Sesame seeds purchased only after acid-level testing

Merchants testing the quality of sesame put up for sale. Photo: Min Htet Aung (Mandalay Sub-printing House)
Merchants testing the quality of sesame put up for sale. Photo: Min Htet Aung (Mandalay Sub-printing House)

MERCHANTS are buying sesame seeds only after testing the acid level, as foreign countries do not import acid-contaminated sesame, said U Min Aung, owner of Shwe Hsinmin brokerage in Mandalay.
Traders are currently facing difficulties in exporting sesame, as home-grown sesame has a high acid content.
U Min Aung said, “Sesame seeds with a high content of acid are used by millers in the country. The prices of sesame are different based on the amount of acid. For instance, price for acid-free brown sesame is between Ks126,000 and Ks127,000, while acid-contaminated sesames are difficult to sell. Merchants themselves make it a must to test acid level of the seeds.”
He added that for the time being, China continues to buy Myanmar’s sesames without testing acid level. However, Japan, South Korea and other importers do not purchase acid-contaminated home-grown sesame, urging growers to carefully cultivate and nurture the sesame crops.
The method of drying sesame crops is an important process to protect the seeds from contamination of acid through their seed husks. Sesame seeds can be contaminated with acid from seed husks when farmers dry piles of raw sesame plants after harvest.
At present, the imported toolset to measure acid level in sesame seeds is worth around Ks100,000 per packet, and each tool is valued at Ks800 in the market. The device is able to show the composition of acid in the crop in five colours. — Min Htet Aung (Mandalay Sub-printing House)

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