Sesame, (Sesamum indicum), also called benne, erect annual plant of the family Pedaliaceae, grown since antiquity for its seeds, which are used as food and flavouring and from which a prized oil is extracted. Widely cultivated, the sesame plant is found in most of the tropical, subtropical, and southern temperate areas of the world. The aroma and taste of sesame seed are mild and nutlike.
The chief constituent of the seed is its fixed oil, which usually amounts to about 44 to 60 percent. Noted for its stability, the oil resists oxidative rancidity. The seeds are also high in protein and are rich in thiamin andvitamin B6.