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American Sesame Growers Association

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Nutrition Information

The USDA database (1) is used in the US to derive nutritional information that is used to determine labeling for food and represents the average of all of the samples tested. The database changes as more samples are tested. The database contains the number of samples that have been averaged and the standard deviations. There is a second major database from the USDA and is titled the Phytochemical database (2). The range in the table below is drawn from the phytochemical database and other sesame references.

Sesame is one of the few crops where there has been a limited amount of plant breeding leading to the germplasm from one part of the world dominating across the whole world. As a result the composition of varieties and cultivars varies considerably giving a very wide range on some components. Within a variety or cultivar there is less variability. However, the environment can have an effect on some components, e.g., as fertility increases, protein content increases and oil content decreases.

"Whole seed" is the entire seed which is different from dehulled seed (also referred to as decorticated seed). In the USDA database there are values for decorticated seed, oil, flour, and roasted sesame.

The following tables are based on analyzing 100 grams of whole seed.

OVERALL COMPOSITION

 Nutrient
USDA Whole Seed
Range
 Moisture (g)
4.69
 
 Protein (g)
17.73
14.1 - 31.6
 Total lipid (fat) (g)
49.67
32.8 - 64.0
 Ash (g)
4.45
4.22 - 6.50
 Carbohydrate, by difference (g)
23.45
9.1 - 25.3

 Energy (kcal)

 (kj)

573

2397

 
 Fiber, total dietary (g)
11.8
2.7 - 15.7 g
 Sugars, total (g)
0.30
 

ASH COMPOSITION

 Nutrient
USDA Whole Seed
Range
 Calcium (mg)
975
80 - 1,263
 Chromium (mg)
 
 
 Cobalt (mg)
 
 
 Copper (mg)
4.08
3.7 - 5.4
 Iron (mg)
14.55
2.0 - 16.9
 Magnesium (mg)
351
305 - 408
 Manganese (mg)
2.46
1.4 - 3.2
 Nickel (mg)
 
 
 Phosphorus (mg)
629
50 - 890
 Potassium (mg)
468
349 - 766
 Selenium (mcg)
5.7
 
 Sodium (mg)
11
4.6 - 63.4
 Zinc (mg)
7.75
2.4 - 10.2

VITAMIN COMPOSITION

 Nutrient
USDA Whole Seed
Range
 Vitamin C (mg)
0.0
 
 Thiamin (mg)
0.791
0.071 - 1.139
 Riboflavin (mg)
0.247
0.06 - 0.30
 Niacin (mg)
4.515
3.6 - 6.502
 Pantothenic acid (mg)
0.050
0.05 - 1.0
 Vitamin B-6 (mg)
0.790
0.79 - 1.14
 Folate, total (mcg)
97
97 - 139
 Folic acid (mcg)
0
 
 Folate, food (mcg)
97
 
 Folate, DFE (mcg)
97
 
 Vitamin B-12 (mcg)
0
 
 Vitamin A (IU)
9
3 - 30
 Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) (mg)
0.25
0.25 - 2.4

LIPID COMPOSITION

 Nutrient
USDA Whole Seed
Range
 Saturated fatty acids (g)
6.96
 
   Butyric (4:0) (g)
0
 
   Caproic (6:0) (g)
0
 
   Caprylic (8:0) (g)
0
 
   Capric (10:0) (g)
0
 
   Lauric (12:0) (g)
0
 
   Myristic (14:0) (g)
0.12
0.03 - 0.17
   Palmitic (16:0) (g)
4.44
2.56 - 5.14
   Stearic (18:0) (g)
2.09
1.18 - 3.28
 Monosaturated fatty acids (g)
18.76
 
   Palmitoleic (16:1) (g)
0.15
0.14 - 0.16
   Oleic (18:1) (g)
18.52
11.48 - 28.45
   Gadoleic (20:1) (g)
0.07
0.070 - 0.073
   Erucic (22:1) (g)
0
 
 Polyunsaturated fatty acids (g)
21.77
 
   Linoleic (18:2) (g)
21.38
12.3 - 27.9
   18:3 undifferentiated (g)
0.38
 
   Moroctic (18:4) (g)
0
 
   Arachidonic (20:4) (g)
0
 
   20:5 n-3 (g)
0
 
   Clupanodonic (22:5) (g)
0
 
   22:6 n-3 (g)
0
 
 Cholesterol
0
 
 Phytosterols (mg)
714
714 - 1028

AMINO ACID COMPOSITION

 Nutrient
USDA Whole Seed
Range
 Alanine (g)
0.93
0.55 - 1.48
 Arginine (g)
2.63
1.58 - 3.90
 Aspartic acid (g)
1.65
0.98 - 2.38
 Cystine (g)
0.36
0.24 - 0.55
 Glutamic acid (g)
3.96
2.47 - 5.19
 Glycine (g)
1.22
0.59 - 1.99
 Histidine (g)
0.52
0.30 - 0.71
 Isoleucine (g)
0.76
0.76 - 1.35
 Leucine (g)
1.36
0.44 - 2.26
 Lysine (g)
0.57
0.29 - 0.87
 Methionine (g)
0.59
0.31 - 0.94
 Phenylalanine (g)
0.94
0.57 - 0.99
 Proline (g)
0.81
0.81 - 1.43
 Serine (g)
0.97
0.62 - 1.38
 Threonine (g)
0.74
0.74 - 1.24
 Trytophan (g)
0.39
0.20 - 0.50
 Tyrosine (g)
0.74
0.42 -1.18
 Valine (g)
0.99
0.55 - 1.55

OTHER COMPOSITION

 Nutrient
USDA Whole Seed
Range
 Alcohol, ethyl (g) 0  
 Caffiene (mg) 0  
 Theobromine (mg) 0  
 Carotene, beta (mcg) 5  
 Carotene, alpha (mcg) 0  
 Cryptoxanthin, beta (mcg) 0  
 Lycopene (mcg) 0  
 Lutein + zeaxanthin (mcg) 0  

There is an additional website which takes the USDA information and converts it into the format necessary for labeling: www.nutritiondata.com. The following links can be used to view the current data. Note that the links represent one cup while the table above uses 100 grams. There is an option at the top of the following links, which allow viewing other measures.

1 oz whole sesame seeds, dried

1/4 cup hulled sesame seeds

1 oz. whole roasted, toasted, sesame seeds

(1) Data specifically from United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 2003, National Nutrient Database: Sesame, sesame seed, whole, dried, http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgi-bin/measure.pl?12023xyz1200xyzSeeds%2c%20sesame%20seeds%2c% 20whole%2c%20driedxyzSesamum%20indicum, accessed Apr 15, 2006.
(2) http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/farmacy2.pl?928, accessed Dec 29, 2004.

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