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Understanding Sesame Seed Quality: Grades, Factors Influencing Quality

There are three main categories of sesame seed quality:

  • food grade, for direct consumption.

  • bakery/confectionery grade, for use in baked goods and snacks.

  • crushing grade, for processing into edible oil, mostly from roasted seed.

Sesame seeds are mainly graded based on several characteristics, including colour, oil content, moisture content, and purity.

Another way to rank the quality of sesame seeds is whether the Outer husk removed or not

Hulled sesame seeds are the highest quality and have had the outer husk removed. They are light in colour and have a mild, nutty flavour. These seeds are often used in sweet dishes and are popular in baking.

Natural sesame seeds are the next highest quality. They have had the husk removed, but they may still have some pieces of the husk attached. They are usually a little darker in colour than hulled seeds and have a slightly stronger flavour.

Unhulled sesame seeds are the lowest quality. They have not had the husk removed and are therefore darker in colour and have a more bitter flavour. They are often used in savoury dishes and are popular in Asian cuisine.

In addition to these grades, there are also various types of sesame seeds that differ in colour, size, and flavour. For example, black sesame seeds are smaller and have a stronger, more pungent flavour than white sesame seeds.

Furthermore, the quality of sesame seeds is determined by a combination of factors, including the variety of the sesame plant, the growing conditions, the harvesting and processing methods, and the storage and transportation of the seeds. Factors such as temperature, humidity, and exposure to light and air can all affect the quality of sesame seeds.

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