Based on the overall test findings, Heinz is the top performer with Maggi coming a close second. The value-for-money brand is Weikfield. Maggi is the top performer in the sensory panel tests. All the brands met the minimum requirements specified in the national standards, making them safe for consumption. That said, moderate consumption is advisable since ketchups contain preservatives, salt and vinegar. As per the test findings, Heinz is the only brand that does not contain any preservative. All the tested brands were found to be well within the specified limits for heavy metal (arsenic, lead).
They were also found to be safe in terms of microbiological requirements. All brands were free from added colour. Lycopene, a naturally occurring pigment with beneficial health effects, was found in highest quantity
in Kissan, followed by Heinz and Weikfield.
Lycopene content in tomato ketchup is an indicator of the quality of the tomato content in it. The more the lycopene, the more is the ripened tomato content. Low levels of lycopene indicate the use of either less or unripe quantity of tomato pulp or poor quality of tomatoes.
So far, no requirement for lycopene has been specified in FSS Regulations or BIS.