Sorting through black sesame seeds

I've got bulks of black sesame seeds that need sorting before use. The debris consists of granular pebbles, black twigs, and even metallic looking particles. (It's not fun biting down on the ones that get away - always seeming to find its way into the last bite of a good meal!) I tried sifting through a sieve. I tried drowning the debris; they drowned, but along with a majority of the sesame seeds. After an hour of separating the seeds one-by-one (which resulted in less than a half cup of seeds), I called it quits lest I lose my mind. I would massively appreciate any wisdom on how to efficiently sort through these, but most importantly, thoroughly.

  • Posted by: ky
  • June 13, 2014


nancy E. June 16, 2014
You should not buy seeds that need cleaning. they are thankfully inexpensive enough and easy enough to find that what you did there is ridiculous. Find a new seed seller.
bugbitten June 16, 2014
I would try a magnet to pick up some of the metal pieces. I'd next use a sheet pan tilted enough so that the seeds start to roll away from the irregularly shaped bits. As they continue to roll, draw them back uphill until you clear out the junk and have only seeds at the bottom.
I used to do this when I smoked those funny cigarettes.
ky June 17, 2014
I tried a combination of this and HalfPint's method and it does prove to be a time-saving method! Thanks :D
HalfPint June 13, 2014
Try scattering a portion of the seeds onto a rimmed baking sheet or tray. Gently shake to scatter the seeds into a thin single layer. Pick out the twigs and pebbles. Then softly blow across the tray to remove the lighter particulates. The advantage of this method is that you are not digging into a pile looking for the undesirables. This can take time, but it's less mind-numbing than sifting the seeds one-by-one.
ky June 13, 2014
Thanks! I'll give this method a try and see how it goes!
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