Sesame – what is it?

Sesame or sesame is an ancient cultivated plant that attracts a person with a sufficiently high oil content in seeds (50-65%). In addition to oil, sesame seeds contain about 27% protein and 20% carbohydrates, iron, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin E, as well as lingam, which slows down the aging process. According to the results of a study presented at the annual conference of the American Heart Association, the use of sesame seeds helps to normalize blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and it is also a source of calcium.

In terms of taste, sesame oil belongs to the best edible oils, along with Provence, widely known throughout the world. Sesame oil is a rather expensive product: the price on the world market is from $ 4-6 per 1 liter. It, unlike seeds, which already begin to bitter after 10 months of storage, is stored for a long time (up to 10 years), and therefore it is often used instead of olive. Sesame oil of the highest quality is obtained from white seeds by cold pressing and used in the food industry. Oil extracted from seeds by hot pressing is widely used in soap making, medicine and perfumery.

The confectionery and baking industries have been using sesame for many years. However, it had never occurred to anyone that these seeds were almost entirely imported, not domestic. At the same time, climate change has led to the fact that to grow sesame seeds is not a problem. An analysis of meteorological indicators over the past decade indicates a trend towards an increase in average air temperatures and a decrease in precipitation. Under these conditions, the ripening of sesame seeds is no longer in doubt.

Fruits – cylindrical capsules, grown from four tubes with a sharp tip. Inside, a kind of column contains ovoid seeds. Its color is diverse – from black to white with all possible creamy brown hues.

 Flowering begins in June and continues until the end of July. Maturation of the boxes is not simultaneous: in September-October, the lower ones begin to brown, and the upper ones are still completely green at this time.

There are sesame seeds white and black, brown and red, and even golden. The composition of nutrients, they are not much different, but their use may be different. For example, black seeds have a brighter flavor, which is why they have long been used in the East for marinades, while white ones are ideal for baking. Black sesame is grown for the production of oil, since it is more aromatic and of high quality from it.

Sesame is cultivated in many countries: in India, Pakistan, China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Syria, Sudan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Somalia, Guinea, Brazil, the United States of America, Bulgaria, Italy, Of Spain. World areas under sesame seeds exceed 7 million hectares and increase annually.

Each country uses sesame seeds in different ways. For example, in Japan they use them with boiled rice, enveloping rice balls with sesame seeds. In Africa, sesame leaves are eaten. And in America, sesame oil is spread on bread. But in France, sesame is used only in cosmetics.

How to grow?

Sesame prefers fertile soils in the open sun and is demanding on its predecessor. The best are winter wheat, cereals, legumes and gourds. Since the plant has small seeds, it should be sown in well-leveled soil with sufficient moisture.

Sesame should not be returned to its previous place of cultivation until 6-7 years later in order to reduce the likelihood of disease and pest damage. Fusarium is the most dangerous for sesame seeds: under favorable conditions for this disease, you can lose most of the plants, even already enough adults.

It is necessary to prepare the soil for sesame sowing from the fall, after harvesting the predecessor. Tillage should ensure maximum moisture accumulation and weed control

After harvesting the predecessor, stubble cultivation is carried out to a depth of 6-8 cm, in October, plowing is carried out to a depth of 22-25 cm. After plowing in autumn, the area must be leveled.

In the spring, to maintain moisture, you can harrow the field with light harrows. Pre-sowing cultivation is carried out to a depth of 4-5 cm with harrowing and loosening with the simultaneous application of the Harnes soil herbicide (artificial acetochlor 900 g / l, c.e.).

Sesame is very sensitive to the application of mineral fertilizers. To form 1 ton of seeds, sesame consumes from the soil up to 80-90 kg of nitrogen, up to 20-25 kg of phosphorus and up to 90-100 kg of potassium. About 67% of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium enters the plants in the flowering phase and later. It is usually better to apply fertilizers in several stages: phosphate fertilizers – for the main tillage, and then – in vegetative top dressing.

The quality of the seed to a large extent ensures a high crop of sesame seeds. However, it should be especially noted that sesame seeds have a thin shell, therefore presowing treatment from fungal infections is mandatory, especially fusarium infection.

For the emergence of friendly seedlings of sesame seeds, the optimum soil temperature is 16-18 ° C. Until the soil warms up to 18 ° C, sowing sesame seeds is not worth it: there is too much threat of defeat with fusarium. The sowing deadline in southern Ukraine is the end of the third decade of May. Sesame is sown in a wide-row way with rows of 45-70 cm. Recommended plant density on the dry: with rows of 70 cm – 350-375 thousand units / ha, with rows of 45 cm – 475-500 thousand units / ha; on irrigation, respectively, 475-500 thousand units / ha and 625-650 thousand units / ha.

Sow seeds to a depth of 2-3 cm. Mandatory measure – rolling after sowing. After emergence, the first time the soil is cultivated in row-spacings to a depth of 6 cm, the second – after 10-12 days to a depth of 7-8 cm, the third – after 15 days to 9-10 cm

Harvesting is the most difficult process in growing sesame seeds.

The fact that the time has come to harvest is determined by the leaves. When it turns yellow and begins to fall, you need to start cleaning. At the same time, in the upper bolls the seeds still come across green, sit tightly in the fruits and therefore are difficult to grind. These are the biological features of sesame seeds. Loss of sesame seeds also depends on weather conditions – wind and rain

Breeders are trying to increase the yield and oil content of seeds, to create early-ripening plants that are resistant to low temperatures and diseases. Crossing and obtaining new forms, they search for genotypes with boxes that do not open, which would contribute to the maximum preservation of seeds and, consequently, high yields.

The first variety of such sesame seeds (with fruits that do not crack) – Rio – was created in the USA in 1955, and in 1958 another variety – Delco. It is also important to create varieties with the simultaneous maturation of bolls, which would greatly facilitate the harvesting of oilseeds. In the struggle for a high yield, resistance to a number of phytopathogens, for example, to pathogens of bacteriosis and fusariosis, is of great importance.

In Ukraine, sesame breeding is the only scientific institution – the Institute of Oilseeds of the NAAS of Ukraine. Work with this culture was started about 20 years ago. Now in the collection of the institute there are almost 150 foreign varieties and local forms. On their basis, the Institute of Oilseeds has developed new varieties that have non-opening bolls, which are characterized by their simultaneous ripening and friendly dumping of leaves. They open up new possibilities in the mechanization of harvesting this crop.

In the Register of varieties suitable for distribution in Ukraine, there are five created at the Institute of Oilseeds: the late-ripening Boyarin, Nadezhda and Ilona and the mid-late Gusar and Kadet. All of them are light-seeded and highly oily and are recommended for use in the confectionery and oil and fat industries.