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Sesame oil is a vegetable oil produced from white and black seeds of the tropical sesame plant. Sesame seeds contain up to 60 % oil and up to 30 % protein. It is available in a light and a dark variety. Light sesame oil is pressed from raw seeds and is almost tasteless. It is mostly used for the production of margarine. Dark sesame oil is produced from roasted seeds. It is popular for its fine nutty aroma and is used as a salad oil and in many Asian recipes.


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Production of sesame oil

For the production of sesame oil the seeds have to be cleaned, watered and dried first. For dark oil they are also roasted for half an hour. Roasted seeds are then filled in large trough. They have to cool quickly so that the roasting process cannot continue. Seeds roasted too dark produce oil of lesser quality. The roasted seeds are then processed in oil presses. The raw sesame oil is filtered to remove impurities. After filtration it may be bottled and sold.

One ton of sesame seeds is needed for the production of 300 l oil. The meal that is left after pressing has a high protein content and is therefore used as animal feed. The oil contains 44,5% of the highly valuable linoleic acid (See also: unsaturated fatty acids). Several methods are used for the production of sesame oil. It may be cold-pressed, warm-pressed, extracted or refined. Sesame oil has no smell and a pleasant nutty taste.


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