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Tomato Ketchups - As safe as they come

That ketchup in the refrigerator goes with just about everything – from fried samosas to sandwiches and from kadai-tossed vegetables to kebabs and omelettes. The common perception of the ketchup as a generally healthy and low-calorie condiment has contributed to its growing consumption. So then, are all brands of tomato ketchup safe for consumption, considering that they use acidifying agents for enhancing taste as well as prolonging the shelf life? Are they free from yeast and mould? This report checks six leading brands of tomato ketchup along these and other parameters that are important determinants of quality and safety.


The good news is that all six brands of tomato ketchup passed all the tests. None diverged from the Food Safety and Standards Regulations on the key parameters that we tested them for. Of course, some scored better compared to others, as discussed in detail below.

You can see list of our CV Surveillance Series - Tomato Ketchup below, perform Side-by-Side comparison. If you need further help, do have a look at Conzumr Guides and Tips. Alternatively you can view all Tomato Ketchup to choose your own favourites.


Tomato ketchup and tomato sauce means the product prepared by blending tomato juice/puree of appropriate concentration with nutritive sweeteners, salt, vinegar, spices and condiments and any other ingredients suitable to the product, and heating to the required consistency. Tomato paste may be used after dilution with water suitable for the purpose of maintaining the essential composition of the product.

Side by Side comparison

Patanjali Tomato Ketchup
Heinz Tomato Ketchup
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup
Tops Tomato Ketchup
Maggi Tomato Ketchup
Kissan Tomato Ketchup
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup
Buy Now Heinz Tomato Ketchup
Heinz ₹ 95
Refreshed 3 years ago
Buy Now Del Monte Tomato Ketchup
Del Monte ₹ 70
Refreshed 3 years ago
Buy Now Tops Tomato Ketchup
Tops ₹ 60
Refreshed 3 years ago
Buy Now Maggi Tomato Ketchup
Maggi ₹ 94
Refreshed 3 years ago
Buy Now Kissan Tomato Ketchup
Kissan ₹ 140
Refreshed 3 years ago
Buy Now Patanjali Tomato Ketchup
Pack of 1 Per Unit
Patanjali ₹ 70 ₹ 70
Amazon.in ₹ 70
Pack of 2 Per Unit
Patanjali ₹ 140 ₹ 70
SnapDeal ₹ 140 ₹ 70
Refreshed 3 days ago
Highlights
Total Score out of 100 (Rounded off)
Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 92
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 88
Tops Tomato Ketchup : 83
Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 91
Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 87
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 87
MRP (Rs)
Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 95
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 130 (save Rs 25)
Tops Tomato Ketchup : 130
Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 94 (free pasta worth Rs 25)
Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 97
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 70
Net Weight (Grams)
Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 450
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 320
Tops Tomato Ketchup : 1000
Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 500
Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 500
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 500
Best before (Months)
Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 12
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 12
Tops Tomato Ketchup : 18
Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 12
Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 12
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 12
Marketed/Manufactured/Imported by
Heinz Tomato Ketchup : Heinz India Pvt. Ltd
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : Field Fresh Foods Pvt. Ltd
Tops Tomato Ketchup : GD Foods Pvt. Ltd
Maggi Tomato Ketchup : Nestle India Ltd
Kissan Tomato Ketchup : Hindustan Unilever Ltd
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : Patanjali Ayurved Ltd
Brands Tested
Rank
Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 1
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 4
Tops Tomato Ketchup : 7
Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 2
Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 5
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 5
Parameters Tested
Total Soluble Solids (TSS)
Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 33
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 36
Tops Tomato Ketchup : 36
Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 38
Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 35
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 40
Heinz Tomato Ketchup : Safe for consumption
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : Safe for consumption
Tops Tomato Ketchup : Safe for consumption
Maggi Tomato Ketchup : Safe for consumption
Kissan Tomato Ketchup : Safe for consumption
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : Safe for consumption
Yeast and mould are responsible for many types of food spoilage before and during the processing. A high count of these in the finished food product indicates decomposition or poor hygiene conditions at the manufacturing point. Yeast can cause skin rashes and mouth infections, while eating mouldy food is dangerous because such food is likely to be contaminated with mycotoxins (fungal poisons). As per FSS Regulations, yeast count shall not be more than 125 per 1/60 cubic milimetre and mould count shall be positive in not more than 40 per cent of the field examined.
  • None of the brands surpassed the permissible limit for yeast and mould count and are therefore safe for consumption.
Acidity (as Acetic Acid)
Heinz Tomato Ketchup : Well above the minimum requirement set by the Indian Standard as well as FSS Regulations.
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : Above the prescribed limit
Tops Tomato Ketchup : Well above the minimum requirement set by the Indian Standard as well as FSS Regulations.
Maggi Tomato Ketchup : Well above the minimum requirement set by the Indian Standard as well as FSS Regulations.
Kissan Tomato Ketchup : Well above the minimum requirement set by the Indian Standard as well as FSS Regulations.
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : Well above the minimum requirement set by the Indian Standard as well as FSS Regulations.
Preservative (Benzoic Acid)
Heinz Tomato Ketchup : Not Detected
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 318.5
Tops Tomato Ketchup : 525.1
Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 308
Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 632.5
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 606.5
Lycopene Content, mg/100 gm
Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 16.51
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : -
Tops Tomato Ketchup : -
Maggi Tomato Ketchup : -
Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 18.52
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : -
Carbohydrates
Heinz Tomato Ketchup : Contained a significant amount of carbohydrates
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : Contained a significant amount of carbohydrates
Tops Tomato Ketchup : Contained a significant amount of carbohydrates
Maggi Tomato Ketchup : Contained a significant amount of carbohydrates
Kissan Tomato Ketchup : Lowest
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : Contained a significant amount of carbohydrates
Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 1.1
Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 1.1
Tops Tomato Ketchup : 1.1
Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 1.1
Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 1.1
Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 1.1
The specific gravity (SG) is the ratio of density of a substance to the density of a reference substance; alternately, it is the ratio of the mass of a substance to the mass of a reference substance for the same given volume. As per BIS, specific gravity should be a minimum 1.111 when tested at 26 degrees C.
  • All the brands conformed to the minimum requirement of 1.111 of specific gravity.
  • Specific Gravity Weightage (Out of 4)
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 3.711 %
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 3.51 %
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 3.03 %
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 3.5 %
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 3.11 %
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 4 %
    Added Synthetic Colours
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : No
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : No
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : No
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : No
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : No
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : No
    Sodium Chloride as NaCl (edible salt)
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : Between 1.84 to 2.58
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : Between 1.84 to 2.58
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : Between 1.84 to 2.58
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : Between 1.84 to 2.58
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : Between 1.84 to 2.58
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : Between 1.84 to 2.58
    Preservative (Benzoic Acid), ppm
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : No
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : No
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : No
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : No
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : No
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : No
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : Had a TPC of less than 10 cfu/ml
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : Had a TPC of less than 10 cfu/ml
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : Had a TPC of less than 10 cfu/ml
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : Had a TPC of less than 10 cfu/ml
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : Had a TPC of less than 10 cfu/ml
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : Had a TPC of less than 10 cfu/ml
    Microbiological contamination is a very important factor in determining the quality of food products. For tomato ketchups, we conducted tests for three major microbes: namely total plate count (TPC), mould count and yeast and spores count. These microorganisms are responsible for many food-borne diseases. Due to improper or poor hygienic condition during the manufacturing process, microorganisms may occur in the finished product.

    As per the national standards (BIS and FSS Rules, 2011), the product must comply with the following requirements:

    • Total plate count: Not more than 10,000/ml
    • Yeast and spores: Not more than 125 per 1/60 c.m.m
    • Mould count: Positive in not more than 40 percent of the field examined
    • All the brands passed the tests for mould count and yeast and spores count. Mum’s showed a total plate count of 745 cfu/ml, but that was within the specified limit. All the other brands had a TPC of less than 10 cfu/ml.
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : Good
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : Good
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : Good
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : Most liked brand among panellists
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : Good
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : Good
    Sensory panel tests were conducted in a test lab, involving technical experts. The tests were carried out under the guidance and supervision of technical experts. The following parameters were judged by the panellists and ratings were then given on a five-point scale. The parameters were as per guidelines set by the Indian Standard.
    • Colour: The colour of tomato ketchup should be a characteristic red, reasonably uniform, and free from any blackening of surface or any discoloration.
    • Consistency: Tomato ketchup should have good fluid consistency and uniform texture. It should not have tendency of separation.
    • Taste and flavour: Tomato ketchup should have an appealing flavour and should be free from any scorched, burnt or other objectionable flavour.
    • Absence of defects: It should be practically free from visual defects such as seeds, skin, dark specs or other hard and coarse extraneous material.
    • Maggi was the most liked brand among panellists, and was followed by Reliance Select and Delmonte
    Score (Out of 30)
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 26.61
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 27.05
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 24.47
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 27.88
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 26.69
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 26.95
    For General Qualities
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : Packed in plastic bottles
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : Packed in plastic bottles
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : Packed in glass bottles
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : Packed in glass bottles
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : Packed in glass bottles
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : Packed in glass bottles
    Tomato ketchup shall ordinarily be packed in glass containers, jars, or plastic bottles. Glass is a better packaging material because glass will not react with ketchup. Glass is also eco friendly.
    • Heinz and Del Monte were packed in plastic bottles. All the other brands were packed in glass bottles.
    Packaging Weightage (Out of 2)
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 1.8 %
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 1.5 %
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 1.5 %
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 1.5 %
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 1.5 %
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 1.5 %
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : Provided the required information
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : Provided the required information
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : Provided the required information
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : Provided the required information
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : Provided the required information
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : Provided the required information
    The following information shall be clearly and indelibly marked on the label of each container/packet:
    • Name of the product
    • Trade name, if any
    • Name and address of manufacturer
    • Net quantity in gram or kg
    • Month and year of manufacture
    • The words ‘Best before’ (month and year to be indicated)
    • Nutritional information
    • FSSAI license number
    • Logo indicating ‘vegetarian’ or ‘non-vegetarian’ statusBatch or code number
    • Storage information
    • Maximum Retail Price (MRP)
    • Customer-care details
    Marking Weightage (Out of 5)
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 5 %
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 5 %
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 5 %
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 5 %
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 5 %
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 5 %
    Net Weight (Out of 3)
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 3 %
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 3 %
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 3 %
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 3 %
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 3 %
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 3 %
    Customer-Care Details
    Customer Care No.
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 18001025444
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 124 4109436
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 011 45233333
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 124 4121212
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 18001022221
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 18001804108
    Observation
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : Working
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : Working
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : Working
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : Working
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : Working
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : Working
    Email ID
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : consumer.feedback@in.hjheinz.com
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : feedback@delmontefoodsindia.in
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : response@tops.co.in
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : contact@in.nestle.com
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : Lever.care@unilever.com
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : feedback@patanjaliayurved.org
    Physicochemical
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 9 %
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 7.82 %
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 6.17 %
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 8.71 %
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 9.8 %
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 4.7 %
    Lycopene is a photochemical (naturally occurring pigment with beneficial health effects) found in tomatoes and some other plants products. It is a pigment that produces a stable red colour and has been identified as a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralise harmful substances in the body called free radicals, which may damage the body’s cells and may even contribute to cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Humans cannot produce lycopene and must ingest fruits, absorb the lycopene, and process it for use in the body.

    Lycopene content in tomato ketchup is an indicator of the quality of the tomato content in it. The more the lycopene, the more is the ripened tomato content. Low levels of lycopene indicate the use of either less or unripe quantity of tomato pulp or poor quality of tomatoes.

    So far, no requirement for lycopene has been specified in FSS Regulations or BIS.

  • Kissan (18.52 mg/100 gm) contained the maximum quantity of lycopene, followed by Heinz (16.51) and Weikfield (16.26).
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 8.77
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 8.15
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 8.85
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 8.9
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 7.3
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 8.18
    These are solids that are dissolved in the tomato ketchup. A common soluble solid is sugar (both natural and added). There is no test method that can test natural and added sugar separately. As per FSS Regulations, tomato ketchup must contain not less than 25 per cent of total soluble solids.
    • TSS was above the minimum requirement in all the brands.
    • Patanjali contained the highest TSS and Heinz the lowest.

    Total soluble solids is an expression for the combined content of all inorganic and organic substances contained in a liquid; these are present in a molecular, ionised or micro-granular suspended form. The main ingredients containing TSS are water, tomato paste, sugar and salt, and a minor quantity can be found in vinegar, spices and preservatives.

    As per the national standards (BIS & FSS Regulations, 2011), tomato ketchup must contain not less than 25 per cent of total soluble solids.

    • All the brands were found above the minimum requirement for total soluble solids.
    • TSS was found highest in Weikfield and lowest in Mum’s.
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 4.93
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 4.65
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 4.02
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 3.67
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 3.81
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 4.61
    Acetic acid or vinegar is added in tomato ketchup for acidity. Acidity gives taste to the ketchup and also works as a preservative. If acidity (acetic acid) is lower than the minimum limit, microbes will begin to grow, allowing contamination of the product and reducing its shelf life. As per FSS Regulations, acidity (as acetic acid) content should be not less than one per cent.
    • Acidity (as acetic acid) was above the prescribed limit in all brands.

    Acidity is related to the shelf life of the product. If acidity (acetic acid) is lower than the minimum limit, microbes will begin to grow, allowing contamination of the product and reducing its shelf life. As per the national standards, acidity should be a minimum 1.2 per cent by weight; as per FSS Regulations, it should be a minimum 1.0 per cent.

    • All the brands were well above the minimum requirement set by the Indian Standard as well as FSS Regulations.
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 4.54 %
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 3.82 %
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 4.6 %
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 4.48 %
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 3.64 %
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 4.56 %
    Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibresfound in fruits, grains and vegetables and milk products. Though often maligned in trendy diets, carbohydrates are one of the basic food groups and are important to a healthy life. Tomato ketchup is a source of carbohydrates. While some quantity is generally found in the ripened tomato, the higher quantity is due to the presence of added sugar. No requirement for carbohydrates has been specified in FSS Regulations or BIS.
  • All the brands contained a significant amount of carbohydrates, the lowest being in Kissan and the highest in Tasty Treat.
  • Specific Gravity
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 3.71
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 3.51
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 3.03
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 3.5
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 3.11
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 4
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 4 %
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 4 %
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 4 %
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 4 %
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 4 %
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 4 %
    Synthetic colouring material is the artificial colour that makes the product retain the original colour. FSS Regulations do not allow added colours. We carried out tests for brilliant blue, ponceau 4R, sunset yellow, indigo carmine, carmoisine, erythrosine, tartrazine and fast green colours.
  • None of the brands was found to contain synthetic colouring matter; hence all were given equal scores.
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 1.83 %
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 2.25 %
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 2.92 %
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 2.47 %
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 2.42 %
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 2.77 %
    Sodium chloride is a salt used commonly as a food-flavouring condiment and sometimes as a food preservative. In tomato ketchup it is used as taste enhancer. It should be added in moderate quantity. As yet, no requirement has been specified in FSS Regulations or BIS.
  • In our tests, the percentage of sodium chloride ranged from 1.84 (Tops) to 2.58 (Heinz).
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 3 %
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 1.56 %
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 1.59 %
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 2.58 %
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 1.58 %
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 2.31 %
    Benzoic acid is a most widely used food preservative; the presence of preservative generally increases the shelf life of the product and prevents the deterioration of nutritional values, taste and odour, and microbial contamination. As per FSS Regulations, benzoic acid should not be more than 750 ppm (parts per million) in tomato ketchup. Since a higher quantity of preservative is not desirable, lower is better for consumers.
    • No chemical preservative (benzoic acid) was found in Heinz. Heinz has claimed on the label that no artificial
    • All the brands were found well within the maximum permissible limit of 750 ppm.
    • Heinz was the only brand that did not contain anypreservative. It may be noted that Heinz did not claim to have added preservatives.
    • In the other brands, the amount of benzoic acid ranged from 388.60 ppm (Maggi) to 730.27 ppm (Delmonte).
    Arsenic Weightage (Out of 3)
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 3 %
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 3 %
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 3 %
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 3 %
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 3 %
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 3 %
    Lead Weightage (Out of 3)
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 2.31 %
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 2.38 %
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 1.2 %
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 1.93 %
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 1.95 %
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 2.37 %
    Sub-Total (Out of 50)
    Heinz Tomato Ketchup : 45.09 %
    Del Monte Tomato Ketchup : 41.14 %
    Tops Tomato Ketchup : 39.38 %
    Maggi Tomato Ketchup : 43.24 %
    Kissan Tomato Ketchup : 40.61 %
    Patanjali Tomato Ketchup : 40.5 %