How The World-Famous Condiment Tomato Ketchup Is Made

Tomato ketchup is one of the world's

most popular condiments,

and it can be found

in many households around the world.

We have it with burgers,

fries, and just about anything

that we can think of to

complement our meals.

Heinz is one of the

market leaders in ketchup,

selling over 650 million

bottles of ketchup

around the world every year.

We visited its European

factory in the Netherlands

to see how the world-famous

condiment is made.

Danielle Traa: Here in

Elst, we make sauces

for the Kraft Heinz company.

Our main product is ketchup.

That's 70% of what we do.

We make about 1.8 million bottles a day,

and that relates to about

175,000 tonnes of ketchup a year.

Narrator: The ketchup-making

process starts here,

where crates of tomato paste

weighing 1,300 kilograms

are transported from the Heinz warehouse

using automated forklifts.

The crates are opened and

then go to the paste dumper,

where these huge rolling pins

squeeze the paste out of the package.

After the paste has been extracted,

it sits in a storage bin,

where it's mixed with water

to give it a smoother consistency.

This makes it easier to

transport to the storage tank,

where it will sit until moving

on to the ketchup kitchen.

Traa: This is our ketchup

kitchen, and this is where

we actually produce the tomato ketchup.

Ketchup is made of five ingredients:

sugar, vinegar, tomato paste,

brine, and secret spices.

The spices are dosed by hand.

We dose everything, we mix it,

and afterwards, it goes into our process.

The process is mainly

about heating the ketchup

and then cooling it down.

Afterwards, we fill it into the bottles.

Narrator: But before any

ketchup can be shipped,

each batch must be rigorously tested

through this contraption,

which Heinz calls the "quantifier."

Traa: This is our quantifier.

It's a method where we measure viscosity

of our Heinz tomato ketchup.

It's a methodology that we use

in all our ketchup factories,

so that we compare the ketchup quality

for all the factories.

What we do is we put a

certain amount of ketchup

inside the quantifier, we release it,

and we measure how fast it

has traveled after 10 seconds.

10.5, within range.

It's a special method designed by Heinz.

The ketchup cannot move

faster than 0.028 mph.

If it has traveled too far,

we have to block it, cannot sell it.

If it's within the

range, we can release it.

It's for the empty bottles.

They go into the filler.

We have 70 filling hats.

It's a filler that works by weight.

So, a bottle comes in,

we check the weight of the empty bottle,

we fill it to the proper

weight with ketchup,

and then we check again if we

reached the filling weight.

The boxes with caps are

emptied at a bottom floor

by the operator and transported upstairs.

Upstairs, we make sure the caps are

put in the right position and

go to a single row of caps

so that we can position them properly

on the bottle in the filling machine.

And for this bottle, we have three labels.

So, we have a neck label, a

back label, and a front label.

These labels are self-adhesive,

so we don't need any glue for it.

After the labeler, we go to a tray packer,

where we get a tray from the bottom.

We fold it around the bottles.

After that, put a shrink wrap around it

and make sure the bottles are

tight and packed in the tray.

From the tray packer,

we go to the palletizer,

where a robot puts the

trays in the right position.

And from the right position, we make layer

for layer on the pallet.

After that, we put a

shrink-wrap around it.

Narrator: Now that we've seen how its

iconic ketchup is made,

how did Heinz become the

prominent brand it is today?

Heinz was founded in Pittsburgh in 1869

by a 25-year-old named Henry John Heinz,

who began his business by selling

his mother's horseradish recipe.

Over the years, Heinz

expanded his catalog,

selling pickles, vinegar, and

eventually tomato ketchup,

which launched in 1876.

It was a roaring success, and in 1886,

the company began shipping

the sauce to the UK.

Following the overwhelming

popularity of Heinz ketchup,

Heinz started producing

13 million bottles a year

and exporting them all over the world.

Which explains why you're never too far

from a bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup.