Danish Bakers Busted for Exceeding EU’s Cinnamon Limit in Rolls

Dan Joseph
By Dan Joseph | January 10, 2014 | 12:00 PM EST

Bakers in Denmark are furious after that nation's government requested that they reduce the amount of cinnamon in their cinnamon rolls.

According to the Associated Press the Danish government's Veterinary and Food Administration made the request after discovering that Denmark's cinnamon rolls and twists typically contain more cinnamon than allowed under the European Union's (EU) regulations on spices.

Bakers are protesting the request claiming that they are incapable of making the coveted pastries without using a certain amount of cinnamon.  They also claim that they are held to a different standard than bakers in neighboring Sweden where the Swedish government has managed to find a loophole that allows bakers to use as much Cinnamon as they damn well please, as long as the baked good is considered "seasonal" or specifically associated with a holiday.

The EU has put limits the use of coumarin, a chemical found in cinnamon, claiming that excessive use of the chemical can damage the liver.  Of course cinnamon is an essential ingredient in "kanelsnegel (cinnamon roll) and Kanelstang (cinnamon) twist, both which are immensely popular in the country.

Danish interpretations of the EU rules limit the amount of coumarin to 15mg per delicious pastry.  Anders Grabow, a spokesman for the Danish Bakers Association, believes that the limit is far too severe

"A grown man like me could eat like 10 'kanelsnegel' every day for several years and not even get what's near the limit of what's dangerous to my liver," said Anders. "I would probably get too much sugar in my body before that."

The EU has agreed to help Denmark rectify the situation in a way that meets the stringent EU spice standards but does not harm Denmark's pastry industry, which many consider to be the lifeblood of the Danish economy.