Many people are surprised when they hear for the first time that the tomato is actually a fruit. In fact with seeds inside it is classified as a berry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomato)!
However, when you consider that tomato takes its place alongside orange, apple, peach, pear, apricot, mango, pineapple, cherry and other fruits to be sold with them side-by-side on the juice shelf, it makes more sense.
Originally tomato concentrate (or paste as it is more commonly known) was used more by manufacturers of ketchup and sauces and the main determinants of quality have traditionally been those suited to these products, focusing on paste viscosity primarily, and then colour.
This makes the tomato alone among juice concentrates, where usually one of the prime quality parameters is acidity, as well as colour taste and flavour, and where fruit juice is not the primary application. For those wishing to add a high quality tomato juice to their range of other fruit juices, acidity and viscosity should be clearly specified.
Viscosity is important to obtain that mouth feel which distinguishes a good juice from a thin or thick juice and which can be appreciated by the consumer. It has been shown that consumers can detect a difference of only 20% in the viscosity of a tomato juice and that the consistency of the “mouth feel” is very important.
Due to the fact that tomato juice usage is less than 5% of tomato paste consumption and tomato juice is only around 5% of the total juice market, it is our experience that due care may not taken in specifying the correct tomato concentrate for use in tomato juice, and that this is one factor that restricts the attractiveness and therefore the sale potential of this healthy product. Since tomato concentrate is by far and away the cheapest of the "6:1" concentrates it makes commercial sense to specify the best type of ingredient and still have lower costs than for the other fruits.
Merko has years of experience in producing just such a high quality tomato juice concentrate from the excellent raw material found in the coastal region of west Turkey, and is able to create a product which we define as “Juice Quality” or JQ® and which is strictly a tomato juice concentrate, processed from the ripest tomatoes at the best time of the season to give the desired acidity and taking extreme care to ensure no off-flavours and a consistent viscosity at juice or natural brix.
Apart from acidity, common problems encountered in processing a tomato juice from “paste” include off-flavours from processing at too high a temperature or for too long a time, and specifying the viscosity using the Bostwick methodology only, which does not take into account the differences in serum and total viscosity, and by itself does not ensure a consistent viscosity at juice brix.
Our expertise in the primary processing of tomatoes is available to customers at all times and we invite questions as well as opportunities to cooperate in producing better quality products at lower total cost.