Crime scene menu (N): Sesame and products obtained therefrom

Old plant, new allergy. In 1950 for the first time, a sesame allergy was diagnosed. Although the allergy is rarely seen in Germany or Austria, it is frequent elsewhere. For example, in Australia, where sesame allergy is already the fourth most common food allergy. But also the number of affected persons increases from year to year.

Sesame: More about the carrier of the allergen “N”

Sesame belongs to the family of sesame plants and is possibly one of the oldest oil plants in the world. Originally based in Africa and Asia, the plant has conquered the entire subtropical and tropical area. No wonder, sesame is very popular. In the cosmetics sector, for example, and also in the food industry. Sesame is especially used in the bio- and full-value kitchen. Whether as an addition to baked goods, on Burger Buns, as sesame oil or Sesampaste: Sesame is often used in the food industry. That means thar many ingredients have to be marked with an “N”..


Products to be marked with “N”

Sesame seeds, sesame flour, sesampaste (tahin), sesame salt (gomasio), sesame oil, sesambutter , Bread, crispbread, pastries (sweet and salty), cereal, vegetarian dishes, falafel, salads, humus, delicatessen salads, marinades, desserts, hamburgers, crackers, breakfast cereals, turkish, oriental and asian cuisine, moutabel


Sesame as a main allergen (N)

Why the “N” is necessary is also clear after a closer investigation. Seven different allergens “hide” in a small sesame seed. All of them are very little impressed by heat – which means that they are heat resistant.

In most cases this allergy concerns adults, as it rarely appears in the childhood. But usually the allergy is preserved all their lives. A tolerance to sesame allergy is very rare, about 20-30% of those affected are that lucky.

The other 70-80% suffer from consumption and sometimes also from contact with sesame seeds, oil or paste (stomach complaints, asthma attacks, tingling sensation in the mouth and throat, swelling or itching). In the worst case also an anaphylactic shock can be a result. This is usually caused by the allergen Oleosine. Sesamolin and sesamin produce allergic reactions even in contact. And as if that were not enough, sesame allergy sufferers often have Cross-reactions – especially to peanuts, since these are structurally similar to sesame. But also cross-reactions to nuts, kiwis or poppy can occur.


Cooking without sesame: Substitutes

Here are the good news: sesame is replaceable, for example with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, poppy or amaranth.


These are the things you should remember:

  • Sesame is heat-stable, the allergens also remain after cooking
  • Instead of sesame, pumpkin, sunflower seed, poppy or amaranth can be used
  • Especially adults suffer from this allergy