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Is Tomato Ketchup Vegan?

Are you a vegan looking to enjoy some Tomato ketchup, but not sure whether you can do so? Well, I spent some time researching the ingredients, where they derive from, and how its made to find out for good. Here is what you need to know.

So, is tomato ketchup Vegan? Most brands and recipes of tomato ketchup are vegan. This includes the Heinz brand which is certified vegan-friendly. However, some brands are not considered vegan-friendly due to the processing methods of the sugar component.

It’s a little tricky, as you can see.

So, this does mean that you cannot be entirely certain, 100% of the time.

And you are going to need to check labels, contact manufacturers, and just be a bit mindful.

But why is this the case – let’s find out!

What Is Tomato Ketchup Made Of?

Most brands, or recipes, of tomato ketchup use tomatoes, vinegar, salt, spices, and a sweetener in their sauce. Often the sweetener is either sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.

For instance, if we take a look at the popular and most widely recognized tomato ketchup brand, Heinz, we can see the ingredient list is as follows:

Tomatoes (148g per 100g Tomato Ketchup, Spirit Vinegar, Sugar, Salt, Spice and Herb Extracts (Contains Celery), Spice

So as you can see, very similar to the traditional recipe.

And not many ingredients at all for that matter.

But as with any condiment, there are several different brands available.

And not all follow the recipe so closely or use a slightly alternative ingredient list.

Taking the Del Monte tomato ketchup, for example. Here is the ingredient list:

Tomato Concentrate, High Fructose Corn Syrup and Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Natural Flavor, Onion Powder, Spice, Garlic Powder..

No sugar, onion, and garlic powder – a little different as you can see.

So, while tomato ketchup brands and recipes are somewhat similar and do typically use many of the same ingredients, there are differences.

And that’s important for knowing whether a particular sauce is vegan, or not.

Why Are Some Brands Of Tomato Ketchup Not Vegan?

Some brands of tomato ketchup are not vegan due to the way their ingredients are sourced or manufactured.

And perhaps the most important ingredient that dictates whether the sauce is vegan or not is the type of sugar that is used.

Interestingly, not all sugar is vegan.

That’s because most sugar is deplored and filtered through animal bone char.

Sounds kind of disgusting right, but it’s true.

At least according to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) – the non-profit organization I am sure you are already aware of.

Anyway, as you can imagine, animal bone char is far from vegan.

Now, not all sugar goes through this processing method.

Not all brands and companies will use it.

Hence, some sugar (and therefore brands of tomato ketchup) will naturally be vegan-friendly whereas others cannot be.

The tricky thing is, it’s difficult to know and tell which companies use such practices.

Unless they are outwardly stating or marketing as such.

As is the case with Heinz, who is clear to state that they are in fact, vegan-friendly.

You’ll see the symbol directly on the bottle or even over on the product page on their website.

So that’s the first check you need to do.

Check the bottle or check in with the manufacturer.

In fact, it’s probably best you do the latter as most brands will not outwardly market their tomato ketchup as vegan even if it is!

Brands Of Tomato Ketchup That Are Vegan

There are several brands of tomato ketchup that are vegan. Perhaps the most notable are:

  • Heinz Tomato Ketchu ,
  • Hunt’s Classic Tomato Ketchup 
  • Target’s Market Pantry Tomato Sauce,
  • Target’s Organic Simply Balanced,
  • Annie’s Natural Organic Ketchup
  • Fody Foods Vegan Tomato Ketchup
  • Organicville Organic Ketchup
  • The Skinny Food Co Tomato Ketchup
  • Tessemae’s Organic Ketchup
  • Primal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Ketchup
  • 365 Everyday Value Organic Tomato Ketchup
  • Sir Kensington’s Ketchup
  • Veg’d Organics Vegan All-Natural Ketchup
  • True Made Foods Ketchup
  • Westbrae Natural Organic Unsweetened Ketchup

The good news is you can get vegan ketchup from most grocery stores – in the vegan section.

Alternatively, you can always shop online on sites like Amazon.

In fact, this particular Amazon search even has filtered on only vegan-certified brands to appear.

Finally

Tomato Ketchup is vegan – most of the time.

But not all of the time.

It’s important to distinguish and be aware of this.

You do need to be mindful and careful.

It’s important that you do your research before you buy any old brand, and if you’re not sure, then it’s probably best to avoid it.

Especially if you are eating out or cannot get a glimpse of the bottle.

It is frustrating but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Or you can always ask and inquire with the manufacturer, or what brand the restaurant is using/serving.

There is always that.