Sesame seed is one of the wonder foods of nature with 50% fat, 23% carbohydrates, 18% protein, 12% dietary fiber and a host of nutrients. Sesame seed is preferred world over for its taste, aroma, colour, crunchiness and nutrients. Increasingly, sesame seed usage has spread beyond bread and confectionary to a variety of food preparations as an important food ingredient.
World sesame seed production is estimated at around 4. 8 million tons with 10 countries - Myanmar, India, China, Tanzania, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Uganda and Niger accounting for over 80% of the production. Africa collectively accounts for over 45% of the crop and in the last 10 years has grown in stature as a fast-growing supplier of sesame seed to the world market.
Of the global production, over two million tons are exported every year mainly to China (one million tons), Japan (150,000 tons), Turkey (150,000 tons), European Union (150,000 tons), South Korea (100,000 tons) and Vietnam (100,000 tons). USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE are other importers. Natural sesame seed and hulled are two popular forms in which most of the trade takes place.