The Nutritive and Medicinal Properties of Tahini: A Review

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmacy, Al Rasheed Private University, Dmascus, Syria

2 Syrian Private University, Dmascus, Syria


Tahini is an oily paste made from mechanically hulled and ground sesame seeds. Tahini is considered a condiment in many regions of the world primarily in the Middle Eastern countries from the Levant region including Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan. Sesame seeds contain about 25-35% protein, as well as at least 55% oil, predominantly unsaturated fat from oleic acid (35.9-47%), linoleic acid (35.6-47.6), palmitic acid (8.7- 13.8%), stearic acid (2.1-6.4%), and arachidic acid (0.1-0.7%). Tahini is widely known as one of the natural health promoting foods that has the potential to prevent various health problems such as hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, cancer and aging. Additionally, it may be useful in managing oxidative stress-associated diseases, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, obesity, chronic renal failure, rheumatoid arthritis, and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, sesame oil has multiple physiological functions, such as decreasing blood lipids, increasing antioxidative ability and γ-tocopherol bioavailability, and providing anti-inflammatory function and a potential estrogenic activity. Many health promoting effects are attributed to its lignans that are consisted of sesamin and sesamolin. In sesame oils, the ranges of sesamin and sesamolin are 0.93-2.89 and 0.30-0.74 mg/g oil, respectively, with tocopherol contents of 304-647 μg/g oil. Lignans may increase antioxidant potential of diets and provide stability. Hence, this review will highlight and discuss the potential nutritional and health promoting effects of Tahini.