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Friday, October 5, 2007

Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Heinz Ketchup

Posted By on Fri, Oct 5, 2007 at 9:47 AM

heinz_ketchup.jpg

Reading this article about Heinz's attempt to produce sweeter tomatoes for their ketchup made me realize a few things: First, there's a lot I didn't know about ketchup. Second: there's a lot I didn't want to know about ketchup. Like most Americans, I've probably consumed dozens of gallons of the "thick and rich" during my lifetime -- that's a conservative estimate -- and never really thought of it as a sweet condiment.

But with Heinz offering new reduced sugar ketchup, and the article's revelation that high fructose corn syrup represents 10 percent of the cost of ketchup, there's no ignoring the truth: ketchup probably is more like cake frosting than it is mustard. How could I have been so blind?

Seeking to offset the skyrocketing cost of high fructose corn syrup while still maintaining "the texture, the experience, the mouth feel" (does that sound weird to anyone else?), Heinz is trying to breed tomatoes that are 5 to 10 percent sweeter -- all of them coming from the nearby San Joaquin Valley.

Picture from Heinz ketchup commercial contest via New York Times

-- Brian Bernbaum

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Brian Bernbaum

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