Sesame seeds, market analysis
Sesame seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals and have been used as a healing herb for millennia. The seeds have a nutty flavour that complements soups, salads and meats, and they are used across China, India and Japan.
In the Asia–Pacific region, India is known for its large-scale production and export of sesame seeds, especially due to the increasing popularity of sesame seeds as a functional ingredient in several foods. Sesame seeds are expected to become more popular, as they are claimed to facilitate digestion and reduce hypertension, while also acting as an antioxidant in various pharmaceutical formulations.
The organic sesame seed market can be categorised on the basis of colour (white, black or brown), seed form (raw or whole seed, and processed seed), application (baked snacks, ready-to-eat foods, confectionery and pet food) and geography (Europe, Asia–Pacific and America).
Loaded with oil- and water-soluble antioxidants such as sesamin, sesaminol, sesamolin and sesaminol glucosides, sesame seeds can advance essential ingredients to improve overall health. The seeds also contain monounsaturated fatty acid, claimed to help to prevent coronary artery disease and stroke.
The organic standards of sesame seeds minimise the use of synthetic or manufactured inputs and encourage the use of local natural resources. The seeds can be used for oil extraction and edible purposes. Organic sesame oil is also used to make margarines, alongside enhancing the shelf life and preservative efficacy of packaged food products. The leftover cake after removing the oil from sesame seeds can also be used for livestock feed or as compost.
The increasing demand for organic seeds is a driving factor for the growth of the global sesame seed market. Sesamum seeds that are uniformly sized, white and free from pesticide residues are preferred in the global market. Producing and supplying organic varieties of sesame seeds lies in identifying appropriate production zones, the standardisation of production technologies and the adoption of organic production methods such as contract farming.
Due to their various benefits, sesame seeds can tap into many current market trends, from clean label, natural and minimally processed, to free form and high protein. The seeds are also sustainable and suitable for vegan and vegetarian products.
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