Sesame some drug formulations and also many industrial

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Sesame (Sesamum indicum l.) included in family
of Pedaliaccae,
isamongst the oldest familiar oilseedcropsknown to humansand
has been part of human diet since classical times 1. It isplaced at the 9th position among the top 13 oilseed
crops which make up 90% of the world’s edible oil production 2.The primary
marketable products of sesame are whole seeds, oil and meal. Sesame seeds are the one of the
finest crops used for oil extraction. The
premature seeds are used as condiments 3.  Sesame seedsare
cultivated for the purpose of oil extraction
which has many culinary, industrial as well as pharmaceutical applications. Sesame seed has excellent
nutritional, nutraceutical and preservative
properties. Sesame seed contain 20% and its defatted form contains 50% of
protein.The major constituents of sesame seed are oil, protein, carbohydrates, lignans, and minor constituents such as minerals. 6(Table 1).

1. Composition of sesame seed (per 100

Energy ( calories)

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Moisture (%)


Fat          (g)


Protein  (g)


Carbohydrates (g)


Fiber (g)


Ash  (g)


Lignans  (g)






Fe (mg)


P (mg)


Mg (mg)


Na (mg)


Vitamin C (µg)


Vitamin A (IU)


Carotene  (µg)


Thiamine (mg)


Riboflavin (mg)


Niacin (mg)



The implementation of sesame in
regular diet may help in enhancing the flavour of staple
dishes. Even though sesame seeds are not a good source for starch, they
have a pleasant flavour with taste resembling
nuts. Thus, they may find applications for supplementation in soups,saladsand bakery products with modified texture and sensory
properties. The meal -protein rich flour obtained after
oil extraction – is agood source of   protein and a
potential source for methionine- an essential
amino acid. So the meal can be used in many food
product formulations as a protein and methionine supplement. Some food
products like tahini (paste/spread made from ground sesame seeds), halva are prepared by using sesame seeds
in countries like Europe, USA, migrants from Africa and also native western
consumers. As this sesame does not contain any gluten it is perfect diet for
those people who have allergic to gluten. In many countries like China, Korea
and other Asian countries roasted sesame seeds used as toppings on many baked
products like bread, biscuits, crackers etc.Currently,
the meal finds applications as cattle feed and manure. Sesame seed may cause
some allergic reactions for those who are susceptible.

Generally sesame oil is referred as major source of
edible oil, commonly refined sesame oil is used in some drug formulations and
also many industrial preparations of perfumes, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals,
paints varnishes and insecticides 23, 24. In India sesame oil is used as
hardened oil in margarine. In India mainly unroasted seeds are used for any
application. Sesame
oil is obtained by extraction by hydraulic press or by expeller pressing
followed by solvent extraction with hexane. Refining of the extracted oil may be carried out. Sesame oil is the major dietary
oil in many Asian countries. In some Asian countries, sesame seeds are roasted
at a temperature nearly 180-200°C for the time period of nearly 20-30 minutes
before the oil extraction. This roasted seed oil has somewhat dark brown in
colour and this roasted seed oil has greater oxidative stability as compared to
unroasted seed oil 4, 5.Hence, it is also known
as the ‘Queen of oils’.

As sesame
oil includes higher quantities of mono unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) than
saturated fatty acids (SFAs) it is a healthier oil Apart
from MUFAs, unrefinedsesame oil also
contains bioactive compounds like phytosterols and tocopherols. The typical
proportions of fatty acids (FAs) in sesame oil
are given in Table 2. 7

Table 2.
Fatty acid composition of sesame oil




31.6-44S1 S2 %    



The oil is used as external salve, emollient, tonic
and diuretic 15. In pharmaceutical practice, sesame oil used as solvent for
intramuscular injections and used as a substance which gives relief from
inflation and acts as a emollient. It is also used for treatment for blurred
vision 22.

Sesame oil is used as a nutritional supplement for increasing
 cell resistance against lipid peroxidation. This is achievedby hinderanceto the generation of reactive oxygen radicals 17.  Sesame oil has capacity to increase the alpha
tocopherol concentration in blood and tissue when sesame seed or its lignans
were part of the diet in rat model 18.,Further, the methanolic fraction of sesame oil has high free
radical scavenging capacity owing to presence of phenolic compounds in
it 19. Apart from lipid peroxidation and scavenging of reactive oxidative species, sesame oil
also increases the activities of antioxidative enzymes like glutathione
peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase in rodents under oxidative stress 20, 21.

seeds contain phytochemicals which particularly have anti-oxidant, antifungal, hypolipidaemic
and hypoglycaemic activities10.
Chlorosesamone, hydraxysesamone, 2, 3-epoxysesamone, anthrasesamones and other
two anthraquinone derivatives are the compounds having antifungal activities
which are extracted from roots of sesame plant 11.

Tocopherol is a natural antioxidant and it is formed in
oilseeds like sesame. The tocopherol content in sesame differ for individual
locations and varieties. Generally, sesame oil includes ?-tocopherol in range
of 50 to 370 ppm and ?-tocopherol in range of 90 to 390 ppm(Fig. 2)S3 S4 12. The
health benefits of tocopherols includes free radical scavenger, preventing  lipid peroxidation in cell membranes 13,14.

Sesamin and Sesaminol are the two major lignans of the sesame oil which have evidence to
possess defensive action against several pharmacological effects likeanticarcinogenic, antioxidant, antihypertensive,
antiinflammatory and cardioprotective effects 16.Sesamin and sesamolin arefat soluble
lignans andcontain benzene and furanose rings in
their structure 8(Fig. 1). Sesamol and
sesaminol are formed with the refinement of  sesamin and sesamolin. Sesame oil has
excellent stability to oxidation due to presence of these lignans9.


1. Structures of major fat soluble lignanspresent in sesame and  products of sesamolin


not add up to 100%


figures of alpha and other tocopherols to show differences in their structures

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