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Sesame oil, roasted (organic?)

Dark sesame oil is made from roasted sesame seeds. As a seasoning oil, it goes well with oriental dishes. Fatty acids must be taken into account. Organic qualit
The information we compiled for this ingredient is almost complete and includes many specific details.
Macronutrient carbohydrates 0%
Macronutrient proteins 0%
Macronutrient fats 100%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, 41.3g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, 0.3g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 138:1

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Here, essential linolenic acid (LA) 41.3 g to essential alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) 0.3 g = 138:1.
Ratio Total omega-6 = 41.3 g to omega-3 fatty acids Total = 0.3 g = 138:1.
On average, we need about 2 g of LA and ALA per day from which a healthy body also produces EPA and DHA, etc.

Dark sesame oil is obtained from roasted sesame seeds, while light sesame oil is pressed from the natural seeds of the sesame ( Sesamum indicum ). Sesame oil has a very unfavorable ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which is why it should only be used sparingly in the kitchen.

Using sesame oil in the kitchen:

Roasted sesame oil is a strongly flavorful cooking oil and is used primarily in Asian and oriental cuisine. It has a relatively dark appearance, many describe it as amber-colored, but often it simply appears brown. The nutty aroma can quickly mask the flavor of other ingredients, so it should be used sparingly. Roasted sesame oil harmonizes as a seasoning oil with hearty rice, millet, soy and wok dishes, but it also gives desserts and crisp salads a distinctive flavor.

Roasted sesame oil has a typical nutty, popcorn-like smell that we find very pleasant, 1 but should be enjoyed with caution due to the Maillard reaction that takes place. Such aromas develop during roasting and are similar to those found in roasted coffee or fried meat.

Due to the roasting process and the associated elevated temperatures, neither the term "cold pressing" nor the adjective "native" is appropriate. Although temperatures of up to 75 °C are common for some oils (e.g. soybean oil or corn oil), one should not exceed 45 °C for gentle pressing. 2 If the seeds are roasted before pressing, the oil no longer has the right to claim this cold-pressed "naturalness", i.e. the term "native", even if the seeds are gently pressed after roasting. It is similar with pumpkin seed oil .

Cold-pressed oils (laws, raw food)

In Switzerland, oil is referred to as cold-pressed oil if the oilseed was not heated, the pressing temperature did not exceed 50 °C and no problematic post-treatment took place.

According to the Federal Department of Home Affairs ( FDHA ), an edible oil is considered cold-pressed (or may be described with synonyms such as (extra) virgin, unrefined, cold-pressed or natural) if it has been obtained by pressing or centrifuging from previously unheated raw materials, the temperature during pressing did not exceed 50 °C and it has not been subjected to refining, i.e. no neutralisation, no treatment with adsorbents, bleaching earth or steaming .

An oil may be described as “gently steamed” if the refining process was limited to steaming and the temperature did not exceed 130 °C . 20

In the EU and the USA, there does not appear to be a generally applicable temperature limit set by law for cold-pressed oils. For example, the guidelines for edible fats and oils of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (D) are similar to the EDI regulation, but they do not specify a permissible maximum temperature for general cold pressing - since they only apply to products whose labelling and composition are not conclusively set by law (i.e. not for olive oil, cocoa butter, milk fats, spreadable fats, for example). 21

On the other hand, both the EU directives and the amendment to the EDI regulation on foods of plant origin, mushrooms and table salt (and its amendment) provide for a special rule for the labelling of olive oils . 22,23

These are selective marketing rules in which the term raw food is not defined. "Raw food" and "raw" are therefore not state-protected terms (as is the case with the term "organic"), which leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Although it is agreed that with purely mechanical cold pressing, the pressing temperatures generally do not exceed 40 °C, one should not naively assume that cooking oils are raw food quality. There is a suspicion that the measuring method used does not indicate the temperature in the press cylinder (where the heat is highest), but only the outlet temperature in the oil hose. With water-cooled olive oil presses (so-called "water-cooled 37°" oil presses), one probably cannot even say with certainty what the exact temperature is inside the press cylinder, because the entire press cylinder is surrounded by cooling sleeves.

In addition, the pressing pressure and speed as well as the moisture content of the oilseed affect the pressing temperature. If, for example, the moisture content is too low, the temperature rises during pressing and it is difficult to stay even below the maximum limit of 50 °C. 24

Vegan recipe for Korean cucumber salad with sesame oil:

Ingredients (for approx. 4 people): 450 g cucumbers , 1 small red onion , 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar , 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes , 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce , 1 teaspoon rice vinegar , some sesame seeds .

Preparation : Wash the cucumbers, halve them, remove the seeds if necessary, and cut into thin strips about 4-5 cm long. Put all the ingredients except the sesame seeds in a bowl and mix well. Leave the dish in the fridge for about 20 minutes and season with a little salt if necessary and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

For more recipes using toasted sesame oil, see the link: " Recipes that make the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Shopping - where to buy roasted sesame oil?

Roasted sesame oil is available in selected supermarkets such as Coop , Migros , Spar , Rewe or Edeka in the standard range. Denner , Volg , Aldi , Lidl , Hofer etc. occasionally sell roasted sesame oil in special promotions.

Prefer roasted sesame oil from organic production, as sesame tends to absorb heavy metals from the soil. This is an even bigger problem in conventional agriculture due to the fertilizers used. 3 Organically produced sesame oil can be found in organic shops, health food stores, Asian shops or online. Traditionally working and small-scale oil mills or Asian shops offer roasted sesame oil in various sizes, from the popular mini bottle upwards. This does not necessarily mean organic quality.

Although roasted sesame oil is also described as virgin in the trade, this should be questioned. The roasting temperatures are not listed on the bottle, nor can the sellers provide information about them.

Refined sesame oil is made almost exclusively from unroasted sesame seeds and has a light, yellowish color.


The cleaned, watered and dried seeds are roasted at 150 °C for lightly roasted sesame oil and at around 180 °C for strongly roasted oil. 1 The roasting time is between 10 and 30 minutes. According to a study, roasting at 140-180 °C is still considered acceptable for the aroma. Sesame oil roasted at 200 °C smells "burnt" to the European nose and is no longer digestible. 4 Higher roasting temperatures of over 220 °C produce a stronger aroma, but impair the quality. 5,6

After roasting, the oil is pressed from the seeds and filtered several times to remove the impurities. Although the same method is used here as for other cold-pressed oils, it should not be called that because of the previous roasting process. One ton of sesame seeds yields around 300 liters of sesame oil. Bottled in smaller, dark glass bottles, the oil's shelf life increases.


The antioxidants sesamolin and sesamol contained in roasted sesame oil protect the oil from reacting with light and oxygen. Even cold-pressed roasted sesame oil is not very susceptible. Nevertheless, it is advisable to store it in a cool place away from light, as the roasted sesame oil can then be stored for up to a year. 7

Ingredients - nutritional values - calories:

Roasted sesame oil consists of almost 100% fat and should only be used sparingly due to its high energy content. The ratio between the omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) and the omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid) is very unfavorable at 138:1. Linseed oil (1:4) and rapeseed oil (2:1) have a better ratio of these fatty acids. It is important to note the health-promoting ratio between linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) and linolenic acid (alpha-linolenic acid) of a maximum of 5:1.

The proportion of saturated fats in roasted sesame oil is around 14%, with unsaturated fatty acids predominating: polyunsaturated fatty acid ( linoleic acid ) with around 41%, monounsaturated fatty acid (oleic acid) with around 38% (fluctuation range between 28 and 44% 8 ), < 1% polyunsaturated fatty acid ( alpha-linolenic acid ). Sesame oil also contains palmitic acid, myristic acid, stearic acid, etc.

According to a study from 2001, the composition of fatty acids and tocopherols in roasted sesame oil only changes at roasting temperatures of around 220 to 240 °C. 4 A study from 2012 also indicates that the unsaturated fatty acids in roasted sesame seeds hardly change. 9 However, studies from 2017 do show changes in the unsaturated fatty acids of roasted sesame seeds (the proportion of oleic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid increases, the proportion of linoleic acid decreases slightly) - compared to unroasted seeds. 10 In particular, roasting for 10 minutes at 180 °C leads to a slight decrease in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are somewhat more sensitive to heat. 11 A study by Colin Crews et al. provides the following information in terms of essential fatty acids in % total: Unroasted (LA 36.9-47.8; ALA 0.2-1.0) vs. roasted (LA 38.8-43.9; ALA 0.3). 25

Due to the high variability of nutrients depending on the roasting process, extraction method, origin and quality of the sesame seeds as well as the respective environmental and harvesting conditions, we have adopted the ingredients from the unroasted version of sesame oil . In addition, the available basic information (proportion of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids) of commercial roasted sesame oils largely corresponds to that of unroasted sesame oils.

The ingredients of roasted sesame oil, the coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients can be found in our nutrient tables. In the article Nutrients explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic.

Health aspects - effects:

The powerful antioxidant sesamol is formed from sesamolin, which is present in sesame oil at 0.3 to 0.5% and is said to have health-promoting properties. 12 Sesamol has a remarkable oxidation stability even when roasted at over 220 °C, whereas sesamolin was hardly present after about 25 minutes of roasting. 6 However, the Maillard molecules increase cell aging in the body, even when organic.

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects:

How healthy is sesame oil? The roasting process has negative effects. Heat-sensitive vitamins are lost during roasting and the Maillard reaction that takes place increases the acrylamide content. 13 Today, people tend to write about glycosylation and the reaction product Advanced Glycation Endproduct (AGE). In addition, the formation of trans fats is very likely due to the unsaturated fatty acids present.

Like many seeds and nut-like foods, roasted sesame oil can cause allergic reactions. However, the occurrence of such a reaction is still rare (probability of occurrence in 0.1% of the population), but in developing countries, reported cases of sesame allergies are now increasing. Sesame is a strong allergen and must be declared as an allergen in the ingredients list of processed foods, even in the smallest quantities. 14

Occurrence - origin of sesame:

The cultivation of Sesamum indicum can be traced back to the year 2350 BC in the Middle East. 15 However, a specific genetic center cannot be clearly assigned to sesame. It is believed to have originated in southeast Africa, where many wild species of the sesame plant can still be found today. Today, sesame is grown in many tropical and subtropical regions.

Cultivation - Harvest:

Sesame requires very warm, sunny locations with nutrient-rich, permeable soil. The rapid growth of this oil plant makes it very popular in tropical areas. In addition, the taproot, which reaches up to 1 m deep into the soil, helps it survive dry periods. 15

The annual sesame plant reaches a height of 1-1.5 m, depending on the variety. 16 Some wild forms even grow up to 2 m high.

The fruits are 3-4 cm long capsules that contain around 80-100 seeds with a maximum size of 3 mm. After 120 days of constant temperatures of over 25 °C, the seeds are ready for harvest. The capsules, which ripen very irregularly, burst open, and unfortunately many seeds are lost before harvest. The plants are therefore harvested before they are fully ripe and hung up to dry. 17 Through targeted breeding, the capsule closure has been improved, thus ensuring a consistent harvest. 14

There are white, yellow-brown, reddish or black sesame seeds, also in organic quality.

Danger of confusion:

The plant of the species Sesamum indicum looks similar to the plant genus Foxgloves ( Digitalis ) with its bell-shaped flowers.

Animal protection - species protection - animal welfare:

Bees are important for a high yield in the cultivation of sesame and cotton. This was the conclusion reached by biologist Dr. Katharina Stein from the University of Rostock in West Africa. Targeted pollination can increase yields by up to 60%. But wild and honey bees are also at risk in the tropics and without them there could be harvest losses of up to 59% for sesame. 18

General information about roasted sesame oil:

Dark sesame oil is made from roasted white and black sesame seeds. In addition to the roasted sesame oil variant, there is also the light and much milder tasting unroasted sesame oil, which is made from natural sesame seeds.

Alternative names for sesame oil:

An alternative name for sesame oil is gingel oil, in English it is called sesame oil, til oil, benne oil or gingelly. You can also find the term gingili for Indian sesame. 19

Keywords for the use of sesame:

The press cake left over from the sesame seeds is a popular protein feed for animals.

Literature - Sources on sesame oil: