Sesame is an ancient oilseed, thought to have been first farmed in ancient Mesopotamia, and thus one of the longest cultivated plants in global agriculture. Typically it is a summer annual crop but is best cultivated in regions with long growing seasons. Some 65% of the annual crop is processed for oil and the remaining 35% is used in food preparations of which Tahini, a sesame paste originating in the Middle East, is perhaps the best known. This is a true oil seed, comprising circa 50% oil and 45% meal. The oil is high in polyunsaturated fats, ranking fourth behind safflower, soybean and corn oil. It is excellent for use as frying oil, in cosmetics and in food preparations. The outstanding characteristic of sesame oil is its long shelf life which gives it exceptional utility in societies and regions where refrigeration is not available. FAO data for 2013 indicates the world crop at some 4.8 million metric tonnes of sesame seeds with Myanmar the largest producer country. India, another significant producer is the largest exporter of the commodity and Japan the largest single country importer.
Sunflower is native to North America where it was first cultivation by American Indian communities, but commercialisation of the plant took place in Russia. Data from the National Sunflower Association of USA confirms that the global area down to cultivation of sunflower seeds varies between 25m and 26m hectares annually. Ukraine, Russia and EU account for some 70% of the global crop which in 2013/14 was expected at circa 42 million metric tonnes. Typical yields per ha are 1.5 mt. Sunflower is renowned for its high levels of Vitamin E. The oil comprises both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with low saturated fat levels.