Tomato ketchup is a spicy sauce with tomato pulp as its main ingredient. In addition the sauce contains, vinegar, sweetener, salt and various herbs. The vinegar ensures preservation of the tomato ketchup and the herbs enhance the taste of the tomatoes. Moreover, starches can be added which swell during cooking and thus increase the viscosity. Because the quality of the tomatoes can vary, the recipe will sometimes need to be adjusted. The composition of the tomato ketchup may vary slightly per brand. Tomato ketchup can also be made on the basis of tomato puree instead of tomato pulp. In this case a tomato puree will have to be used, with which a comparable quality is obtained. In addition, the cooking process will have to be shortened.
Production tomato ketchup
With the help of water, the tomatoes are moved from the trucks to the factory. This prevents damage to the tomatoes and partially crops the tomatoes. After a short storage time, the tomatoes are washed for a second time. This time in rotating drums, after which the water is drained.
It is very important that the tomatoes are of consistent quality, which is why they are sorted using a sorting machine. The sorted tomatoes are reduced and pre-cooked in stainless steel barrels, so that the tomatoes are preserved and microorganisms are killed.
The reduced and pre-cooked tomatoes are made into pulp and stripped of seeds, skins and stems with the aid of a cyclone. After filtering the pulp and the tomato juice, the whole can be further processed.
The tomato pulp is boiled for 30 to 45 minutes in a combined mixing and cooking kettle until the correct concentration is reached. The temperature must be accurately controlled in order to promote the absorption of the ingredients and to prevent overcooking. Any foaming during cooking can be prevented by adding anti-foaming agents or compressed air. The herbs and the salt are added at the beginning of the cooking process. Any volatile herbs are added together with the vinegar at the end of the cooking process. Sugar can also be added later in order to prevent burning.
Refine - Homogenize
After cooking, a final refinement of the tomato ketchup takes place. The remaining fibers and particles are removed by filtration after cooking. One can possibly increase the viscosity of the sauce by homogenizing the tomato ketchup.
By filtering, air is struck in the tomato ketchup. For this reason, the tomato ketchup must first be deaerated before it can be filled to prevent bacterial growth, the formation of air bubbles and discolouration. In addition, any problems during the closing of the bottles are avoided. Venting can take place with the help of a vent or by keeping the tomato ketchup at 90°C for a certain period of time.
After deaerating, the tomato ketchup must be heated to at least 88°C to prevent post-contamination during filling. The tomato ketchup is filled in glass or plastic bottles. Due to the narrow neck, ease of use is increased and contact with air is minimized. After filling, the bottles are immediately closed.
It is important that the filled bottles are immediately cooled with cold air or cold water. If tomato ketchup is stored for too long at too high a temperature, flavour losses can occur.
After the bottles have been labeled with the necessary information and a check has taken place, the bottles are ready for transport. The boxes are often stored upside down to prevent browning in the narrow neck due to the presence of air in the headspace. Tomato ketchup can be stored at room temperature. However, after opening it is wise to keep the sauce in the refrigerator to maintain a good quality.
This production process can be carried out batch or batch continuously.
Fluidor Equipment Ltd. is a Dutch machine building company with a leading position on the global market for drum handling and intermediate bulk container handling systems.
Fluidor Equipment supplies customers in 75 countries with proprietary systems that are widely used to handle, defrost and empty intermediate bulk containers containing food products like frozen fruit juices, concentrates, honey and tomato paste. The Fluidor drum handling systems optimize production efficiency while minimizing the need for manual work forces.
Efficient and profitable
The foundation of the current success of Fluidor Equipment Ltd. was created in the seventies, when the company was approached by a local producer of fruit juices to develop a machine that would help to empty barrels containing frozen fruit juice concentrates. Cees Kuijper, International Sales Manager Fluidor Equipment: “In those years, the barrels used to be emptied by hand. That was a time-consuming, labor-intensive and unhygienic process. Our first drum handling systems that could safely pick up and automatically empty the barrels became an instant success and opened doors to the international food industry. Obviously, our handling systems have become a lot more efficient since those early years.”
Product Recovery with Fluivac: clean and sustainable, preserving product
Modern industrial food industries demand for safe, reliable, user-friendly and sustainable systems that are also easy cleanable. Additionally, food producing companies want to minimize product loss. By developing a new system for the automatic emptying of closed production process tubes, Fluidor Equipment managed to create a new global product recovery standard.
Kuijper: “When exclusively applying conventional CIP-techniques, the products that remain in the pipelines is irrevocably lost. Not so with Fluivac, that comprises of an intelligent central control unit that can be coupled with any existing production tubes. The unit starts up a product recovery process, generating spinning airflows within the tubes that only need a limited amount of water to effectively recover the remaining product while realizing an effective pre-cleaning phase. Fluivac helps you to utilize your food product, time, water and energy resources in the most effective way possible.”
For a comprehensive overview of all Fluidor products and services, please visit: http://www.fluidor.com.