Calling all ketchup fans! Australia’s best tomato sauce revealed

Tomato ketchup is a staple in Aussie households - and now the best have been ranked. Source: Getty.

Tomato ketchup is a staple in most Aussie households, whether you like to spread it on your burgers and snags or dollop it on your hot chips. But are you devoted to your trusty Heinz and Masterfoods labels, or do you prefer the cheaper supermarket own brands?

Well Choice now claims to have crowned the country’s best tomato sauce – and it’s surprisingly not one of the better known condiments. Instead, a bottle costing just $1.50 from the supermarket won the top spot.

A panel of three food experts tested 22 supermarket brands in a blind tasting test, before scoring them on taste (50 per cent flavour, 30 per cent texture, 10 per cent aroma and 10 per cent appearance) and nutrition. While taste counted for 90 per cent of the overall score, nutrition made up 10 per cent.

IGA’s Community Co was eventually crowned number one, receiving the highest score of 79 per cent and taking out the likes of Australian owned Ozesauce (which came in second) and Heinz Big Red Tomato Sauce in third.

“Thick and shiny. Strong acid on the front palate. Nice flavour. A sauce that is well balanced. Sweet and umami with a slight tang,” the experts said of the winning IGA sauce.

22 brands of tomato sauce were ranked by three food experts. Source: Choice.
22 brands of tomato sauce were ranked by three food experts. Source: Choice.

Aldi’s Colway Tomato Sauce came in fourth place, with it selling for $1.39 in store. The experts said of this condiment: “Glossy and smooth. Nice, balanced aroma. Strong onion and garlic notes. Spice tartness/tang. Sweet up front with an umami finish. Good evidence of pureed fruit.”

Choice also ranked the sauces according to their sugar content, with Celebrate Health Tomato Sauce, Fountain Tomato Sauce Reduced Sugar, Heinz Tomato Ketchup 50% Less Added Sugar & Salt, Rosella Honest Kids Tomato Sauce and Masterfoods Tomato Sauce Reduced Salt & Sugar all making it into the top five best when you’re watching your waistline. The experts added: “Celebrate Health Tomato Sauce is the only genuinely ‘low sugar’ product we tested – no more than 5g sugar per 100g as per the Food Standards Code – but the trade off seems to be taste, as it’s one of the lowest scoring products in our test.”

Elsewhere the salt content also went under the hammer, with the best four in this category found to have less than 600mg sodium per 100g. They included Masterfoods Tomato Sauce Reduced Salt & Sugar, Rosella Honest Kids Tomato Sauce, Fountain Tomato Sauce Reduced Sugar and Heinz Tomato Ketchup 50% Less Added Sugar & Salt.

Meanwhile a study earlier this year finally revealed exactly where Aussies prefer to keep their condiments and chocolate – the pantry or the fridge. Mitsubishi Electric compiled data from across the country as part of its 2019 Home Trends Report, revealing clear preferences when it comes to storing certain treats such as chocolate.

According to the results, most Aussies like the tasty snack to be served chilled, with 56 per cent of poll respondents claiming they keep their chocolate in the fridge, compared to 44 per cent who preferred to store it in the cupboard.

Other kitchen staples such as tomato sauce, vegemite, eggs, bread and jam caused a much bigger divide across the country. The placement of tomato sauce in the fridge or cupboard is one of the most controversial topics in the country but according to the poll, the majority of Australians are in favour of the fridge (57 per cent).

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