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Th 6, 07/05/2021 | 11:00 SA

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Geographical indication protection of “Trà Bồng” for cinnamon

On 23 November 2020, Intellectual Property Office of Viet Nam has issued Decision no. 4525/QĐ-SHTT on granting Geographical indication registration certificate no. 00094 for the famous “Trà Bồng” cinnamon. People’s Committee of Trà Bồng district is the organization in charge of managing this GI.

Cinnamon production in Trà Bồng has been existed for a long time. It is one of the four famous cinnamon production area of Viet Nam. While Trà My cinnamon of Quảng Nam province is renowned as “Cao Sơn Ngọc Quế” (Precious cinnamon of the high mountain), Trà Bồng cinnamon of Quảng Ngãi was named as “Tứ Đại Danh Dược” (The four famous medicine). Cinnamon in Trà Bồng is an essential part in the lives of Kor ethnics. They produce cinnamon as their main livelihood, trading with Vietnamese and Chinese people for groceries. In the 16th century, Arab, Portuguese, and Chinese merchants came to this area to purchase cinnamon. The 1980s – 1990s was considered the golden age of cinnamon, and lowlanders had the saying “Đắt thì quế, Ế thì Rơm” (If it sells well, it is cinnamon. If it does not, it is straw). The Kor ethnics think of the cinnamon as a “rice storage” in the woods, and the cinnamon harvest season is the “rice harvest” of the mountain. Thus, cinnamon is the standard for wealth of the Kor ethnics. Thanks to its stature and its position in the lives of Kor ethnics, cinnamon has appeared in poetry and music, such as the song “Trà Bồng cinnamon fragrance” composed by Đào Việt Hưng, “Trà Bồng my love” composed by Nguyễn Tuấn, “Planting cinnamon” composed by Thế Truyền, etc. Nowadays, Trà Bồng cinnamon has been exported to many countries such as India, Pakistan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, etc.

Quế Trà Bồng và cây quế Trà Bồng


Trà Bồng cinnamon includes many types of product: trunk bark, branch bark, bark powder, oil powder, bark essential oil, and leaf essential oil. 

Cinnamon trunk bark and branch bark have straight lines, the outer skin has rough texture and grey-brown colour, and the inner face has faint to deep yellow colour. The thickness of trunk bark is 3.91 mm to 6.48 mm, essential oil layer thickness is 1.36 mm to 2.68 mm, moisture is 6.18 % to 8.35 %, relative density is 1.0079 d20 to 1.0443 d20,  refractive index is 1.5819 nD20 to 1.6102 nD20, essential oil content is 2.82 % to 6.31 %, Cinnamaldehyde content is 73.34 % to 97.72 %. Branch bark thickness is 1.21 mm to 3.12 mm, essential oil layer thickness is 0.45 mm to 0.82 mm, moisture is 5.69 % to 7.84 %, relative density is 1.0078 d20 to 1.0363 d20,  refractive index is 1.5850 nD20 to 1.6112 nD20, essential oil content is 4.26 % to 5.87 %, Cinnamaldehyde content is 75.61 % to 98.67 %.

Cinnamon bark powder has dark brown-yellow colour, moisture is 7.25 % to 9.12 %, relative density is 1.0220 d20 to 1.0513 d20, refractive index is 1.5952 nD20 to 1.6047 nD20, essential oil content is 2.25 % to 3.97 %, Cinnamaldehyde content is 78.78 % to 93.55 %. Cinnamon oil powder has bright brown-yellow colour, moisture is 6.23 % to 6.97 %, relative density is 1.0235 d20 to 1.0239 d20, refractive index is 1.5926 nD20 to 1.5996 nD20, essential oil content is 4.35 % to 5.17 %, Cinnamaldehyde content is 83.62 % to 88.35 %.

Cinnamon trunk bark, branch bark, bark powder, oil powder all have a distinctive strong aroma without pungent smell. The taste is spicy, sweet with a touch of bitterness.

Cinnamon bark essential oil and leaf essential oil of Trà Bồng has a strong aroma, and a hot taste with a touch of sweetness. Trà Bồng cinnamon bark essential oil has deep lime colour, while leaf essential oil has bright lime colour. The bark essential oil has the following physical and chemical properties: relative density is 1.0449 d20 to 1.0535 d20, refractive index is 1.5996 nD20 to1.6125 nD20, essential oil content is 98.65 % to 99.63 %, Cinnamaldehyde content is 85.70 % to 93.54 %. Leaf essential oil: relative density is 1.0445 d20 to 1.0508 d20, refractive index is 1.6044 nD20 to 1.6076 nD20, essential oil content is 98.33 % to 99.60 %,  hàm lượng Cinnamaldehyde is 88.97 % to 89.60 %.


Cinnamon bark powder and oil powder

Trà Bồng cinnamon is planted in wavy low hills and high mountains region, which is highly divisive, at the altitude of 200 metre to 1.000 metre. This area has a high rainfall, averages at 2,300 mm to 3,600 mm annually. The rainy season is from late April to the end of October, accounting for 90% of all year’s rainfall. It is especially concentrated in mid September to mid October, which is an ideal condition to start planting cinnamon. From December onwards, rainfall starts to reduce, and by early January until April, it has virtually no rain. This is a very good condition to harvest, process, and preserve cinnamon in the “Tiên” harvest. The production area of Trà Bồng cinnamon has the annual average temperature of 23.5oC to 26.5oC, with relatively stable monthly average temperature, which suits the growth of cinnamon. Annual average humidity of Trà Bồng cinnamon production area is 85 % to 90%, however, the humidity drops drastically during the dry season. It coincides with the main harvest and creates a favourable condition for processing and preserving the quality of the cinnamon. Trà Bồng has the annual average total hour of sunlight of 2,050 giờ, temperature during daytime is high, with high variance between day and night, which is hot during daytime and cold during nighttime. This highly distinctive mode of temperature can result in peculiar and high quality agricultural products. This is one of the favourable conditions for Trà Bồng cinnamon to produce the ever-famous high quality essential oil.

Trà Bồng cinnamon is planted on Arenic Acrisols and Ferralic Acrisols. The soil’s mechanical composition is medium to light. The soil has pHKCL value of 3.94 to 4.46 and low on nutrition, specifically: total protein content is 0.11 % to 0.15 %, total phosphorus content is 0.06 % to 0.10 %, total potassium content is 1.07 % to 1.26 %, soluble potassium content is 5.11 meq/100g to 14.70 meq/100g, soluble phosphorus content is 0.24 meq/100g to 1.72 meq/100g. With these characteristics, cinnamon planted in Trà Bồng grows at a slow rate, forming the peculiarity of cinnamon from Trà Bồng.

Cinnamon has been an essential part of the Kor ethnics in Trà Bồng for hundreds of years, planted in family gardens, on the high fields and in the deep woods. At first, each household only had a few trees, and gradually became plantations, hills, and forests of cinnamon. Trà Bồng cinnamon is planted densely, which is different to other areas’ method. Cinnamon is planted under a shading tree. After 3 to 5 years, the shading trees will be cut down, allowing cinnamon trees to photosynthesize and grow. Cinnamon are planted not for the producers themselves, but for their descendants. Therefore, they preserve and protect the cinnamon as if it is a valued asset of the family. The methods of production and preserving cinnamon products are also peculiar traits of the area. The production practice of the Kor ethnics in combination with the natural conditions have resulted in the peculiarity and reputation of Trà Bồng cinnamon.

Geographical area: Communes of Hương Trà, Sơn Trà, Trà Bùi, Trà Giang, Trà Hiệp, Trà Lâm, Trà Phong, Trà Sơn, Trà Tân, Trà Tây, Trà Thanh, Trà Thủy and Trà Xinh of Trà Bồng district, Quảng Ngãi province.


Center for Examining Geographical Indication and International Trademark