Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What if? A better, more flavorful ketchup

What if? A better, more flavorful ketchup

Have you ever been sitting idly and reading something you never thought you would?

I was reading the label of a ketchup bottle. Why? Because I was contemplating whether I wanted to use it or not. What I found as the ingredient list from the world's largest retailer was the following: "water, tomatoe paste, high fructose corn syrup, vinegar, corn syrup, salt, onion powder, spice, natural flavoring."

And I thought, What if? I invented a more flavorful ketchup?

I looked again and therre was NO vitamin C; NO calcium; NO iron in this condiment. Also, there was a sodium/potassium imbalance. There were 160 mg of sodium and only 50 mg of potassium. We need potassium in balance with sodium. Not enough potassium and the cells get too much sodium and fluid inside. People sometimes refer to this as "I'm retaining water."

I already knew that tomatoes have their own vitamin C. What happened to it? And What if? I could make a ketchup that used a process to retain the vitamin C that tomatoes already have?

What if? I could use ingredients which naturally contained iron to keep our blood and bone marrow healthy and our muscles strong.

What if? I could add iron to keep our blood and bone marrow healthy andour muscles strong?

What if? it could also contain calcium to keep our bones strong and our muscles active?

What if? it could also contain a beneficial amount of potassium, an essential ingredient also for a healthy heart.

What if? I could leave out the high fructose corn syrup altogether?

So that is what I did.

I started with tomatoes cooked thick with their vitamin C still present. Then I left out the high-fructose corn syrup and added something much more flavorful, all natural. Something known for centuries but often overlooked today because it was favored by the rural poor. I found this ingredient helped greatly to reduce the vinegary taste. This ingredient was also thicker than corn syrup. And because I started with cooked tomatoes instead of water, this has very much body and a great deal more taste.

I compiled the nutritional information from the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Center website. The website is here:

So, I computed what a two-ounce serving of this ketchup would contain.

Vitamin C 8 mg, which we use to make collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body because it forms bone, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin and the tiny fibrils between layers of tissue.

Iron 1.24 mg , which we use for myoglobin, found inour muscles and hemoglobin, which transports oxygen infrom our lungs and carbon dioxide from our blood out through our lungs.

Magnesium, 10.2 mg, ehich is used in enzymes and helps with producing energy in our cells, and helps regulate levels ofother improtant nutrients.

Phosphorous 20 mg, is essential to every living cell of our body. Did you know the whole backbone of our genetic code, our DNA, is made of sugar and phosphate. Also our RNA, which is copied from our genetic code, and governs the translation of that message into proteins. Also, there is a great energy molecule called ATP which has three phosphates on it.

Potassium, 163 mg, which helps govern fluid levels by the sodium/potassium pump. Your cells pump three sodiums out for every teo potassium it pumps in. Potassium also helps regulate the heart beat.

I added losts of micro-nutrients as well.

We need zinc for health. Our DNA has an interesting transscritopn factor called the "zinc-finger" which is important and helps our DNA in the transcription process, which ishow our bodies reead out genes.

Copper is need for numerous things including ceruloplasmin (also called ferroxidase I) which safely carries iron around in the blood for us.

Manganese is needed for many enzymes, including oxidoreductase, which transports electrons around in our cells. The transfer of elctrons from one biomolecule to another makes amazing chemical transformations happen within us all the time.

Selenium functions as a cofactor (helper) in functioning of the thyroid gland and in every cell that uses the thyroid hormone.

The USDA tracks all of these nutrients and more.

I enjoyed reinventing ketchup. It tastes a lot better because it has more flavor. Now it also contributes to our daily nutrition.

If you think of a name for it, please let me know.

So the next time you are at that idle moment, let yourself think What if?

You may have the answer that could contribute to our Unlimited Future.

And if you are a business-type and would like to take this to production, please contact me at

Kathy Hilsinger Walliser, BS, MS HCAD
Dominion Scholar in Biomedicine

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