Does Hunt’s tomato sauce have sugar? (+why its healthy)
In this article, we will answer the following question: “Does Hunt´s tomato sauce have sugar?” and discuss what type of sugar Hunt´s tomato sauce contains, what the ingredients in Hunt´s tomato sauce are, their roles, and why is sugar added to tomato sauce.
Does Hunt’s tomato sauce have sugar?
Yes, Hunt´s tomato sauce has sugar, because it is made of tomatoes, which naturally contain sugar. However, according to the Hunt´s sauce webpage, there is no added sugar among the ingredients of Hunt´s sauce (1).
Tomatoes contain sucrose, glucose and fructose as natural sugars in their composition. Glucose and fructose are the main sugars in tomatoes, accounting for 1.19 to 3.55 % of the total fruit weight (2).
Tomatoes also contain other carbohydrates, such as pectin, xylose and cellulose, as well as arabinoxylan and arabinogalactan. These carbohydrates compose the dietary fibres in the tomatoes and tomato products.
What are the ingredients in Hunt´s tomato sauce?
The ingredients that compose tomato sauce have different roles in the food and are added due to their sensorial, nutritional and functional properties (2, 3). The ingredients in Hunt´s tomato sauce are, according to the product´s webpage (1):
- Tomato Puree: is a natural source of beta-carotene and lycopene, phenolics and a low amount of vitamin C
- Water: is used to achieve the ideal consistency of the sauce
Less Than 2% of:
- Salt: acts as a food flavouring and as a preservative
- Citric Acid: The addition of citric acid to tomato products is necessary to achieve the minimum pH of 4.2 to 4.3 and ensure safety during the storage
- Onion powder: Onions contain phytochemicals that act as antioxidants
- Garlic powder: similarly to onions, can be used as an antioxidant to improve the shelf life of food
- Red pepper: naturally contains phenolic compounds (antioxidants) and beta-carotene
Why is sugar added to tomato sauce?
Sugar is sometimes added to tomato sauce to improve the flavour of the product. Tomato sauce is a product made from the juice extracted from red tomatoes or made from tomato paste or tomato puree and can be added with other ingredients.
The other ingredients that can be added to tomato sauce are salt, sugar or other sweeteners, acidulants, such as citric acid, vinegar or lemon juice, spices, such as garlic and onions, or other vegetable flavourings (4).
Sugar can mask the acidic taste of tomato sauce and therefore is commonly added to make homemade tomato sauce. Although sugar cannot reduce the amount of acid in foods, the sweet taste of sugar suppresses the sour taste of the citric acid present in the tomato sauce.
As a consequence, the overall perception is that the acid has been reduced. When different tastes are mixed, they can have enhancing or suppressing effects. In low amounts, sugar and acid enhance each other, while in higher amounts, sweet is prevalent over sour, masking sourness (5).
Is Hunt´s tomato sauce a healthy option?
Yes, Hunt´s tomato sauce is a healthy option, because it contains no preservatives and no added sugar or other sweeteners. The sugar in Hunt´s tomato sauce is the sugar that is naturally present in the tomatoes that are used as raw material for the production of the sauce (1).
Compared to other products of the brand, Hunt´s tomato sauce is a very healthy option. For instance, the mushroom sauce contains, in addition to added sugar, high fructose corn syrup among the ingredients.
The consumption of processed food containing high fructose corn syrup is related to increased risks of obesity and diabetes in the population because it can induce the occurrence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (6). Hunt´s mushroom sauce contains 5 g of sugar in a serving size of half a cup (126 g).
Other products of the brand Hunt´s also contain added sugar and high fructose corn syrup, such as pasta sauce types “tomato basil” and “roasted garlic and onion”.
Other FAQs about Sauces that you may be interested in.
In this article, we answered the following question: “Does Hunt’s tomato sauce have sugar?” and discussed what type of sugar is contained in Hunt´s tomato sauce, what the ingredients in tomato sauce and why is sugar added to tomato sauce.
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Tomato Sauce [Internet]. Hunt’s. [cited 2023 Aug 29]. Available from: https://www.hunts.com/tomato-sauce-and-paste/tomato-sauce
Nasir MU, Hussain S, Jabbar S. Tomato processing, lycopene and health benefits: A review. Science Letters. 2015;3(1):1-5.
Embuscado ME. Spices and herbs: Natural sources of antioxidants–a mini review. Journal of functional foods. 2015 Oct 1;18:811-9.
United States department of agriculture agricultural marketing service fruit and vegetable division processed products branch [Internet]. Usda.gov. [cited 2023 Aug 14]. Available from: https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/Tomato_Sauce_Standard%5B1%5D.pdf
Chung M, Ma J, Patel K, Berger S, Lau J, Lichtenstein AH. Fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or indexes of liver health: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2014 Sep 1;100(3):833-49.