Tomato Color Measurement

Tomatoes are bred and selected for traits important to their specialized growing, harvesting, processing and consumption requirements, which also dictate their flavors, textures and other characteristics. Color, an important measurement parameter in tomato products, is closely related to quality and taste. In fact, the US Dept. of Agriculture has well-defined indices that are used to grade processed tomato products around the world. HunterLab was the first company to receive USDA approval for the instrumental evaluation of tomato color. In fact, it is a HunterLab instrument that is used by the University of California-Davis to evaluate all tomato color measurement standards and as the reference against which all other instruments are measured. Our many valued customers include Heinz, Cargill, ConAgra Foods, Campbell’s, Pacific Coast Producers, Kagome, Ingomar Packing and Del Monte.

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Common tomato products requiring tight color control include Tomato Paste, Puree, Sauce, Catsup and Juice.  It is important when measuring the color of these products that the instrument chosen meets the requirements in accordance with USDA recommendations for the instrumental color measurement of tomato products and in accordance with the U.S. standards for grades of these products, and, as recommended by the USDA, is traceable to the UC Davis master standard.

Most HunterLab spectrophotometers have the versatility to accommodate most applications of color measurement. However, based on 60+ years of experience and a thorough understanding of our customers? needs and product use, these particular instruments are most suited for this industry application:


ColorFlex EZ (45°/0° Geometry, Reflectance, 400-700 nm)
40% of our customers prefer this instrument because of its compact design and integrated display, so does not require a PC and external software.

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