White Sesame vs. Black Sesame: Nutritional Comparison and Culinary Uses



White sesame and black sesame are known not only for adding flavor and aroma to dishes but also for their high nutritional value. However, what are the differences between these two types of sesame seeds, and how should they be used? Many people may be surprised to learn that they are unaware of these details, so let’s explore them further.

Differences Between White and Black Sesame

Color and Taste: White sesame seeds have had their outer hull removed, resulting in a lighter color and a slightly sweet taste. In contrast, black sesame seeds retain their outer hull, giving them a darker color and a more intense, nutty flavor.

Nutritional Value: Both white and black sesame seeds contain essential nutrients such as vitamin B1, vitamin E, calcium, iron, and magnesium. However, black sesame seeds are particularly rich in anthocyanins, an antioxidant compound, compared to white sesame seeds. Additionally, black sesame seeds are known for their exceptionally high calcium content.

Nutritional Comparison and Analysis

NutrientWhite Sesame (per 100g)Black Sesame (per 100g)
Vitamin E0.25mg0.40mg
  • Calories: The calorie content of white and black sesame seeds is nearly identical, around 560kcal per 100g. This high calorie count is due to the high fat content in sesame seeds, emphasizing the importance of consuming them in moderation.
  • Protein: Protein is an essential nutrient for building and maintaining muscles, bones, skin, and overall health. Both white and black sesame seeds contain approximately 18g of protein per 100g, making them a good source of plant-based protein.
  • Fat: Sesame seeds are rich in fats, particularly healthy unsaturated fatty acids. White and black sesame seeds have similar fat content, around 48g to 50g per 100g. These fats are believed to help improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Calcium: Calcium is crucial for the formation of bones and teeth and plays a role in nerve and muscle function. Black sesame seeds are especially abundant in calcium, containing about 1315mg per 100g, which is more than the same amount of cow’s milk. If you are concerned about calcium deficiency, black sesame seeds are highly recommended.
  • Iron: Iron is essential for the formation of red blood cells and the transportation of oxygen. Adequate iron intake is important for preventing and improving anemia. Black sesame seeds contain more iron than white sesame seeds, providing approximately 14.8mg of iron per 100g.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is a vital mineral involved in bone health, muscle function, and nerve transmission. Both white and black sesame seeds are good sources of magnesium, containing around 350mg per 100g.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cell aging and maintains immune function. Although black sesame seeds have a slightly higher vitamin E content compared to white sesame seeds, both are considered good sources of this vitamin.

Culinary Uses

White Sesame:

  • Sprinkle white sesame seeds on salads or toss them with vegetables to add a subtle flavor and aroma.
  • Mix white sesame seeds into bread or cookie dough for added texture and taste.
  • Use white sesame paste or dressing to add a smooth, creamy element to dishes.

Black Sesame:

  • Enjoy the strong, distinct flavor of black sesame seeds by eating them as a snack. Desserts and dishes made with black sesame are visually appealing and rich in flavor.
  • Use black sesame paste or dressing to add depth and richness to your recipes.
  • Black sesame seeds are particularly suitable for meals aimed at boosting iron and calcium intake due to their high content of these nutrients.


White and black sesame seeds have unique characteristics that can enhance the flavor and nutritional value of dishes when used appropriately. Choose white sesame seeds when you desire a subtle flavor and black sesame seeds when you want a more intense flavor and added nutrition. Both types of sesame seeds are easily incorporated into daily meals, so be sure to make use of them in your cooking.