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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