FAQ: "Could you please let us know about the Tomato Paste Score by ColorFlex EZ Tomato? According to USDA grading of tomato paste, score 45-50 is grade A. If the score is over 50, how should you interpret the score? Is it A+?
One of our customer uses ColorFlex EZ Tomato as it meets USDA standard. Now they got score over 50 and would like your comments."
It is possible to get Tomato Scores > 50 but typically it is in the low 50+ such as 51 - 53. It would be unusual to get > 55.
Instrumental measurement of Tomato Scores, such as TPS (Tomato Paste Score), quantifies the degree of visual redness in the product where "redder is better" quality in processed tomato products (paste/puree, sauce, catsup and juice).
Increased redness suggests a higher lycopene content in the sample. Lycopene is a major carotenoid pigment and phytochemical found in tomatoes and processed tomato products.
I am not sure you could go so far as to rate the USDA grade of this tomato paste as "A+" as the USDA Grades only go up to "A". However, a TPS tomato paste score above 50 suggests that the tomato paste sample has a high lycopene content and is of good color quality.
Visually, your customer should be able to look at the tomato paste product and note that it is a good, rich red color. Also, they should be able to measure their tomato tile that comes with the ColorFlex EZ Tomato meter and get the assigned Hunter L, a, b C/2 values for the Tomato Tile read as a sample. This assures that the instrument is working well.
Tomato paste made from typical ripe California field tomatoes will typically be above a 45 (USDA Grade A/B color rating) but under 50. However, ripe tomatoes grown in Arizona where they have more heat and sunshine can result in tomato paste scores just over 50.
Sometimes 50+ tomato product is blended with barely 45 tomato product to improve the overall color quality and lycopene content.
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