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Sesame: Bioactive Compounds and Health Benefits

Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)

Abstract

Sesame is a valuable oilseed crop that contains various nutritionally rich bioactive compounds including lignans, tocopherol homologues, phytosterols, etc. Lignans are the product of oxidative coupling of β-hydroxyphenylpropane. Sesame has a combination of glycosylated lignans and oil-dispersed lignans. Based on their medicinal and pharmacological properties, the most important lignans are sesamin, sesamol, sesamolin, and sesaminol. Tocopherols (vitamin E compounds) are the lipid-soluble free radicals and constitute a major part of human diet. In sesame seeds, α-, γ-, and δ-tocopherols are found as tocopherol homologues. In addition to lignans and tocopherols, sesame is an important source of phytosterols, phytates, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and bioactive peptides. However, utilization potential of many of these compounds has not yet been fully understood. This chapter delves into the presence of multifarious bioactive components in sesame seeds, their biosynthetic pathway, and functional importance.

Keywords

  • Bioactive compounds
  • Sesame
  • Sesamin
  • Sesamolin
  • Sesamol
  • Pinoresinol
  • Tocopherol
  • Phytosterols

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Abbreviations

CYP81Q1:

Sesamin synthase

DIR1:

Dirigent protein

DMPQ:

2,3-Dimethyl-5-phytyl-1,4-hydroquinol

VTE1:

Tocopherol cyclase

γ-TMT:

γ-Tocopherol methyltransferase

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Acknowledgments

Ashwani K Rai gratefully acknowledges the National Academy of Sciences, India, for awarding NASI-Senior Scientist Platinum Jubilee Fellowship. Niti Pathak wishes to thank Dr. K V Bhat, NBPGR for the work carried out in his lab.

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Correspondence to Ashwani K. Rai .

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Pathak, N., Bhaduri, A., Rai, A.K. (2019). Sesame: Bioactive Compounds and Health Benefits. In: Mérillon, JM., Ramawat, K. (eds) Bioactive Molecules in Food. Reference Series in Phytochemistry. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-78030-6_59

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