Results from a research programme, organised and sponsored by The Tomato Foundation, show that many everyday tomato products immediately qualify for 4 x EFSA health claims.
The research was carried out at the laboratories of SSICA (Stazione Sperimentale Per L'Industria Conserve Alimentari) in Parma, Italy earlier this year, looking at a list of 39 separate compounds. The Foundation’s global collaboration included 32 separate entities, companies and organisations. Over 100 factory samples, each in triplicate, were tested from 14 countries around the world. Samples were taken from all categories of tomato products including cold break and hot break tomato paste and a broad range of everyday popular consumer tomato products like ready pasta sauces, passata, puree and juice.
This is the first time that tomato products have qualified for EFSA health claims without the need for further research or human trials. For products that have been certified, these health claims can be used right now. A fifth EFSA health claim is being worked on for optimised blood flow and anti-thrombotic function. The early results from the Tomato Foundation research show high levels of the compounds in tomato products known to improve blood flow.
Tomato Foundation founder, David Sutherland stated “The results are very strong and clearly show high concentrations of the compounds that reduce blood platelet aggregation in the same way Aspirin does, but without the nasty side effects.”
The Tomato Foundation aims to continue the research towards a fifth EFSA health claim for improved blood flow next year and is seeking broader food industry collaboration and economic support from the European Commission. Further reporting will be provided as this study continues.