Turbo Extraction of Cinnamon with Ultrasonics

Traditional cinnamon extraction is time-consuming and relatively inefficient. Ultrasonic extraction is a simple, yet highly efficient process intensifying technique wich reduces the extraction time to a few hours and increases simultaneously the cinnamon essential oil yield.

Improved Cinnamon Extraction with Ultrasonics

Cinnamon bark and powder for ultrasonic extraction of cinnamon essential oil.The traditional extraction of cinnamon essential oil is achieved by steam distillation of cinnamon bark and leaves. The traditional steam distillation is very slow and time-consuming. The higher the targeted yield of cinnamon oil, the longer the steam distillation, which means that the steam distillation of a kettle of cinnamon leaves can take up to 12 hours, whilst the steam distillation of cinnamon bark can take more than 24 hours. Ultrasonic extraction break the cell structures of the cinnamon bark and leaves up so that the cinnamon oil is released rapidly and completely. Ultrasonic extraction accelerates the steam distillation significantly, shortening the processing time from a full day to a few hours whilst increasing the yield of cinnamon essential oil.
Ultrasonic extraction releases the full spectrum of aromatic cinnamon compounds, including cinnamaldehyde, linalool, eugenol, and cinnamic acid. Giving a full-spectrum extract of high-quality essential oil compounds is the reason for the superior quality of ultrasonically extracted cinnamon oils. Especially cinnamaldehyde, the main organic compound gives cinnamon its signature flavour and scent. As sonication is a non-thermal treatment, the essential oil compounds are prevented from thermal degradation. Therefore, ultrasonic extraction produces aroma-intense essential oils fulfilling highest quality standards.
Ultrasonic extraction can be applied to cinnamon bark and leaves. Cinnamon leaf oil has a stronger scent when compared to bark oil. Cinnamon leaves contain high amounts of eugenol.

Advantages of Ultrasonic Cinnamon Extraction

  • Higher Yields
  • Superior Quality
  • Rapid Extraction
  • Lower Temperature
  • Cost-Efficient
Ultrasonic extraction gives superior cinnamon essential oil yields in a rapid process

Ultrasonic extractor UIP4000hdT for continuous cinnamon extraction

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Why Ultrasonic Extraction Excels Steam Distillation

To produce essential oils from cinnamon via steam distillation, the essential oils must first released from the plant matrix (i.e. plant cells in the cinnamon leaves or bark). In steam distillation, the cinnamon plant material is boiled for up to 24 hours in kettles. Heat alone is relatively inefficient in breaking the cell structures and releasing the essential oils entrapped. Generally, boiling does not release the entrapped essential oils completely and larger amounts of residual oils are wasted, since they were not extracted. After the heat extraction process, the steam distillation will take place. Therefore, a mixture of two immiscible liquids (i.e. essential oil and water) is boiled. The mixture start boiling when their combined vapour pressure is equal to 760 mm Hg. The boiling point of a mixture of water and essential oil will thus be lower than the boiling point of either component separately. The traditional hydrodistillation has major drawbacks: The long boiling and steaming process is very time- and energy-consuming.
Ultrasonic extraction works by acoustic cavitation. Acoustic cavitation occurs, when power ultrasound waves are couples into a liquid (e.g. a suspension consisting of botanical material in a solvent or water). The ultrasonic waves travel through the liquid causing alternating high-pressure / low-pressure cycles. During low-pressure cycles, minute vacuum bubbles (so-called cavitation bubbles) are created, which grow over several pressure cycles. At a certain size, when the bubbles cannot absorb more energy, they implode violently during a high-pressure cycle. The bubble implosion is characterised by intense cavitational forces, including micro-turbulences and liquid streams with velocities of up to 100m/s. These cavitational shear effects are also known as sonomechanical effects. Ultrasonic extraction of bioactive molecules is mainly caused by sonomechanical effects: the agitation and turbulences disrupt cells and promote mass transfer. This means the bioactive molecules such as essential oils, polyphenols, terpenes, and cannabinoids are released from the plant cell matrix into the solvent.
The advantage of ultrasonic extraction over the traditional boiling and steam distillation method is the comparatively higher extraction of essential oils and other organic compound in a significantly shorter time. The higher extraction yields avoids the wasting of raw material and make the extraction more lucrative. Time and energy savings achieved by ultrasonic extraction are substantial. As non-thermal method, ultrasonic extraction prevents the thermo-sensitive compounds from heat-induced degradation.
The mild temperatures and short processing time are major advantages of ultrasonic extraction since a thermal decomposition of the natural extracts is prevented. This makes ultrasonic extraction highly efficient and therefore, sonication gives essential oils of superior quality.

Case Studies of Ultrasonic Cinnamon Extraction

Research and industry have already adopted ultrasonic extraction for the production of high-quality essential oils from many botanicals including cinnamon leaves and bark.

Ultrasonic Hydrodistillation of Cinnamon

Chen et al. (2020) investigated the ultrasonically promoted hydrodistillation and concluded that sonication improved the distillation process significantly. Ultrasonic steam distillation provided higher yields of cinnamon oil within drastically reduced extraction time. Using GC-MS analysis, they showed the ultrasonically assisted hydrodistillation provided more valuable essential oil with a high content of the main compound trans-cinnamaldehyde compared with the traditional hydrodistillation. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) confirmed the efficiency of sonication for cinnamon oil extraction. In addition, the analysis of electric consumption and CO2 emission shows that the ultrasonically assisted hydrodistillation process is the more economic and environment-friendly approach. Therefore, Chen et al. summarize that ultrasonically assisted hydrodistillation is an efficient and green technology for the cinnamon essential oil extraction, which can improve the quantity and quality of cinnamon oils.

Ultrasonic Cinnamon Extraction Using Deep Eutectic Solvents

Ultrasonic extraction using deep eutectic solvents have been shown to be a superior technique to extract high yields of trans-cinnamaldehyde and coumarin from cinnamon bark.
method under optimum conditions gave higher trans-cinnamaldehyde and coumarin content than those obtained from conventional methods (reflux, soxhlet and maceration) using organic solvents (96% ethanol). The optimum conditions for ultrasonic extraction using natural deep eutectic solvents were found to be choline chloride-citric acid (ChCl-CA) with 40% water addition and a 30-minute extraction time to extract trans-cinnamaldehyde (9.24 ± 0.01 mg/g) and coumarin (11.6 ± 0.11 mg/g) from cinnamon bark (C. burmannii Blume). Further investigation should be done to explore the pharmacological activity of the trans-cinnamaldehyde and coumarin from cinnamon bark. (cf. Aryati et al. 2020)

Ultrasonic extraction of essential oils from cinnamon results in exceptional high yields.

The surface image of cinnamon bark using scanning electron microscopy 1000x magnification; dried powder (a); after maceration extraction (b); after reflux extraction (c); after Soxhlet extraction (d); after extraction using NADES-UAE ChCl-CA (e).
study and picture by Aryati et al. 2020

Ultrasonic batch extraction of cinnamon essential oils

The UIP2000hdT is a 2kW powerful ultrasonicator for cinnamon extraction

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High-Performance Ultrasonic Extractors

Ultrasonic extraction is a reliable processing technology, which facilitates and accelerates the production of high-quality essential oils. Hielscher Ultrasonics portfolio covers the full range from compact lab ultrasonicators to industrial extraction systems. Thereby, we at Hielscher can offer you the most suitable ultrasonicator for your envisaged process capacity. Our long-time experienced staff will assist you from feasibility tests and process optimisation to the installation of your ultrasonic system on final production level.
The small foot-print of our ultrasonic extractors as well as their versatility in installation options make them fit even into small-space processing facilities. Ultrasonic processors are installed worldwide in food, pharma and nutritional supplement production facilities.

Hielscher Ultrasonics – Sophisticated Extraction Equipment

Hielscher Ultrasonics product portfolio covers the full range of high-performance ultrasonic extractors from small to large scale. Additional accessories allow for the easy assembly of the most suitable ultrasonic device configuration for your extraction process. The optimal ultrasonic setup depends on the envisaged capacity, volume, raw material, batch or inline process and timeline.

Batch and Inline

Hielscher ultrasonicators can be used for batch and continuous flow-through processing. Ultrasonic batch processing is ideal for process testing, optimisation and small to mid-size production level. For a producing large volumes of botanicals (e.g. cinnamon leaves and bark), inline processing might be more advantageous. Whilst batching requires only a very simple setup, it is more time- and labour-intensive. A continuous inline extraction process requires sophisticated setup – consisting in a pump, hoses or pipes and tanks -, but it is more efficient, faster and requires significantly less labour. Hielscher Ultrasonics has the most suitable extraction setup for your extraction volume and process goals.

Ultrasonic Extractors for Every Product Capacity

UIP4000hdT flow cell for inline sonication on industrial scaleHielscher Ultrasonics product range covers the full spectrum of ultrasonic processors from compact lab ultrasonicators over bench-top and pilot systems to fully-industrial ultrasonic processors with the capacity to process truckloads per hour. The full product range allows us to offer you the most suitable ultrasonic extractor for your raw material, process capacity and production targets.
Ultrasonic benchtop systems are ideal for feasibility tests and process optimization. Linear scale-up based on established process parameters makes it very easy to increase the processing capacities from smaller lots to fully commercial production. Up-scaling can be done by either installing a more powerful ultrasonic extractor unit or clustering several ultrasonicators in parallel. With the UIP16000, Hielscher offers the most powerful ultrasonic extractor worldwide.

Precisely Controllable Amplitudes for Optimum Results

All Hielscher ultrasonicators are precisely controllable and thereby reliable work horses in production. The amplitude is one of the crucial process parameters that influence the efficiency and effectiveness of ultrasonic extraction of essential oils from cinnamon.
Hielscher's industrial processors of the hdT series can be comfortable and user-friendly operated via browser remote control.All Hielscher Ultrasonics’ processors allow for the precise setting of the amplitude. Sonotrodes and booster horns are accessories that allow to modify the amplitude in an even wider range. Hielscher’s industrial ultrasonic processors can deliver very high amplitudes and deliver the required ultrasonic intensity for demanding applications. Amplitudes of up to 200µm can be easily continuously run in 24/7 operation.
Precise amplitude settings and the permanent monitoring of the ultrasonic process parameters via smart software give you the possibility to treat your cinnamon leaves and bark with the most effective ultrasonic conditions. Optimal sonication for best extraction results!
The robustness of Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment allows for 24/7 operation at heavy duty and in demanding environments. This makes Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment a reliable work tool that fulfils your extraction requirements.

Easy, Risk-free Testing

Ultrasonic processes can be completely linear scaled. This means every result that you have achieved using a lab or bench-top ultrasonicator, can be scaled to exactly the same output using the exactly same process parameters. This makes ultrasonication ideal for risk-free feasibility testing, process optimization and subsequent implementation into commercial manufacturing. Contact us to learn how sonication can increase your cinnamon extract production.

Highest Quality – Designed and Manufactured in Germany

As a family-owned and family-run business, Hielscher prioritizes highest quality standards for its ultrasonic processors. All ultrasonicators are designed, manufactured and thoroughly tested in our headquarter in Teltow near Berlin, Germany. Robustness and reliability of Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment make it a work horse in your production. 24/7 operation under full load and in demanding environments is a natural characteristic of Hielscher’s high-performance mixers.

The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonicators:

Batch VolumeFlow RateRecommended Devices
1 to 500mL10 to 200mL/minUP100H
10 to 2000mL20 to 400mL/minUP200Ht, UP400St
0.1 to 20L0.2 to 4L/minUIP2000hdT
10 to 100L2 to 10L/minUIP4000hdT
n.a.10 to 100L/minUIP16000
n.a.largercluster of UIP16000

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Ultrasonic high-shear homogenizers are used in lab, bench-top, pilot and industrial processing.

Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers for mixing applications, dispersion, emulsification and extraction on lab, pilot and industrial scale.

Literature / References

Facts Worth Knowing


Ceylon cinnamon, also known as “true cinnamon,” or cinnamomum zeylanicum is valued for its intense flavours, which is reknowed as cinnamon-like. Ceylon cinnamon comes from the crumbly inner bark of the cinnamomum zeylanicum tree and has a sweet and delicate flavour. Its colour is light brown.
Cassia, or cinnamomum aromaticum has a harsher, more overpowering flavour with less pronounced sweetness and more intense other flavour compounds. Therefore cassia cinnamon is often used in baked goods and recipes, which involve other spices too. Its colour is darker, redder brown. Cassia quills are rather hardy and woody. Cassia is cheaper to produce and has a cheaper market price than ceylon.
Saigon cinnamon, or cinnamomum loureiroi. Saigon cinnamon is the most prized member of the Cassia family. It has a full, complex flavor with even less sweetness. Saigon cinnamon is generally pretty expensive.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are concentrated volatile aromatic compounds found in plants, which give plants their unique scents. Unlike fatty acids, essential oils are volatile, highly concentrated oily substances, which are present in flowers, leaves, stems, roots, seeds, bark, resin or fruit peels. Essential oils are hydrophobic, but in contrast to animal and vegetable oils, are not made of fatty acid triglycerides (ie. saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids). For instance, main components of essential oils are hydrophobic terpenes, which differ from fatty oils, because they do not contain triglycerides of fatty acids.

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