Tomato powder's bright red to deep orange hue makes it visually arresting. Its rich and aromatic aroma is also show-stopping. It is reminiscent of ripe, garden-fresh tomatoe, though more intense and concentrated. The taste has the tangy acidity and slight sweetness that one would expect from a juicy tomato, but even more heightened.
Tomato powder is featured in many spice blends. It finds its way into everything from homemade barbecue rubs to the complex orchestration of flavors in curry powders. Its intense flavor allows for a more concentrated tomato punch, minus the liquidity that canned or fresh tomatoes would add. This makes it ideal for dry seasoning mixes or even as an innovative rimming salt for cocktail glasses.
Tomato powder can also be used as a quick substitute for tomato paste, sauce, or even canned tomatoes in various recipes. A couple of tablespoons reconstituted in water can miraculously transform into a paste, or the powder can be directly added to stews and soups for enhanced flavor and color.
Its concentrated form means that a little goes a long way. Additionally, it has a long shelf life, providing a convenient and lasting alternative to perishable fresh tomatoes or bulky cans. It's also an option for those who may not have access to fresh produce year-round.
Tomatoes, silicon dioxide (for anti-caking)
Concentrated, tangy-sweet tomato flavor
Rich and intensely tomato-like
Vibrant red to deep orange hue
Clumps easily when it contacts moisture; important to store it in a cool, dry place
Basil, oregano, garlic, and paprika
Substitute for tomato paste, sauce, or canned tomatoes
Ideal for spice blends, quick sauces, and dry seasoning mixes
It's worth noting that tomato powder is also valuable in situations where weight and storage space are concerns, as it is lightweight and has a long shelf life when stored properly. Think: camping.
The exact origins of tomato powder are somewhat elusive, but it is a relatively modern invention compared to tomato paste. The development of food dehydration and powdering techniques made it possible to produce tomato powder, likely sometime in the 20th century. These technologies, which include drum drying and spray drying, allowed manufacturers to create a product with a long shelf life that retained much of the tomato's original flavor and nutrients.
Tomato powder gained traction as a convenient, space-saving alternative to fresh tomatoes and their canned counterparts. It became popular not just in households but also in commercial food production, used in everything from spice blends to packaged soups.