Tomato growers accuse processing industry of misleading health claims

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Related tags: Ketchup, Nutrition

British tomato growers this week launched a campaign against what
they believe to be misleading claims made by the processing
industry in connection with...

British tomato growers this week launched a campaign against what they believe to be misleading claims made by the processing industry in connection with the health ingredient, lycopene. According to the tomato growers, food manufacturers maintain that it is better for the consumer to eat processed tomatoes, such as tomato sauce, rather than fresh tomatoes, in order to obtain the full benefits of lycopene. Speaking for the British Tomato Growers​, Gerry Hayman said, "This is fundamentally misleading. To obtain this { the daily 25-30mg intake of lycopene} via, say tomato sauce, you would need to consume an entire 200ml bottle together with the added salt and sugars. Whereas six tomatoes will provide 30g of lycopenewith all the added benefits of vitamin C and E and fibre, often devalued or entirely lost in processing."​ Hayman added that the growers had complained to the Heinz funded Lycopene​ project asking them to put the record straight, but had not received a response. The Lycopene Project is a global initiative, funded by HJ Heinz, to identify and support further research into the health benefits of lycopene. Leading nutritionist and dietician Jane Griffin said that although lycopene is present in higher concentrations in processed tomatoes "the amount of processed tomatoes you would need to consume to reach 30 mg of lycopene would be substantial. The British tomato growers do have apoint."

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