CityGreens Consumer Awareness Initative. How to check for adulteration in Tomato Ketchup

Ripe and juicy tomatoes are a delight. Tomatoes are rich in vital nutrients. It has high content of vitamin C which strengthens immune system. Lycopene found in tomatoes has anti-aging and anti-cancer properties. Lycopene is also considered good for heart. Tomatoes are also used by people as home remedies for many skin and hair related issues.

A form of tomatoes widely enjoyed by people is tomato ketchup. It is extensively consumed as side dips with many food dishes. With adulteration spreading its wings, tomato ketchups we consume may pose a threat to our health. Here is our effort to educate you on ‘adulteration of tomato ketchup’.

Adulterants widely used to adulterate tomato ketchups

Formalin
To preserve it, tomatoes are stored in a chemical called formalin. These tomatoes are then used to grind into tomato ketchups. The effects of formalin on the human body can be lethal. It can cause severe inflammation of vital organs like liver and pancreas. It can also cause gastritis in the stomach. In very high dose it can cause sudden death.

Other vegetables
In ketchups, tomatoes are often replaced with some cheap vegetables which may be spoilt. Vegetables like red pumpkin, papaya or carrots are boiled and used as cheap replacement for tomatoes. They are adulterated with synthetic dyes and artificial sweet flavoring agents to make them look and taste like authentic tomato ketchup. Although these vegetables may not be a threat if fresh ones are used, but the dyes and artificial flavors can be harmful.

How to identify if the tomato ketchup bottle on your kitchen shelf is safe to consume?

  • Take a glass of water and put a tablespoon of ketchup in it. If the ketchup sinks down and does not give red color quickly, it is made up of good quality tomatoes. Adulterated ones will disperse fast and give a thin red color to the water.
  • Taste a little amount of ketchup to check for its taste. If it does not have the distinct taste of tomato, discard the bottle.

Best practices while shopping for tomato ketchup

  • Often in local outlets, you will find tomato ketchup which will be orange in color. Do not consume it since it may have artificial flavoring agents added to some unknown vegetable.
  • Do not buy cheap local ketchup bottles. This will increase your probability of consuming the wrong ketchup. Always go for reliable and tested brands even if they cost a little more.

Stay Safe!

Gaurav is an entrepreneur whose first Start-up was focused on providing services to patients suffering from Chronic Diseases. While researching about the causes of lifestyle diseases and the ways to reduce their incidence, he chanced upon the idea of growing healthy and nutritious food using advanced farming techniques.

He founded CityGreens with a mission to enable City Dwellers to access Safe, Healthy and Fresh food.

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