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Tomato Paste – History and Usage

Tomato paste is a thick form of cooked tomatoes that have been boiled for several hours to reduce its water content so as to turn it into a paste. This process strains the seeds and skins out and cooks the liquid tomato again to turn it into a thick, rich concentrate called tomato paste.

Tomato purée is a liquid with a little different from crushed tomatoes and tomato paste made from tomatoes that have been boiled and strained.

Tomatoes paste is manufactured in different type of conditions based on what the form will be. The paste formed can be the basis for making a ketchup or reconstituted as tomato juice.

  • For Hot break: heated to about 100 °C (212 °F), Pectin is preserved, paste become thicker and can be used to do ketchup
  • For Warm break: heated to about 79 °C (174 °F), Colour is not preserved, but flavour is preserved
  • For Cold break: heated to about 66 °C (151 °F), Colour and Flavour remain the same, so it can be reconstituted into juice

History of Tomatoes Paste

The origin of tomatoes paste can be trace back to part of Sicily, southern Italy and Malta. They started by spreading out their tomato sauce on a wooden boards that are place outdoors under the hot August sun so as to dry the paste up until it becomes thick enough. It is very hard to see this type of tomato paste making nowadays because it is harder to accomplish. To make up a paste the condition of the weather needs to be considered each time it’s been processed.

Industrial version – which is easier to do and good for commercial purposes – is the common practice nowadays.  When it comes to commercial production, they use tomatoes with thick pericarp walls and species that have lower moisture. This type of tomatoes is quite different from the one found in the market.

It became available commercially at the early stage of 20th century, and since then it has become most famous cooking ingredient to make sauce and different homemade fast food or to make some Africa food.

Regional differences

 In the UK, purée or concentrate is what they called tomato paste.

While in the US, there tomato paste is a concentrate of tomato solids without adding seeds or skin to it, sometimes sweetener like high fructose corn syrup is added. This is been regulated by the FDA for proper measure to be followed by the manufacturer.

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