Ketchup is essentially a food sauce, used as an additive with many foods to enhance their flavor. It is quintessentially made from tomato, vinegar and spices; the quantities of which vary according to the type of the ketchup.

Ketchup History

The word "Ketchup" is actually Chinese in origin, where the latter mixed together pickled fish and spices and called it "ke-chiap". It later evolved into the English word "ketchup".

Ketchup has grown in popularity ever since the rise in fast-food culture, where it is used as a necessary condiment with fries and burgers. In many cases, if ketchup is not served with fries, it is seen as terribly inconvenient. Almost everyone dips a fry into ketchup before eating it. It is unusual if you do not get a ketchup sachet with a burger or French fries from any fast food vendor these days. It is usually distributed in small sashets that can be easily twisted and opened manually. Even in restaurants, ketchup is usually already placed on the table, even before the food is served. It has also grown into an essential part of the home-cooked meals. Nowadays, many companies have come up with their own brands of ketchup, each claiming to possess the best combination of ingredients and flavor. This kind of branding has increased the price of ketchup, and has turned it into a valuable commodity. Massive advertising is done, trying to convey to people the need of using ketchup, without which the food is flavorless and not enjoyable. Many companies have innovated ways to provide ketchup in packages that allow for ketchup to be easily squeezed out on to a plate, without the hassle of trying to open the cap of a bottle, which often results in injuring yourself. Some companies also add colorings to ketchup, so that it is not just the traditional red, but consists of a varied range of colors like blue, orange and green etc.

Ketchup primarily offers the health benefits of the ingredients it contains. If it is made from tomato, it definitely offers all the benefits of a tomato. It has high antioxidant content, and so can prevent cancer in many ways. If the brand is organic i.e. does not possess any additives or is not genetically modified, it possesses an even greater number of antioxidants. The high sugar or salt content in a sauce, however, often decrease the nutritional value possessed by the ingredients. Although the exact quantity varies, ketchup made with tomato, is a rich source of carbohydrates.
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