Description of a typical tomato ketchup processing operation. The process described herein is a “batch type” i.e. non continuous.
Normally tomato ketchup is being produced from existing tomato paste during the off season, rarely is produced on-line from fresh tomatoes.
Tomato paste at 30/32°Brix Hot Break type is being pumped from aseptic storage tanks or from 200 L aseptic bags-in-drums into the first mix tank. Drinkable/softened water is being added in a volume such to reduce the solids content down at 15 –16°Brix. The quantity of paste is controlled by a weighing station where the drums are placed.
If the chosen container for final product cannot be hot filled at 88-90°C cold filling process shall then be used. In this case ketchup from deaerator shall be cooled down at 32-37°C by an aseptic tube-in-tube heat exchanger then pumped to the “clean room” for filling into the appropriate containers.
It is recommended that all heat exchangers are made of special stainless steel of titanium alloy or high molybdenum content due to the severe corrosion properties of the ketchup.
There are a lot of different recipes for ketchup, FENCO can provide custom-made recipes to its clients according to the taste of consumers of that particular market.
In case of plastic, multi layer polyester/polypropylene containers are advisable, more expensive, but performing better filling at temperature up to 95°C and providing better oxygen barrier.