Ketchup 101

We purchase it….it’s everywhere on every menu….but I am sure you have some questions.  Welcome to Ketchup 101 to answer those questions you’ve been asking but didn’t know the answer to…..

Is Heinz Ketchup gluten free? Yes, Heinz Ketchup is gluten free.

Is Heinz Ketchup kosher? Yes, all varieties of Heinz Ketchup are certified kosher.

What’s ketchup made from? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established a Standard of Identity for ketchup here in the U.S. To be called ketchup, it must be made from the liquid from mature tomatoes or tomato concentrate produced from mature tomatoes, and may contain any combination of the following ingredients: vinegars, nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners (such as sugar from cane or beets, high fructose corn syrup or corn syrup), salt, spices, flavorings, onions and/or garlic. The vinegar is commonly 100-grain distilled white vinegar but other types such as apple cider or balsamic can be used to provide a flavor balance to the sweetener while helping preserve the ketchup. Spices commonly used to enhance the flavor of the tomatoes are allspice, cassia, cinnamon, cayenne, cloves, pepper, ginger, mustard, and paprika. Different brands of ketchup have slightly different formulas. Products vary primarily as a result of the amounts of spice, salt, vinegar or flavors they contain. Thickness of the ketchup is a key consumer parameter in determining preference. It is controlled primarily by the level of tomato solids and the quality of the tomato paste.

Where do the tomatoes in ketchup come from? In the US, tomatoes are grown primarily in California and are harvested in July, August and September. Tomato growers must comply with regulations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the FDA regarding the use of fertilizers and pesticides. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or state inspectors grade tomatoes as they are delivered to the factory. The tomatoes are then sorted, washed, and chopped and hot broken (heated quickly) to denature the natural pectin enzymes. The tomato pulp is pumped through screens to remove the tomato skins and seeds. Today most manufacturers concentrate the tomatoes into tomato paste allowing for year round production of ketchup.

What is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)? High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – comprises any of a group of corn syrups that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert its glucose into fructose and has then been mixed with pure corn syrup (100% glucose) to produce a desired sweetness. In the United States, HFCS is typically used as a sugar substitute and is ubiquitous in processed foods and beverages, including soft drinks, yogurt, cookies, salad dressing and tomato soup.

What is lycopene? Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that creates the red coloring in tomatoes. A growing body of research suggests that consuming processed tomato products (like Heinz Ketchup) can help reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease. Processed tomatoes deliver up to five times more lycopene than fresh tomatoes.

What is Organic Ketchup? Heinz Organic Ketchup is USDA Certified Organic. It is made from 100% red ripe organic tomatoes and other ingredients like organic distilled vinegar, organic sugar, and organic spices. This variety contains three times more lycopene than traditional Heinz Ketchup.

What is Simply Heinz? Simply Heinz Ketchup is made simply from the basics: tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, salt, and ourspecial blend of spices and flavors. This variety is sweetened with sugar and meets the demand for an alternative to ketchup made with high fructose corn syrup.

What’s in Heinz Reduced Sugar Ketchup? Heinz Reduced Sugar Ketchup is a rich and thick condiment that contains Sucralose in place of corn syrup and has only one gram of carbohydrates per serving (75% less than traditional ketchup).

What’s in Heinz No Salt Added Ketchup? This ketchup variety has a delicious tangy taste and contains no added salt. This product is ideal for individuals who are watching their sodium intake.

Why are there so many different types of ketchup? In response to consumer demand for more healthful foods, ketchup manufacturers now offer a variety of specialty ketchups like no-salt added, reduced sugar, organic, and high fructose corn syrup free (HFCS free) formulations. The popularity of salsa also influenced manufacturers to develop hot and spicy and salsa-style ketchups. Packaging innovation continues to improve as consumers and operators demand more convenient, tamper proof and more environmentally friendly packaging.

What is the difference between ketchup and catsup? There is no difference. In the early 1890’s, Henry J. Heinz used both “ketchup” and “catsup” simultaneously to identify his product. Eventually, the Heinz Company chose to identify its ketchup with a unique spelling, based on the original, tangy oriental sauce called “ketsiap.” Although today some brands are still called “catsup,” or “catchup,” most manufacturers market their products as “ketchup.”

When was Heinz Ketchup portion control packaging introduced? Individual packets were first introduced in 1968, at a time when the fast food market began to expand dramatically. Today, Heinz sells about 11 billion packets in the U.S. annually.

Do restaurant customers care what kind of ketchup they are served? Definitely. Serving or keeping Heinz Ketchup on the table sends an instant message of quality. When inferior products are substituted, it raises the question, “Where else is this operation cutting corners?” Heinz is the brand most people use at home and it’s what they want when dining out. Heinz is one of the most powerful consumer brands in the U.S.

What’s wrong with refilling bottle of tabletop ketchup? Refilling ketchup bottles requires extra time and labor and it pulls employees away from their primary tasks. It is also a messy procedure that wastes ketchup. Service personnel will frequently use wet or soiled cloths to wipe the mouths of the bottles and the inside of the caps. This practice can add soapy residue, and even potential spoilage organisms to the ketchup. Sometimes, Heinz-labeled bottles are emptied or even washed with soap and water, then refilled with  another brand of ketchup. This constitutes mislabeling and misrepresentation, since Heinz bottles are legally and exclusively reserved for Heinz Ketchup. When end-users continually refill bottles, they are adding fresh ketchup to product that has been in use. This exposes the newer ketchup to fermentation that may be present in the bottle and can also introduce food allergens that cause health problems for many consumers.

For more information on the various packaging available, please contact your Merchants Market Sales Associate.


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