March 23, 2015

Struth! What to do with two million tonnes of tomatoes

THE HJ Heinz company uses 2,000,000 tonnes of tomatoes
annually in its sauces, baked beans and other products. (HJHeinzCo)

IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of  travel, David Ellis says technologists at the HJ Heinz company say that no matter where in the world you travel, when held properly, and that's at a 45 degree angle, tomato sauce should flow from their bottles at a recommended  .045kph.

How they came to this figure, and more importantly why, we've no idea. But we do know that if you want it to flow faster, the trick is to repeatedly lightly tap the neck of the bottle with your knuckle where it has the number 57 – something the folk at Heinz say only around 11 per cent of customers appear to know about.

All this is part of being able to justifiably claim to be somewhat expert in the subject of tomato sauce: the company sells 650,000,000 bottles of the stuff (ketchup as the Americans call it) every year… and a further 11 billion single-serve sachets, which is the equivalent of 1.5 sachets for every person on earth.

And to do it, it's the world's biggest user of tomatoes, processing two million tonnes annually, and having its own nurseries in which it produces six billion seeds a year of a unique, disease-resistant and especially-textured tomato for distribution to contract growers for its sauces, baked beans and other products.

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