Processed tomatoproducts

It is important to note that a large proportionoftomatoesare eatenintheform of industrially processed products. Tomatoescaneasilybeprocessedintoseveral products which are consumed in large amounts.Duringthisprocessing,themain components of tomatoes are preserved and even concentrated. Because of this widespread and large consumption, tomatoesappearasoneofthe mostinteresting foods in termsofhealth.

These findings introduce novel optimisationcriteriaandgoals forprocessed tomato products. If it is clear that the startingpointforthe optimisationoftomato nutritional properties is the raw material,greatattentionmustalsobepaidto avoiding or minimising the detrimental effects induced by technological processing and by the storageofprocessedproducts.

Between 25 and 30 million t of tomatoes are processed annually, more than one-third of the overall 70 millions t produced each year. The average per capita consumption is nearly 3.5 kg (on a fresh tomato basis), with variations from zero in some populations, to 14-15kg in the EU, and to more than 30 kg in Italy and the USA.

The tomato is now the most important vegetable product used in the making of industrial preserves. The 'traditional' tomato-growing nations are the USA, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and France, to which have gradually been added Turkey, the countries of north Africa, Israel, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Brazil and, more recently, China, the southern republics of the former USSR, Australia, Thailand, India and South Africa. Table 4.1 shows the production data for the most recent production campaigns, from which it can be seen that, although this is an industry which produces products of relatively low added value, the USA and the EU alone process 70% of the world's entire tomato production.

Tomatoes can be processed into a number of different products, such as:

Table 4.1 Quantity of processed tomatoes in the more important using countries (in thousands of t) since 1975*

Country

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

1999

USA

7715

5646

6525

9307

10235

11724

Italy

1575

3083

3785

3 850

3 535

4900

Turkey

520

600

1100

1 500

1920

1 800

Spain

827

499

819

1 134

916

1 480

Greece

979

1500

1180

1 150

1178

1 200

Brazil

*

*

*

600

930

1 100

Portugal

800

454

716

760

831

996

China

*

*

*

420

550

900

Chile

*

275

*

609

822

900

Tunisia

*

*

-

100

435

720

Canada

350

379

476

580

524

480

France

280

416

392

340

281

370

Argentina

*

*

-

267

190

330

Mexico

210

220

230

365

275

310

Israel

163

166

257

300

315

287

Total

*

*

*

21282

22937

27497

World

*

*

*

22821

24 959

29 592

* Some data have been excluded because of uncertainty.

* Some data have been excluded because of uncertainty.

• tomato preserves (such as whole peeled tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato pulp, tomato puree, strained tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste). Whatever the technological flowsheet, these products are finally packed (tinplate cans, glass jars, multilayer bags) and stabilised by heat treatment;

• dried tomatoes (tomato powder, tomato flakes, whole, halved and sliced dried tomatoes). These products are dehydrated by different techniques and low water activity represents the stabilising factor;

• tomato-based foods or tomato-containing foods in which tomato is one ingredient (such as tomato soup, tomato sauces, chilli sauce, ketchup, bolog-naise sauce, etc). In this case many other ingredients can be added to make up the final product, which is canned and stabilised by heat treatment. The variety of tomato-containing foods makes it impossible to identify a general processing flowsheet. Products can be heat treated, refrigerated, frozen or dehydrated, and can be stored in different conditions, depending on their stability.

In addition, many of the above-mentioned products require further home processing before consumption, such as cooking, baking or rehydration.

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How To Can Tangy Tomatoes

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