Extra Tomato Paste Adds Up to Increased Nutritional Benefits!
The pandemic caused a seismic shift in how consumers view their diet. Before COVID 19, consumers looked to “super foods” as a non-medical tool for boosting their energy and for controlling their weight. Today, the emphasis has moved to boosting their immunity.
In just three months between February and May, which accounts for both pre-Covid and post Covid attitudes, Datassential Consumer Surveys on Health Lifestyle Goals found an important shift in consumer interests for “super foods” whereby they were more interested in products that could provide increased energy, build immunity, and help avoid cancer.
More than a decade ago, and well ahead of any other tomato competitor, Red Gold launched their Better Nutrition Made Simple™ line of Nutritionally Enhanced™ Sauces and Salsa with significantly increased tomato paste and up to 80% less sodium than their traditional counterparts. Additionally, their line of Naturally Balanced™ Ketchup and Barbeque Sauce offered cleaner label options for condiments.
Why Tomato Paste Is A Big Deal
Often overlooked by many Americans who are cooking at home, tomato paste packs the nutrient values of six pounds of fresh tomatoes into one pound of paste depending upon the level of concentration. Thus, paste is loaded with flavor along with some of the most important immunity-boosting and cancer-fighting nutrients.
Better yet, marinara is the best loved sauce and ketchup is a popular condiment among consumers. Literally, tomato products are the simplest and most loved super foods, most loaded with tomato paste!
All forms of tomato products offer extraordinary nutritional benefits in boosting immunity and fighting cancer and shelf stable tomato products can even boast unique attributes.
Why Are Tomatoes, and particularly Tomato Paste, So Important to Immunity Boosting?
We will offer you 10 good reasons:
- Tomatoes contain all three high-powered antioxidants: beta-carotene (which has vitamin A activity in the body), vitamin E, and vitamin C. A USDA report, What We Eat in America, noted that a third or us get too little vitamin C and almost half get too little vitamin A.
- Tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. These carotenoids may have individual benefits, but also have synergy as a group (that is, they interact to provide health benefits).
- Tomatoes contain substantial amounts of lycopene, thought to have the highest antioxidant activity of all the carotenoids. Furthermore, this very important carotenoid is 20 times more bioavailable from processed tomato products than from fresh. This means your body can actually use the available lycopene more easily in this form. This includes tomato paste and all types of tomato products that have been heated and canned.
- Tomatoes are rich in potassium. A cup of tomato juice contains 534 milligrams of potassium, and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce has 454 milligrams.
- When tomatoes are eaten along with healthier fats, like avocado or olive oil, the body's absorption of the carotenoid phytochemicals in tomatoes can increase by two to 15 times, according to a study from Ohio State University.
- Tomatoes and broccoli combined may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. One study showed that prostate tumors grew much more slowly in rats that were fed both tomato and broccoli powder than in rats given lycopene as a supplement or fed just the broccoli or tomato powder alone.
- A diet rich in tomato-based products may help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study from The University of Montreal. The researchers found that lycopene (provided mainly by tomatoes) was linked to a 31% reduction in pancreatic cancer risk between men with the highest and lowest intakes of this carotenoid.
- Tomatoes are a big part of the famously healthy Mediterranean diet. Many Mediterranean dishes and recipes call for tomatoes, tomato paste or sauce. Some recent studies, including one from The University of Athens Medical School, found that people who most closely follow the Mediterranean diet have lower death rates from heart disease and cancer. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, who followed more than 39,000 women for seven years, found that consumption of oil- and tomato-based products -- particularly tomato and pizza sauce -- was associated with cardiovascular benefits.
- When breastfeeding moms eat tomato products, it increases the concentration of lycopene in their breast milk. In this case, cooked is best. The researchers also found that eating tomato products like tomato sauce increased concentrations of lycopene in breast milk more than eating fresh tomatoes did.
- When trying to build your iron counts, Vitamin C is critical to help increase the absorption of the iron by your body. Try Linguine with Red Clam Sauce a day or two before you donate a pint a blood! Those clams, super rich in iron, along with tomatoes, loaded with Vitamin C, will help increase your iron absorption.
Datassential’s list of super food ingredients. Tomatoes are well known and loved by consumers and have reached ubiquity on menus, much like honey, apples and almonds.
The consumer’s interest in functional and “super food” benefits will remain long after the pandemic moves from the top of every newscast and page one of newspapers. In the course of less than a year, new standards for cleanliness and social distancing have been established. So has the interest among consumers who are looking to food as medicine to boost their immunity and fight cancer. Operators should remind their customers what a nutritional bargain they are getting.
Today, due to the pandemic, Red Gold’s Better Nutrition Made Simple™ products are of new interest to foodservice directors and nutritionists throughout the industry. This includes healthcare facilities, colleges and universities as well as commercial restaurants. This comprehensive Product Line contains more than 22 product options and are thus a new-found “super food hero.”
The original motivation for Red Gold to improve the nutrition of all of these items was guided by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child Nutrition Programs’ imminent move towards healthier guidelines with the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2012. The added nutrition offered by the extra tomato paste was important in assuring that students received their weekly requirement of Red/ Orange Vegetables via popular and tasty tomato products, like Salsa and Sauce, offered in smaller serving sizes that they could actually consume. The product line also offers other attributes like the substantial reduction of sodium without the loss of flavor. Through a unique and proprietary process, Red Gold is able to reduce sodium by up to 80% in some items; hence, resulting in what they have coined as a new category of “enhanced low sodium” products that still taste great.
While the benefits of a tomato-laden diet are not solely a claim that can be made by Red Gold’s Better Nutrition Made Simple™ product lines are a unique and easy solution, well ahead of the curve for food manufacturers looking to bring more functional and super food type products to foodservice. Sometimes you need only look to an often overlooked native source.