Sesame is grown in countries with sub-tropical climates, such as India, China and Myanmar in Asia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania in Africa, and Mexico and Guatemala in Central America. Production is estimated at 3 million tonnes annually, of which 70% is consumed by countries which produce it, while the remaining 30% is exported to countries such as Japan and Turkey.
Sesame seeds have a high nutritional value and have recently been associated with the prevention and treatment of heart disease and various forms of cancer. Their content in vitamins B1, B2, B5, E, minerals and trace elements, proteins and lipids places them in a high position on the food pyramid. Eating sesame seeds and their products (tahini and halva) is essential for proper bodily function.