Sesame seeds are an extremely potent allergen which are used extensively in the food industry. Often, the foods that trigger reactions are those where lots of sesame seeds have been ground into a food product as an ingredient. The prevalence of sesame seed allergy has been increasing in recent years. An allergy to sesame, like peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish, is usually life-long.
Hummous, tahini and halvah are three very popular sesame products which are sometimes added to other foods without any clear declaration.
Sesame is also known as Benne, Gingelly, Til or Teel, Simsin and Anjonoli on foreign products.
Sesame is often found in: bakery products such as baclava; biscuits, confection bars; muesli, dips, sauces, sausages, processed meats, vegetarian burgers; chutneys; stir fry dishes and risottos.
Sesame oil is used unrefined in food products and it will cause reactions in those who are allergic to sesame.
A downloadable allergen card (Sesame - Allergen card893.03 KB) for those with sesame allergy has been developed to help make shopping a little easier.
Fact sheet on sesame allergy is available on the ASCIA website.
Content updated January 2017