What To Buy: Tomatoes Without Citric Acid

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Trying to find tomatoes, jarred or canned, without citric acid in the supermarket can be frustrating. Luckily, there are actually quite a few brands available that are citric acid-free. Keep reading for the complete list.

What is Citric Acid?

Citric acid is a food additive used to raise the acidity in food to help preserve it and protect against bacterial growth.

Why is citric acid only sometimes in canned tomatoes?

On their own, tomatoes are acidic enough to do without citric acid, but when brands water down their tomatoes, the acidity is compromised. If canned or jarred tomatoes have citric acid, you’re probably getting a lower-quality, watered-down product.

Canned Tomatoes Without Citric Acid

Jarred Tomatoes Without Citric Acid

Tomato Paste Without Citric Acid

Does citric acid change the taste of canned tomatoes?

No, citric acid does not change the taste of canned tomatoes. Citric acid is a flavorless food additive that just adjusts the pH of a product.

How do you make canned tomatoes less acidic?

You can make canned tomatoes taste less acidic by adding sugar, baking soda, and even fresh carrots when cooking them. Baking soda changes the pH, while sugar and carrots are sweet so they counter the acidic flavor.

Do stewed tomatoes have less acid?

Cooking tomatoes actually makes them taste more acidic than fresh tomato. The longer tomatoes are cooked, the more acidic, they will be.

What are the least acidic canned tomatoes?

The least acidic canned tomatoes tend to be San Marzano tomatoes, which are known for their sweetness. San Marzano tomatoes are so beloved by chefs and home cooks alike that they are a special DOP (Denominazione d’ Origine Protetta) or Protected Designation of Origin product. This means that the government has strict guidelines to trace the authenticity of the product, to ensure that no one tries to pass off lesser tomatoes with a San Marzano label. Though San Marzano tomatoes are usually reliably sweet, the acidity of tomatoes does vary from tomato to tomato.

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