Tomato paste is consumed in many homes. It is a good source of lycopene and vitamin C. These are antioxidants which fight against free radicals and oxidative stress. It had been reported that tomato pastes imported into Nigeria were often substandard and adulterated with starch, but these claims have not been supported using evidence based study. The aim of the study was to assess the quality of different tomato brands made in Nigeria and those imported into the country using biochemical parameters. Twenty eight different tomato products were identified in the market. Of these numbers, sixteen were randomly selected. Five tins and sachets each of these products were purchased respectively and used for analyses. All the products sampled were registered with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control. There were significant differences in moisture, Lycopene, total sugar, starch, vitamin C and acidity among all products (P<0.05). Of all the tin tomato products analyzed, 14 (87.5%) contained sugar as against 2 (12.5%) which were sugar- free and 13 (81.25%) contained starch as against 3 (18.75%) which were starch- free. The starch contained in the tomato brands was not declared in over 75% of the products. The biochemical contents of tomato brand made in Nigeria were of comparable quality with those made in US and Italy (P>0.05). However, tomato brands imported from China were significantly higher in total sugar and starch, but significantly lower in lycopene (P< 0.05). Variations in content were observed between tin and sachet of the same brand and between different batches of the same product. This study provides scientific evidence that tomato products made in Nigeria are better in biochemical quality than products imported from China. The need to patronize and support local manufacturers while tightening regulatory and registration processes of products imported into the country becomes imperative.
Key words: Tomato, quality assurance, biochemical analysis, Free radicals, oxidative stress, antioxidants.
Copyright © 2021 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0