Autumn 2009 AUSTRALIAN Certified Organic MAGAZINE 5
Not oNly are organic tomatoes more
nutrient-dense for final consumers – now,
new research has found firm benefits from
organic tomatoes on the processing line itself.
Dr. Diane Barrett from the University of
California has discovered organic tomatoes
need less water removed during processing,
and can result in a better tomato paste.
Her report – ‘Qualitative and Nutritional
Differences in Processing Tomatoes Grown
under Commercial Organic and
Conventional Production Systems’ -
states organic tomatoes consistently contain
more total and soluble solids than
Soluble solids are a key factor in high
quality tomatoes grown for processing as the
higher the percentage of solids, the less
water there is to be removed.
The report - which analysed samples of
tomato juice from four different organically
produced tomato batches – also found
organic tomato juice had high levels of
consistency and tritratable acidity.
When both these attributes are present in
the production of tomato paste, they produce
a final product which can require less
thermal treatment and is more flavoursome.
“This finding could result in cost savings
from less energy required in paste
manufacture and a potentially higher
quality product due to less thermal
degradation of colour, flavour, and nutrients,”
stated the report.
It said greater levels of the precious
soluble solids could be a result of the slower
growth rate in organic fields, with organic
tomatoes more likely to mature slowly.
But it also reported significant differences
between tomatoes from specific growers –
likely to be attributable to “differences in soil
type, soil nutrients, and environmental
conditions in production”.
Firm benefits of organic tomatoes make for better paste
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