- Food and Cooking
Prego Tomato Sauce Label Ingredients
Are you trying to save money by eating spaghetti at home, rather than dining out at restaurants like Olive Garden and Buca di Beppo? If you are, you will probably be using jarred tomato sauce, rather than making your own homemade tomato sauce. Prego, a brand of tomato sauce manufactured by Campbell's, describes its Classic Italian line of sauces as having "sweet tomato and savory Italian seasonings you can taste in every bite." The ingredients in Prego's traditional pasta sauce consist of tomato puree, diced tomatoes, corn syrup, vegetable oil, and spices.
While Prego lists tomato puree as the first ingredient on its label,
meaning that it is the main ingredient in the sauce, the term "tomato
puree" as used on the Prego label does not mean pureed tomatoes.
Prego's tomato puree is a reconstituted tomato product that is made from
tomato paste that has been thinned out to puree consistency with water.
Tomato paste is made from the concentrated tomato juice that is left after tomatoes are cooked and the skin, seeds and tomato pulp are removed.
While the main ingredient in Prego is the tomato puree made from tomato paste, the second ingredient on the label is diced tomatoes. The diced tomatoes add flavor, body, and texture to the sauce. Campbell's maintains that a serving of Prego provides the equivalent of 3/4 cup of vegetables. This does not mean that there are 3/4 cup of diced tomatoes in each serving, only that the nutrients in a serving are equivalent to the nutrients provided by 3/4 cup of vegetables.
Unlike homemade tomato sauce, which usually does not have sugar added, Prego's Traditional Pasta sauce includes corn syrup. Corn syrup consists of corn starch which has been processed with an enzyme to convert the starch to liquid glucose. Corn syrup generally contains about 93 to 96 percent glucose. Ordinary table sugar consists of sucrose, a compound that can be broken down to produce equal parts of glucose and fructose.
Prego lists vegetable oil on the label after corn syrup. This means that there is less vegetable oil by volume in a serving of Prego than there is corn syrup. The exact oil used varies by batch. Prego's Traditional Pasta Sauce indicates that the oil could be corn, cottonseed or canola oil or a mixture of one or more of those oils. All three oils are polyunsaturated oils.
Prego sauce includes salt, onion powder, basil, oregano, dehydrated garlic, citric acid and dehydrated parsley. The label also lists two other seasonings: "other spices" and "spice extract." The generic grouping allows the company to keep some of the Prego ingredients a trade secret.