Sesame is an integral part of ancient legends. Sesame (Sesamum indicum) has early origins in East Africa and in India. It is perhaps one of the oldest crops cultivated by man, having been grown in the near east and Africa for over 5,000 years for cooking and medicinal needs. The ancients attributed near-mystical powers to sesame. The oil was used in barter since it would preserve and store in the desert for years.
Today, world production is estimated to be over 15 million acres (6.2 million hectares) and over 57% of the world production is in Asia. Most of the Asian production is in India, China, and Burma (Myanmar). In Asia most sesame is consumed within 100 miles of where it is grown since farmers grow very small plots for their extended families. Africa grows 15% of the world’s sesame, with Sudan, Uganda, and Nigeria being key producers.
Top producing countries are: –
Production of Sesame in India
- Uttar Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
Sesame seed is processed and utilized in numerous ways. In most areas of the world, sesame is produced for its cooking oil and other direct food uses, with some direct consumption of the seed. In the U.S. sesame seed is primarily used as a confectionary topping, in baked goods, or as a condiment. Seed color is genetically controlled and light-colored seed is preferred for these confectionery uses. Sesame seed imparts unique taste and textural features when included with baked products. Sesame is rich in calcium and high in antioxidants and other healthful features. Imported seed is usually de-hulled before shipment where hand labor is involved in removing extraneous matter. Imported seed is brokered by firms for the processing firms who produce baked or confectionary products. The oil from seed is used in manufacture of soaps, paints, perfumes, pharmaceuticals and insecticides.
New crop: –