Last year we reported that Osem, Israel’s largest local food manufacturer, had won an injunction against Heinz that prevented them from referring to their tomato sauce as ketchup since it did not include the percentage of tomatoes required by the Israeli regulations.
In a weird and wonderful development, The Israel Minister of the Economy Moshe Kachlon, and the Israel Minister of Health, Yaakov Litzman have now ruled that Heinz Tomato Ketchup may be sold as Ketchup in Israel.
To be honest, Heinz contains only 21% tomato paste. It is mostly added sugar, but they split the added sugar into two types so that the tomato content comes up as the main ingredient. Those worried about genetically modified products may like to know that the vinegar and the syrup used are both derived from genetically modified corn. Personally, I don’t have an issue with this. Nevertheless, it is interesting to reflect that Osem’s ketchup contains more tomatoes (it is made with 37%, tomatoes) and seems to be a higher quality product.
Ketchup does not imply tomatoes at all. Since Heinz’ product is low in tomato content, it should perhaps be called Ketchup without the word tomato appended. Alternatively, it could be labeled Almost Tomato Free Ketchup. That said, I suspect that Heinz Ketchup has so much sugar content that bacteria simply dehydrates due to osmosis, whereas Osem’s Ketchup, which is free of preservatives, can serve as a breeding ground for microbes and must be kept refrigerated after opening.
As both are made from real tomatoes, consumers should beware that they each contain millions of genes.
Ketchup is often used to simulate blood and gore in violent movies. Here is a link to the iconic Goodies episode: Bunfight at the O.K. Tea Room.