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My son really loves his tomato sauce and I must admit I am partial to some with veggie burgers and other savoury dishes, but there are two things I really don't like. The first is plastic bottles of the stuff which I personally don't find appetising, and the other is the fact that many of the popular brands are ladened with sugar. Heinz, for example, contains a whopping 23.6g sugar per 100g, but I usually opt for their lower sugar versions when buying this brand.
With this in mind over the last few years I have switched to Biona Organic Tomato Ketchup, which is an entirely different product. This is available from most health food stores, and from www.goodnessdirect.co.uk where it retails for £1.89 for a 340g glass bottle.
The ingredients which make this product what it is are; water, tomato puree, agave syrup, vinegar, rice flour, sea salt, pectin and spices, onions, garlic and paprika. It is dairy free, gluten free, has no added cane or beet sugar, and is wheat free
The sauce is sweetened by the addition of agave syrup, which is something I really like, and always have in my cupboard. The product is collected from certain types of succulents grown in Sothern Arizona and in Mexico, and it is a low gi sweetener, meaning that it keeps blood sugars stable, rather than sending them up quickly and then dropping them like stones. The actual sugar content of the sauce is half that of standard Heinz, but as it is low GI this is even more significant.
The bottle itself looks very attractive with a nice long shaped neck, and the sauce is easily poured from the top. The black label with the whole tomato garnish looks expensive and certainly would grace any table.The label on my most recent bottle is slightly different to the photo Dooyoo have provided, it now looks even more sophisticated.
It is a very natural tasting sauce which really has the home made flavour. Slightly spicy, but extremely full of that tomato flavour which is intense due to the inclusion of the organic freshly picked tomatoes. If you smell the sauce from the top it is so pungent it sends your taste buds into action and puts your saliva glands on overtime!
A Word About Biona.
This company has been in my list of favorites for some time as they are ethical in every sense of the word. They can tell you where all their products come from, and they ensure that the land used for growing is treated with respect, and that it is farmed sustainably. This benefits the wildlife and preserves the land for future generations to come. Being totally organic nothing they produce has ever seen a chemical or a pesticide in its life, which certainly impresses me.
The product works out at twice the price of a market leader in comparison for a non organic sauce such as Heinz Tomato Ketchup, so it is certainly a consideration if you have a large family to feed who use ketchup with everything. Also despite the high sugar content of traditional sauce I still think it is a healthy product, as cooked tomatoes in any form are a source of lycopene, which has been shown to be a possible aid to the prevention of prostate cancer.
I know when my family were all young and they often brought friends round for tea, I would not have been able to buy this and see almost an entire bottle disappear into their teatime platters, but nowadays I do try to buy organic and to eat less food generally, so it fits my way of life, but fully accept it may not be suitable for everyone and I wouldn't want to criticise Heinz as the product is still a family favourite in so many households.
I think, however this is a healthier alternative for a premium price. It is a rich sauce and one which I really love. The other whole food producers Meridian and Whole Earth also make similar products which are worth looking out for.
Finally it is important to store this in the fridge after opening and I have safely stored mine for a few weeks with no problems. The empty bottle is fully recyclable so the ethics of the product are carried through right to the moment the glass reaches the end of its life.