximum level
mg/kg

Traditional and/or seasonal bakery ware containing a reference to cinnamon in the labelling

50

Breakfast cereals including muesli

20

Fine bakery ware, with the exception of traditional and seasonal bakery ware (above)

15

Desserts

5

The best technical information available is found at the BfR’s website.  There is an excellent FAQ that covers pretty much everything you need to know: http://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/349/faq-on-coumarin-in-cinnamon-and-other-foods.pdf, and their latest opinion includes the following on consumption of spices (see http://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/349/new-insights-into-coumarin-contained-in-cinnamon.pdf dated 2012)[1]:

“For cinnamon sticks and cinnamon powder as a spice for household use, no limit values have been defined, however.  If an average coumarin content in cassia cinnamon of 3000mg per kilogram of cinnamon is assumed, the TDI value can be exceeded by consumers who eat a great deal of cassia cinnamon.  For an adult with a body weight of 60kg, the TDI value is reached, if 2g of cassia cinnamon are consumed per day.  For an infant with a body weight of 15kg, this is the case if 0.5g of cassia cinnamon are consumed per day.  Overall exposure can be increased by other sources, for example coumarin-containing cosmetics.  Consumers who frequently and regularly eat cinnamon-containing foods should be aware of this.  The BfR still recommends that cassia cinnamon is consumed in moderation.  Consumers frequently using large quantities of cinnamon as a condiment should therefore opt for the low-coumarin Ceylon cinnamon.”

How much coumarin is there in Steenbergs spice products?  We have had some of our relevant spices tested for coumarin levels by Eurofins Analtytik GmbH, using high performance liquid chromatography.  The results are shown in the table below, together with results from peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Table 2: Coumarin content of cassia cinnamon, true cinnamon and spice blends


Name

Other names

Origin

Coumarin
mg kg-1

Coumarin
%

Cassia Baker’s cinnamon Vietnam

 2 900

0.3 

Cassia [2] Baker’s cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon, bastard cinnamon

4 167

0.4

Cassia [3] Indonesia, Vietnam

3 856

0.4

Cassia [4] Indonesia, Vietnam

2 239

0.2

Cassia [5] China, Indonesia, Vietnam

3 016

0.3

Cassia [6]

3 250

0.3

Cassia [7] Indonesia

4 020

0.4

Cinnamon True cinnamon Sri Lanka

 31

– 

Cinnamon [2] True cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon Sri Lanka

68

Cinnamon [3] Sri Lanka

nd

Cinnamon [4] Sri Lanka

25

Cinnamon [5] Sri Lanka

nd

Cinnamon [6]

44

Cinnamon [7] Sri Lanka

64

Mixed spice   UK

 670

 0.1

Fairtrade mixed spice   UK

 22

 –

Pumpkin pie   UK

 22

 –

Tonka beans   Brazil

 52 000

 5.2

In conclusion, cassia cinnamon has coumarin levels of 2239 – 4167 mg kg-1, almost 100 times greater than levels in true cinnamon with the range of 0 – 68 mg kg-1.  Steenbergs spice mixes have low coumarin levels at 22 – 670 mg kg-1.  where one of the blends included about one-quarter cassia cinnamon.  In contrast, tonka beans have very high levels of coumarin of 52000 mg kg-1.

What does this mean in relation to safety to eat?  The BfR has issued guidance on the TDI that a person can eat daily over a lifetime without appreciable health risk and this includes those sensitive to liver damage from coumarin[1].  The TDI is 0.1 mg of coumarin per kg bodyweight every day.  An adult of 60-70 kg (9½-11 stone) can, therefore, eat 6-7 mg of coumarin per day safely for the rest of their life.  Further, for a 20-30 kg (3-5 stone) child, the limit is 2-3 mg coumarin.  The European Food Safety Authority has calculated the same levels [8].  Even if this value is exceeded for a short while, this does not appear to pose any health risks per BfR and EFSA.

Translating this into teaspoons, an adult should not consume more than ½-1 teaspoon of cassia cinnamon a day and a child no more than ¼-½ teaspoon of cassia a day.

Another way of thinking about it is that an adult can eat 68-120g of cassia cinnamon biscuits a day (10-24 biscuits) and children 17-30g of cassia cinnamon biscuits a day (4-6 biscuits)[1][5].  For cinnamon Danishes or buns, this is roughly 4 for adults and 1 for children per day.

These levels are relevant through time, so a child who eats his/her coumarin limit twice in a week only reaches 29% of his/her TDI (assuming no other cassia cinnamon is ingested).

In contrast, an adult can consume 55-104 teaspoons of true cinnamon and children 24-45 teaspoons.  Therefore, the levels of consumption for true cinnamon are effectively unlimited in terms of coumarin.

What can bakers do about this?  Ideally, you should get your cassia’s coumarin content tested and determine the final coumarin content of your bakery products.  Also, whenever food authorities have tested for coumarin, quite a number of products seem to exceed the legal limits – probably because people are unaware of the regulations.

However, we have created a practical guide as below.  If we assume the safe limits for coumarin consumption are those listed in the EC Regulation EC 1334/2008, then maximum levels for use of cassia and true cinnamon can be calculated and practical limits determined for bakers and other manufacturers.

Table 3: Practical guide for maximum levels of cassia cinnamon or true cinnamon to meet EC regulations on coumarin for specific food categories


Food category

Max level of coumarin
mg/kg

Max level of cassia(i)
mg/kg

Approximate teaspoons of cassia per kg(ii)

Max level of true cinnamon(i)
mg/kg

Approximate tsp cinnamon per kg(ii)

Traditional and/or seasonal bakery

50

7.9

797.4

399

Breakfast cereals

20

3.2

1

319.0

159

Fine bakery ware

15

2.4

¾

239.2

120

Desserts

5

0.8

¼

79.7

40

Notes:
(i) Maximum levels have been determined as the average coumarin content plus 2.58 x standard deviation; this means maximum amounts will not exceed coumarin content in 99% of cases.
(ii) Based on level teaspoons for cassia of 2.8g and cinnamon 2.0g.

References

[1] BfR (2012), New insights into coumarin contained in cinnamon, BfR opinion No. 036/2012, 27 September 2012, Berlin, Germany (Accessed 12/5/2015)
[2] BfR (2006) Consumers, who eat a lot of cinnamon, currently have an overly high exposure to coumarin, BfR Health Assessment No. 043/2006, 16 June 2006, Berlin, Germany (Accessed 12/5/2015)
[3] Blahová, J., Svobodová, Z. (2012) Assessment of coumarin levels in ground cinnamon available in the Czech retail market, The Scientific World Journal, 2012: 2863851, 4 pp, Available online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3385612/ (Accessed 12/5/2015)
[4] Lungarini, S., Aurelia, F., Coni , E. (2008) Coumarin and cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon marketed in Italy: A natural chemical hazard? Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, Volume 25, Issue 11, 31 October 2008, 1297-1305, Available online but not free (Accessed 12/5/2015)
[5] Sproll, C., Ruge, W., Andlauer, C., Godelmann, R., Lachenmeier, D. W. (2008) HPLC analysis and safety assessment of coumarin in foods, Food Chemistry 109, 462-469, 27 December 2007 (Accessed 12/5/2015)
[6] VKM (2010) Risk assessment of courmarin intake in the Norwegian population – opinion of the panel on food additives, flavourings, processing aids, materials in contact with food and cosmetics of the Norwegian scientific committee for food safety (Rep. No. 09/405-2 final), Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety, 12 October 2010, Oslo, Norway, Available online at http://www.vkm.no/dav/271c242c20.pdf (Accessed 12/5/2015)
[7] Woehrlin, F., Fry, H., Abraham, K., Preiss-Weigert, A. (2010) Quantification of flavoring constituents in cinnamon: high variation of coumarin in cassia cark from the German retail market and in authentic samples from Indonesia, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, 2010, 58 (19), pp 10568–10575, Available online (but not free) at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf102112p (Accessed 12/5/2015)
[8} efsa (2008) Coumarin in flavourings and other food ingredients with flavouring properties, Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids and Materials in Contact with Food (AFC), The EFSA Journal (2008) 793, 1-15, 8 July 2008, Available online at http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/scdocs/doc/793.pdf (Accessed 12/5/2015)