A study of ketchup brands in Mexico has revealed that most contain more sugar than tomato, according to the federal consumer protection agency Profeco.
Federal law requires that ketchup contain at least 12% total tomato solids, or 44.4% tomatoes, and not to contain thickeners, colorants or preservatives.
Published in the November issue of the magazine El Consumidor, the Profeco study found that ketchup brands Heinz, La Costeña, Clemente Jacques and Embasa all contained over 40% high-fructose corn syrup.
Embasa ketchup, made by Herdez, was found to contain 55% corn syrup. La Costeña ketchup was 58% sugar, of which 42% came from corn syrup. Heinz and Clemente Jacques both contained 42% syrup.
“The consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in Mexico began with the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement,” said Profeco. “With that, various products containing the sweetener began to be sold.”
The economics of food production have driven its use throughout Mexico’s food supply.
“One of the main reasons the food industry substitutes cane sugar with corn syrup is because of its low cost,” Profeco said.
Although the cost of corn syrup is low, the cost in terms of public health has been high. In November 2017, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported that Mexico was a world leader in combined overweight and obesity rates.
Other products that contain high amounts of the corn syrup are Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Bimbo bread, Ruffles potato chips, Oreo cookies, Jumex juices, Karo syrup and Barritas Marinela fruit bars, among many others.
Source: El Financiero (sp)