Cinnamon Rolls without the Cinnamon for Denmark


Christmas of 2013 may be sadly remembered by Denmark’s residents as the last year of the authentic cinnamon roll, thanks to impending legislation from the European Union.

A food safety act passed in 2008 by the EU threatens to limit the use of cinnamon in Danish rolls to 15 milligrams per kilogram of dough. This would be enough of a reduction to change the flavor of the famous rolls.

Denmark’s government has classified the dish as a “non-seasonal” dish which has brought protests from members of the Danish Baker’s Association.

Sweden has classified the cinnamon buns as a “seasonal” dish.  Seasonal dishes are allowed up to 50 milligrams of cinnamon for each kilogram of dough.

Britain has not released any new regulations as it believes the research is debatable.

The reduction in cinnamon levels is due to recent research that indicates that coumarin may be responsible for liver damage when taken in higher dosages.  Coumarin is found in cassia cinnamon which is readily available for cooking purposes.

Other types of cinnamon contain lower amounts of coumarin, but are more expensive and have a different taste.  Cinnamon is found in India, Egypt, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and is prepared from the dried bark of the trees.

Research indicates that high amounts of coumarin can cause liver damage.  Coumarin is a parent compound to warfarin, which is used to manufacture Coumadin, a popular blood thinning medication.

Coumarin is also found in other sources such as celery, chamomile and parsley.

Cinnamon has been used and valued as a spice since Biblical times. It is believed that the Egyptians were the first to import it in 2000 BC.  Cinnamon was used in the embalming process and is mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible as an anointing oil.

During the middle ages the use of cinnamon was seen as a status symbol.  Early explorers sought out the spice.  Christopher Columbus believed he had found cinnamon in the New World, but samples sent back to Spain were another plant.

It also has several uses in alternative medicine.  Some research has showed that cinnamon may help manage blood glucose levels and may slow the growth of cancerous cells.  Traditional Chinese medicine called for cinnamon to be used for treating colds, flatulence, and nausea.

Cinnamon oil is also used for aromatherapy and can reduce muscle spasms and help with concentration.

It is unknown how the ban on higher levels of cinnamon in cooking will affect Denmark.  Denmark recently repealed a “fat tax” which was placed on all food containing over 2.3 percent of saturated fats.  While the fat tax prompted some Danes to change their eating habits, many citizens ordered or purchased their foods from international sources, defeating the intent of the law and causing more money to be spent outside of their country.

The regulation on the levels of cinnamon in cooking is not the first controversial rulings that the EU has developed.  Children have been restricted from blowing up balloons or using party whistles due to possible choking hazards.

After a three year long investigation which produced no scientific data to support claims, the EU banned bottled water companies from advertising that their product could prevent dehydration.  The EU also provided regulations that prescribed the amount of a curve present in a cucumber, and drafted regulation dictating that hairdressers converse with their patrons and restricted them from wearing high-heeled shoes to work for safety reasons.


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