University of California

Ask the Produce Docs (General)

Are there physical representations for the color standards for crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, etc.?

Category
  • Quality Evaluation
Question

I am hoping you can answer a question for me regarding the color standards for tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Are there any actual physical representations of the colors for these products (e.g. color swatches or tiles)?  C.B.

Answer

The USDA actually has vinyl color standards that they use to identify Class A and C tomatoes. These can be found on their website and pertain most to tomato paste.  The University of California also established a ‘soft standard’ which is a can of tomato sauce manufactured and distributed every year. The California League of Food Processors now coordinates this activity, but UC Davis is still involved in ‘validating’ the standards prior to release. In Europe there is actually another physical tile standard used, again for paste. – Diane Barrett

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