Bacterial biofilms lead to serious health care complications associated with increased morbidity and mortality. There is a great need to discover and develop new biofilm inhibitors from natural products or by modifying natural compounds or understanding the modes of action of existing compounds.
Sri Lanka holds the monopoly for Ceylon Cinnamon or true cinnamon, the celebrated spice that changed the human history forever. Made from the bark of the small evergreen tree called Cinnamomum zelanicum, Ceylon Cinnamon’s unique fragrance and taste, as well as its remarkably low amounts of coumarin, had made it one of the most sought after spices made in Sri Lanka, ever since the world discovered the many uses of Ceylon Cinnamon.
Once a jealously-guarded secret of the North Mexican Totonac tribe, who believed in a divine connection between the Vanilla orchid and their tribal deities, vanilla was introduced to Europe by Spanish conquistadors, who are also ironically credited with the introduction of chocolate.
Until the 19th century the global vanilla demand was exclusively met by the Mexican as the first attempts at growing vanilla outside Mexico proved ineffective due to the symbiotic relationship between the vanilla orchid and its natural pollinator, a local species of bee.
Pure Ceylon Cinnamon or true cinnamon, as it is known across the world today, carries many health benefits backed by scientific and medical research.
Among its most celebrated health benefits is the cinnamon's ability to control blood sugar. According to the latest medical research cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon is capable of reducing the blood sugar level by 3-5%, similar to the early generation of diabetes medication. A combination of Ceylon Cinnamon, healthy diet and regular exercise is recommended as an ideal pre-diabetic life style to prevent the development of type-2 diabetes.
Cardamom, the queen of spice, with a sweet mixture of aroma and flavour, is the third most expensive spice in the world spice market second only to saffron and vanilla.
Part of the ancient family of spices, cardamom was used as a tooth cleaner by ancient Egyptians, while the Greeks and Romans used cardamom as a source of fragrance in perfumes and air fresheners. Ancient Chinese and Indian herbal medication also involved cardamom as a main ingredient and were among the main cultivators of cardamom.
Pure Ceylon Cinnamon, known as the spice of life, has been an important part of human life since the beginning of history and Sri Lanka as the source of the world's best cinnamon has been wrapped in Myths and legends
The first records on sweet cinnamon or Pure Ceylon Cinnamon in History appears in the Hebrew Bible as an essential ingredient in consecrated incense and even the new testament mentions cinnamon's fragrance in proverb 7:17, "I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon ".
Sri Lanka, India and many other Asian countries have a history of concocting spice condiments with home-grown spices to enhance the flavour of their ethnic dishes. Made mainly with fresh ingredients, these spice mixtures include numerous curry powders, curry pastes and sauces, made to a time-tested recipe.
Most of Eastern curry powders are made by grinding coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, dill, sweet cumin, chilli, ginger, curry leaf, mustard, garcinia, clove, black pepper, garlic, screw pine, lemon grass and cardamom into a mixture, and are usually used in preparation of vegetables, lentils and yams.
The newest addition to cinnamon's medical and health benefits include its innumerable beauty benefits to skin, teeth and hair.
Ceylon Cinnamon has proved to be more than just a tasty spice and with the lowest amount of coumarin, Ceylon cinnamon has been proven to have a wide spectrum of health benefits ranging from anti-cancer, antibacterial, antioxidant action to improvement of memory, alertness and reducing blood sugar and stress.
Considered one of the most important spices since the beginning of known history, Pepper trade controls nearly 20% of the global spice market today, and Sri Lankan Pepper exporters have the potential to expand into a market that is as lucrative as gold.
Pepper has been in global use since the fourth century BC mainly among the Eastern civilizations and the most ancient archaeological record of pepper has emerged from the tomb of Ramases II, inserted into the nostrils of mummified Pharaoh during mummification.
Extracted from herb and spice plants and flowers, the uses of herbal oils in medicine and cosmetics has been a common practice among Eastern civilisations until the trading sailors took these fragrant secrets with them to Europe between 11th and 13th centuries revolutionising the world's medical and beauty habits.
Essential oils derived from spices, herbs and flowers have been an essential part of Sri Lankan life style since as early as 2000 BC. The indigenous medical records of early Sri Lanka recommend the use of cinnamon oil extracted from the cinnamon leaf to relieve the pain caused by arthritis while cinnamon oil extracted from the cinnamon bark has been used for aromatherapy, to cleanse polluted air and to keep away various insects in households and in paddy fields.
As Sri Lanka’s King of Spices continued at a steady second rank among all spice exports for a third year in a row, Sri Lanka prepared to move its top spice players to a forthcoming global Conclave in China with a view to diversify markets-and to cash in on the emerging Far-East, as revealed in Colombo.
The soft, golden coloured and delicate cigar like rolls of Ceylon Cinnamon has long been an essential part of world cuisine and herbal medication yet claims its' origin to the humble cinnamon groves in the Western coast of Sri Lanka.
Although Sri Lanka is mostly celebrated for its' Ceylon Tea, Cinnamon has been among its top exports during the past centuries and most of the world's colonial powers had waged long and gory battles over the monopoly of Ceylon Cinnamon export.
The demand for value added cinnamon products such as cinnamon leaf oil, bark oil, crushed cinnamon and ground cinnamon for confectionery and other food related industries has increased in the world. Sri Lanka is planning to double cinnamon export earnings by increasing value addition of cinnamon.
Sri Lanka is the largest supplier of cinnamon exports to the world spice market, producing about 85% of international output. However, Sri Lanka ranks well below in value added cinnamon exports to the world market. Other competitor countries make huge profits by adding value to cinnamon exported from Sri Lanka, while Sri Lanka is losing profit due to exporting more raw cinnamon.
New regulations were tabled in Parliament yesterday to standardize and improve the quality of the centuries old cinnamon industry in Sri Lanka by shifting the focus from popular export crops – tea, coconut, and rubber – to the value added cinnamon in the international market.
These regulations published in the Gazette Extraordinary 1813/15, prohibits the export of crushed or ground cinnamon, cinnamon organic, cinnamon quills cut, cinnamon in retail packs of 1kg or less, cinnamon featherings, and cinnamon chips, or cinnamon in any other form being exported without the SLS81:2010 certification specified for Ceylon cinnamon.