Eleven Ketchup Facts

Catch up.1. Ketchup, one of the most popular condiments in the US, is a half a billion dollar industry.

2. Ketchup is originally a spicy fish sauce called Ke-Tsiap from east Asia. It was brought west in the 17th century and by the early 1800′s recipes for ketchup as we know it started to appear in cookbooks.

3. H.J. Heinz Company is the world leader in ketchup sales, with a 60% market share in the US. It sells over 600 million bottles of ketchup annually.

4. Nutritionally, ketchup , as well as other cooked tomato products, is a good source of the anti-oxidant lycopene. Lycopenes are beneficial in the prevention of prostate and colon cancers. This is one of the rare cases where cooking a raw vegetable actually improves the bio-availability of a nutrient instead of reducing it.

5. 25% of ketchup is sugar!! Now you know why kids love it, and consider ketchup the main part of a meal, with the rest of the food serving as a condiment.

6. Ketchup is also high in salt. a single teaspoon contains almost ten percent’s worth of the daily maximum recommended value of sodium.

7. The ingredient list for Heinz ketchup is:

Tomato Concentrate , Distilled Vinegar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Salt, Spice, Onion Powder, Natural Flavoring.

If you were wondering why corn syrup (a cheaper sugar than table sugar) appears twice, a possible answer could be that by splitting the sugar ingredient into 2 separate ingredients, it doesn’t appear in the second place in the list, psychologically reducing the fear of buying the product. We’re still trying to figure out what that Natural Flavor is. Spice too.

8. The FDA strictly regulates what products may be called ketchup; especially important are viscosity and the presence of tomatoes and tomato solids.

9. In 2005, after urging by Heinz and several other tomato product manufacturers, the FDA allowed tomato product labels to tout health claims, due to the aforementioned lycopenes. The ruling includes ketchup as well as tomato pasta sauces and marinades.

10. Squeeze bottle were introduced in the 1980′s to solve the problem of ketchup not flowing out of glass containers.

11. Not everyone is a big fan of ketchup. In the Netherlands, mayonnaise is the condiment of choice with french fries.

What to do at the supermarket:

It seems that ketchup is a staple in every household. If you are concerned about sugar, look for ketchup products artificially sweetened as a way to reduce sweet calories. There are also reduced sodium ketchups available in most supermarkets.

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  • http://iateapie.net Tanya

    HFCS and corn syrup are not exactly the same thing and that’s why it appears twice. The fructose:glucose ratio is different in corn syrup.

  • http://justjuliebean.wordpress.com julie

    The organic version of Heinz ketchup contains only sugar, not corn syrup. That’s interesting to know that it was originally a fish sauce condiment, because most recipes for PadThai call for ketchup, which I never understood until now.

  • http://brightweightloss.blogspot.com/ Dreena Tischler

    We shop mainly around the edge of our supermarket and buy few processed foods, however, it never occurred to me to read the ketchup bottle! No wonder my 10-year old loves it so much ! We will be switching to the organic and she is going to need to learn to use it as a condiment instead of a sauce! Love your blog — thanks.

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-579-Food-Examiner~y2009m2d5-How-not-to-make-chicken-stock Eric Burkett

    I had to laugh out loud at your statement about natural flavor. I wrote a piece about canned chicken stock not long ago where I encountered both “organic chicken flavor” and “organic flavor” listed as separate items in the ingredients listings.

    It’s a bit like religion, I suppose: some things are just a mystery.

  • ricky

    hi i think that its cool to learn about ketchup history i give it two thumbs up

  • Santacruzin

    $500 million a year industry with Heinz having 60% of the market and 600 million bottles sold annualy? Does not compute! Just sayin…..

  • jkboykid134

    eeewwww! 20% of the ketchup is actually sugar and has alot of salt in it!!!!!

  • Shane

    I think the Natural Flavor is actually bug parts…

  • XxMissCherryx .

    You forgot to add that ketchup contains red food dye, with is made from crushed red beetles.

  • Ben

    Look up spiceitup dot com for serious ketchup

  • tomi

    ketchup is good

  • tomi


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  • tomi

    my friend Kyra waits is a ketchupalic like me

  • Cher

    Well as bad as high fructose corn syrup is for you Artifical Sweetners are just as bad and worse for some people! I do NOT appreciate that this app is recommending Artifical Sweetners of any kind to its members, they are 100 % chemicals and deadly to you health. Anything with Artifical Sweetners should receive a F rating.

    • wishfix

      I would agree, ASPARTAME is the worst. and ppl should be educated as to the dangers.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      You are right. Seems like a glitch. What ketchup were you looking at?

      • Cher

        From Cher: In answer to your question it is the blanket statement right BELOW the Heinz ketchup information on this page and may be founf the same on countless othet pages as well where artifical sweetners are being recommended, Quote > “What to do at the supermarket: It seems that ketchup is a staple in every household. If you are concerned about sugar, >> look for ketchup products artificially sweetened as a way to reduce sweet calories << end quote

        Artifical sweetners (all) are poison to the human body and you should be speaking out against them to educate people not recommending them in any way.

  • *M*

    I am doing a project about ketchup and it really helped me