How to Harvest and Store Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are an incredibly versatile crop, and their nutritional value makes them a highly sought-after food. They can be used as a topping for salads and desserts, incorporated into savory dishes, or extracted for their oil. For this reason, the harvesting and storage of sesame seeds is an important part of maintaining the quality of the crop.

harvesting sesame seeds

When to Harvest Sesame Seeds?

Harvesting sesame seeds requires careful preparation and attention to ensure that the quality and quantity of the yield are not compromised. The best time to harvest sesame seed is when the pods are completely dry and mature, which can range from 90-120 days after planting depending on the variety. It’s important to collect the pods before they split open as that can cause a significant loss in quality.

How to Harvest Sesame Seeds?

Harvesting is the most difficult process in the cultivation of sesame, due to such negative biological characteristics of plants as non-simultaneous ripening and strong shedding of ripe seeds. Untimely and incorrect harvesting leads to large yield losses. Boxes on the plant ripen unevenly, starting from the bottom, and gradually moving to the upper part of the plant. Mowing is started at 90% browning of the capsules, the seeds in them will acquire a characteristic creamy white color. For harvesting combines with a device for harvesting small-seeded crops are used. Seed moisture content during storage should not exceed 9%.

If manual labor is used, the pods should be pulled gently and laid in a single layer to dry in the sun for 3-4 days before threshing and winnowing.

What do Sesame Seeds Look Like?

Sesame seeds are small, flat, oval-shaped seeds with a nutty flavor. They come in a variety of colors, including yellow, black, white, and red. The color is determined by the variety of sesame plants it comes from.

store sesame seeds

How to Store Sesame Seeds?

Storage of sesame seeds in proper form is ensured by compliance with the following conditions:

  • dry and well-ventilated place;
  • no direct sunlight;
  • storage temperature close to zero and below.

Too much humidity or heat can cause the seeds to become moldy or rancid. If stored correctly, sesame seeds can last for up to 12 months.

Peeled sesame seeds

You can preserve the taste and useful qualities of the purified product by storing it in a cool, dry place, in an airtight container. How long sesame seeds are stored depends on the place of storage:

  • up to 3 months – in a sealed container at a temperature not exceeding 41°F
  • up to 1 year – in the freezer at a temperature of -0.4°F and below.

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