Q:

Are there bugs in ketchup?

A:

Quick Answer

Insects are not a specific ingredient in ketchup, though a very nominal amount of insect parts may be detected in the product. Since tomato plants are grown in soil and insects feed off of them, insect fragments may be present on the plants when they are processed. As such, the United States Food and Drug Administration makes allowances for a small amount of insect remains that may be contained on or within ingredients used.

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Full Answer

Ketchup is made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar (or some type of sweetener), garlic and onions. Other ingredients may be added for variety. Traces of insects may also be found in spices added to ketchup for flavor. The Heinz Company, the largest ketchup manufacturer in the world, uses more than 200 million tons of tomatoes each year.

The USDA recognizes the virtual impossibility of removing all traces of insect fragments, given the large quantities of ingredients that food manufacturers use, and permits a marginal amount of insect traces in consumable food products. The amount of allowable insect traces varies slightly between the various tomato products and is measured both before and after harvest. An allowable mold count is also permitted in ketchup products.

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Related Questions

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    Who invented tomato ketchup ?

    A:

    The first known tomato ketchup recipe was invented by James Mease in 1812. Mease was a scientist and horticulturalist who combined tomato pulp, brandy and spices to create the first tomato-based ketchup. Mease famously referred to tomatoes as love apples.

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  • Q:

    Is ketchup bad for you?

    A:

    Eating a large amount of commercial ketchup can be considered bad because of the high levels of sugar and also the amount of high fructose corn syrup. Eating commercial ketchup in moderation will not cause any serious health problems.

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    What chemicals are in ketchup?

    A:

    Ketchup contains the chemicals lycopene, acetic acid and water. The body has an easier time processing lycopene when it comes from the tomato paste in ketchup as opposed to fresh tomatoes.

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  • Q:

    What are different brands of ketchup?

    A:

    In the United States, where ketchup is known as the king of condiments, nationally recognized brands such as Del Monte, Heinz, Hunt's and Red Gold rule the ketchup market. Store-brand ketchups such as Wal-Mart’s "Great Value" are often included in a family of products specifically manufactured for retail supermarket chains.

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