Sesame seeds are of the genus Sesamum. They can also be called benne and are of the family Pedaliaceae. They are common in Africa and a few varieties are present in India. It is found naturally in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edibility.
Features of Sesame seeds
- Sesame seeds are tiny, edible and oil-rich seeds that may be hulled or unhulled.
- They contain 50-55% oil and 25% protein.
- They are able to resist rancidity and can be preserved over a long time.
- They take 100-135 days to mature.
- They possess high fibre content and are also a rich source of iron.
- They can be effectively used as food and flavouring.
- They have a nutty taste.
- They can thrive in harsh conditions.
- They require full sun for proper growth and maximum yield.
- The pH level of the soil should be between 5.5-8.
- Sesame seeds are used in baking buns, bread and cakes.
- They help in reducing blood glucose levels.
- They also help in reducing pains and inflammation associated with arthritis.
- They reduce constipation and diarrhoea.
- They increase bone strength due to their impressive content level of calcium, zinc and phosphorus.
- Its oil can be used as ingredients in soaps, cosmetics, paints, perfumes and insecticides.