Food Science and Technology Project Topics

Nutritional and Mineral Composition of Cooked and Roasted Beniseed

Nutritional and Mineral Composition of Cooked and Roasted Beniseed

Nutritional and Mineral Composition of Cooked and Roasted Beniseed

Chapter One 

Therefore, the aim and objective of this study is to determine the nutritional and mineral composition of cooked and roasted beniseed.



History of Beniseed (Sesamum indicum L.)

Sesame seeds are the seeds of the tropical annual Sesamum indicum. The species has a long history of cultivation, mostly for its yield of oil. The oil plant has been grown since the beginning of arable cultivation, and originates from the dry bush savannah of tropical Africa, and spread from there to India and China, where it is still widely cultivated (Naturland, 2002). The original area of domestication of sesame is obscure but it seems likely to have first been brought into cultivation in Asia or India. Archeological records indicate that it has been known and used in India for more than 5,000 years and is recorded as a crop in Babylon and Assyria some 4,000 years ago (Borchani et al., 2010).

Sesame was cultivated during the Indus valley civilization and was the main oil crop. It was probably exported to Mesopotamia around 2500 BCE and was known in Akkadian and Sumerian as ‘ellu’. Prior to 600 BC, the Assyrians used sesame oil as a food, salve, and medication, primarily by the rich, as the difficulty of obtaining it made it expensive. Hindus used it in votive lamps and considered the oil sacred(Borchaniet al., 2010).

Production of Sesame Seed

Global production of sesame seed is estimated by FAO at 3.15 mntonnes per year (2001) having risen from 1.4 mntonnes in the early 1960’s, however only small proportion of the global sesame harvest enters international trade. For the most part, the oil is expressed locally and used locally for cooking or the seeds themselves are eaten, particularly after being fried.

Sesame is grown in many parts of the world on over 5 million acres (20,000 km2). The largest producer of the crop in 2007 was India, China, Myanmar, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Nigeria. Seventy percent of the world’s sesame crop is grown in Asia, with Africa growing 26% (Hansen, 2011)

The largest producers are China and India, each with an annual harvest around 750,000 tonnes followed by Myanmar (425,000 tonnes) and Sudan (300,000 tonnes). These figures are only rough estimates of the situation as sesame is a smallholder crop and much of the harvest is consumed locally, without record of the internal trade and domestic processing. Nigeria has a great market potential for sesame seed production for domestic and export markets noting that the production figures of the commodity has been on a steady increase since 1980, reaching 67000 MT by 1997 and was estimated to reach 139, 000 MT by the year 2010, according to the federal ministry of agriculture and natural resources (Joseph, 2009). This is agreement with the 2008 annual report of the Central Bank of Nigeria which states there has been a rise in production of sesame seed from 98,000,000 to 152,000,000 kg from 2003 to 2007 (CBN, 2009).

Out of the estimated 3.5million hectares of Nigeria’s arable land suitable for the growth of sesame seed, only 300,000 is currently used for the crop. However average yield of crop is about 300kg/ha which is 4 times lower than the average yield of other seed crops eg groundnut and soybeans. In major production zones in the country, it is used in traditional food recipes and snacks rather than for export purposes (NAERLS, 2010). Nigeria was the largest supplier to the Japanese market, the world’s largest import market for sesame (Chemonics, 2002). Thus, the potentials for beniseed production in Nigeria is high since Japan, as well as Taiwan and Korea, generate global demand and offer opportunity forNigerian growers. Nigeria has a 6% share of the $600 million global market for sesame seed (Nigeria’s Harvest, 2009).

Sesame was widely grown in Middle Belt, Northern and Central Nigeria as a minor crop initially in 1974 when it became a major cash crop in many Northern States eg Benue, Kogi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Nasarawa, Katsina, Plateau, Yobe and Federal capital Territory (NAERLS, 2010). Sesame is commonly grown by smallholder farmers. The major producing areas in order of priority are Nasarawa, Jigawa and Benue States. Other important areas of production are found in Yobe, Niger, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Gombe and Plateau States. Harvesting begins in late December and continues through July. Each producing area has only one season.

There are 2 types of sesame produced in Nigeria

  1. White/raw = Food-grade used in bakery industry. 98-100% whitest grade seeds
  2. Brown/mixed = Primarily oil-grade

The White (Food Grade) seed is grown around the towns of Keffi, Lafia/Makurdi, Doma, and in Nassarawa, Taraba, and Benue States. It is easier to sort and the Fumani/Denin people consume sesame locally. The Brown/mixed grows in the North, in Kano State and in Jigawa State near Hadejia, and somewhat in the southern part of Katsina State. There is some local consumption of the brown grade, but not much. The brown can be upgraded to Food Grade through bleaching, as discussed earlier (Chemonics, 2002). Several varieties of sesam are cultivated in Nigeria.The basic agronomic characteristics of some of the varieties are shown in Table 1 below.




Material Source

Mature and wholesome beniseeds (Sesamumindicum L.) were obtained from Oja Oba in Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria.It was taken to the processing laboratory in the Department of Food Science and Technology of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo, Ondo State for further preparation. The seeds were separated from undesirable materials such as stones, sand and plant parts. The seeds were thereafter washed, sun-dried pro to further analysis.

 Seeds Preparation

Preparation of Cooked Beniseeds

200g of the seeds were washed and added to accurate amount of water in a pot of boiling distilled water and it was cooked for 35 minutes.




Table 4.1: Proximate Composition of Roasted and Cooked Beniseed





This study revealed that cooking and roasted has significant effects on the nutritional composition of beniseed. There were considerable losses of some nutrients due to a longer time of cooking especially protein and ash while other nutrient such as fats was sufficiently retained. However, the levels of nutrients are adequate and compare well with those of other oil seeds. However, this study has been able to show that cooking which incidentally is a common practice of traditional medical practitioners potentiates the antioxidant properties of beniseed aqueous extract. Therefore, cooked extracts of the seed can be useful for therapeutic purposes.


It is therefore recommended that cooking of beniseed for long periods of time should be discouraged to avoid significant loss of proteins and ash when prepared as a soup to be consumed with carbohydrates foods such as garri, pounded yam and other flours.


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