Ever wonder how tomatoes are preserved? Here’s what you need to know about how to preserve tomatoes for ultimate taste and quality.
Tomatoes are undoubtedly one of the most beloved and versatile ingredients in the culinary world. Their rich flavor and nutrient profile have led to a wide array of tomato-based products, from pasta sauces to ketchup and salsa. However, the challenge lies in preserving their nutritional integrity throughout the manufacturing process. In this article, we’re examining the technology and science behind canning tomato products, and how manufacturers preserve essential nutrients to deliver wholesome products that grace our tables.
How to preserve tomatoes
The journey from fresh tomatoes to canned tomato products involves several intricate steps. While this process is extensive, it’s important to make sure that each step is done correctly so that the products are safe and well-preserved.
1. Selection and Harvesting: The process begins with the best-quality tomatoes at the peak of ripeness, which ensures that the tomatoes are brimming with the most nutrients and flavor.
2. Preparation: The tomatoes are sorted, washed, and often blanched to facilitate peeling and enhance the preservation process. Furthermore, the cans are preheated for sterilization, which helps ensure the cleanliness and safety of the containers.
3. Processing Cans: Manufacturers use heat treatments to eliminate microorganisms and their spores while preserving the nutritional quality of the food. In fact, the heat applied during processing can enhance the bioavailability of certain antioxidants, such as lycopene, which becomes more accessible for absorption when cell walls are broken down during heating.
4. Cooling, Labeling, and Storage: Following processing, the cans are rapidly cooled to room temperature. Once they are cooled, the outer surface of the cans is dried for labeling, and then stored in cool and dry places before being dispatched.
What types of canned tomato products are available?
- Pasta Sauce
- Tomato juice
- Whole peeled tomatoes
- Diced and petite diced tomatoes
- Stewed tomatoes
- Crushed tomatoes
- Tomato puree
- Tomato sauce
- Tomato paste
The science of canning tomato products is a delicate dance between preserving nutrients and ensuring safety and flavor. Manufacturers follow many steps to deliver products that offer both taste and quality. Whether it’s a comforting bowl of pasta, a dollop of ketchup on your fries, or a zesty salsa to accompany your chips, you can trust that these tomato products have been carefully crafted to maintain their nutritional value while delighting your taste buds.
Try out some of our favorite recipes featuring canned tomatoes: