Color is a critical quality component for spices like paprika. The American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) has sampling and measurement standards for paprika, and a spectrophotometer from HunterLab effectively quantifies paprika color values for quality assurance.
How Paprika and Oleoresin Spices Are Made
Paprika is obtained from the ripened, ground, and dried fruit pods of the Capsicum annuum species. The Capsicum annuum peppers used for paprika are sweet and mild with little to no capsaicin, which is a heat compound.
The Capsicum annuum plant is grown until its peppers are mature and have ripened to a red color. The fully ripened peppers are picked for paprika to give the spice its signature red color. The pepper seeds are removed, and the fruit pods are dried and ground.
Oleoresin paprika — or paprika extract — is the oil-soluble extract obtained by extracting lipids and pigments from Capsicum annuum linn or Capsicum frutescens fruits. The oleoresin comprises capsaicin, capsanthin, and capsorubin, giving the product a strong taste and odor. Oleoresin paprika is a natural dye that colors foods a deep red hue.
Tomato paste and tomato sauce have different textures, flavors, and uses in culinary dishes. Tomato paste is a concentrated paste made from cooked, strained, and pureed tomatoes. Tomato sauce is a thin product made from pureed, simmered, and seasoned tomatoes.
Customers have specific color and appearance expectations for paste and sauce. Tomato product manufacturers must understand these perceptions and use effective color measurement and management solutions to create products that match expectations.
Tomato soup is a popular comfort food, and organic varieties combine wholesome nostalgia with healthy benefits. Organic tomato soup manufacturers use color management standards to produce soups that meet customers' expectations and keep them coming back for more.
Benefits of Organic Food
Organic foods offer several potential benefits, including:
- More nutrients: Organic food may have minor to moderate nutrient increases like antioxidants and flavonoids.
- Less pesticide residue: Organic food often has lower levels of pesticide residue due to the types of pesticides used in organic farming and the lack of airborne pesticides from conventional farms.
- Reduced metals: Organic food may have lower levels of cadmium — a metal that can be toxic in high concentrations — compared to food grown using conventional methods since organic farming does not use synthetic fertilizers.
- Lower bacteria amounts: Organic food often has lower levels of the dangerous types of bacteria than food produced through conventional methods.
The desired red color of canned tomato paste comes from a mature tomato fruit with a sweet flavor and high concentration of lycopene. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses the tomato paste score (TPS) to grade the product and ensure it meets quality and consumer expectations.
Color and appearance matter because they are the first purchasing factors customers consider. When customers cook with tomato paste, they have certain expectations tomato paste manufacturers must meet to indicate the product's freshness.
Measuring the color of tomatoes is an essential step for identifying the ripeness, quality, and salability of the product for consumption. The tomato's color is an indicator of its maturity and plays a crucial role in determining the flavor and texture of the fruit.
Understanding the color of tomatoes can help producers, distributors, and retailers ensure they provide their customers with the best possible product. Consistently meet quality standards by verifying the desired tomato color before shipping, processing, or selling the product.
The Case for Tomato Color Measurement
Tomatoes change color as they ripen, and different stages of ripeness are associated with different colors. Unripe tomatoes are green, and the fruit will become yellow, orange, or red as it grows and ripens, depending on the variety. A tomato's color can provide insight into its freshness as well. Tomatoes that are picked too early or have been improperly stored may be pale in color. Natural variation will occur, but fresh tomatoes should have a vibrant, mostly uniform color.
In addition to determining ripeness, the color of a tomato can also indicate its nutritional content. Red tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. By measuring the color of tomatoes, producers and distributors can ensure that they provide their customers with the most nutritious product possible.
Tomato sauce is a thin tomato product with garlic, onion, herbs, and spices used as a base for sauces and dishes. Food manufacturers must create quality tomato sauce to establish a good reputation, gain loyal customers and increase sales. Color consistency encourages consumers to choose your tomato sauce every time they make their favorite recipe.
Measuring tomato sauce color increases consumer adoption in these ways:
1. Ensures Consistency
Consistency in your tomato sauce color — and its overall quality — creates a sense of safety for your customers. Consumers are familiar with a product's desired color and expect your tomato sauce to match that image. If it does, they can use it confidently, knowing your product contains fresh, high-quality ingredients.
2. Builds Brand Trust
The correct tomato sauce color fosters trust in your brand, leading to more future purchases. Consumers will expect the best quality products from your brand every time they purchase. When your tomato sauce is a consistent color, your customers will believe your company excels in other areas too. Their trust in your brand can lead to more sales for your company.
Tomato soup is a quintessential comfort food for many, whether topped with crackers, enjoyed plain, or used as an ingredient in a recipe. Customers have high expectations for tomato soup's color and taste due in part to the Campbell Soup Company.
Tomato soup from Campbell's is the most popular and iconic condensed soup product in North America. Campbell's has become the leader in tomato soup by focusing on quality ingredients and standards to preserve the color and taste their customers have known and loved for over 100 years.