Tomato is by far African most consumed vegetable, it is either eaten raw or in a processed form. And are used mostly in the preparation of stew, soup, sauce, porridge and in garnishing of foods and meat. We (as a continent) tend to consume tomatoes more than it is produced. Most of the tomatoes we consumed (tomato paste) is from China who are now the major exporters of tomatoes in the world.
Nigeria which is the number 14th producers of tomatoes in the world are also the number one importers of tomatoes in the world. They are brought in tins; satchet, as purees etc. Due to the perishable nature of tomatoes more than 40% of tomatoes produced is wasted on a yearly basis in our country.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE
In other to salvage this situation, there is need for all to find a way of preserve and store tomatoes for use during off peak season. To achieve this, tomatoes should be processed into tomato paste and powder during the time of surplus. Tomatoes can be purchased in a large quantity at a cheaper price during dry season. During raining season tomatoes becomes very costly.
Smart fellows can turn this into a money making venture; by giving a solid packaging to it. With good marketing strategy, success can be achieved. In this post you will learn how to produced tomato paste and powder.
MATERIALS NEEDED FOR TOMATO PASTE
If you want your tomato paste to be reddish you can add tartashi. The same thing with pepper in case you want to make it to be like tomapep.
Source of fire
Jars or similar containers
Source for used jars because you may likely not see where to buy new ones since they are not produced in Nigeria. Mayonnaise jar with metal lid, Ketchup , salad cream, containers can also be used.
Sterilize the jars first by washing and boiling them in a clean water. Leave them to air dry in a covered bowl so as to kill any bacteria that was left.
Wash and boil the tomatoes until the water reduces considerably you can add ginger or garlic into it. Some people grind them fresh without boiling whichever way you chose, the end result will be the same. Why boiling is prefered is because;
It makes it easy and fast to grind
Helps to serve money (it is economical) because you would spend little money to grind commercially. And nothing when doing the grinding yourself.
You can use blender to grind the tomatoes, no matter how large the quantity is.
Incase, you don’t want to boil before grinding then you have to wash and carry the tomatoes to bulk grinders. After the grinding pour it into a bigger pot and boil until the water inside is completely dried. This process needs patience because it would take a longer time.
Pour the ground tomatoes into a big pot and boil until the water is completely dried and the tomatoes turns to paste. Don’t let it burn. This is because if you allow any small burnt it would spoil the taste of the tomato paste.
Allow it to cold (completely) before scooping into jars or any container of your choice but it should be airtight.
Seal the jar properly with the cap or cover such that air cannot enter.
Put the jars into a big pot and pour water into it until they are submerged in the water.
Place the pot on fire and allow to boil for about 100°C and above. You can boil for 15 more minutes after reaching 100° C. Bring the pot down and allow the paste and the container to cold after which you pack them into a carton and keep in a cold dry place.
The reason for boiling the jar is to cover the vacuum where bacteria that causes decomposition lives. You can pour a little vegetable oil on top of the tomato paste in the jar so as to make it airtight and bacteria free.
Don’t worry about the jar wether it will break or not in as much as it is elastic in nature it won’t break.
Also do not disturb yourself in putting them in the refrigerator because it doesn’t matter
The jar to be used should not have any wound or damaged. But should be able to seal completely without leaving room for air to go in. Jars that were opened with bare hands are recommendable.
Once you opened the container of the preserved tomatoes, make sure you use all of it or put the remaining in a refrigerator. Because when the tomato paste is exposed to air it would develop damp even if you cord it back.
HOW TO PREPARE TOMATO POWDER
This will be most successful during dry season when the sunlight intensity is very high. Of course this is also the time tomatoes are the cheapest in the market.
Racket or material for spreading things
Source of heat
Bags or containers
Wash the tomatoes and squeeze water out from them
Spread them outside in a rack where sun can heat them directly. Keep turning them around for a uniform drying. Take them inside in the night to avoid moisture entering them again. Bring them out again in the daytime and dry. Keep doing this until the are completely dried.
If you don’t want to powder them pmmediately; put them in a sack bag and store in a cold dry place. It will last for as long as it is ready for use.
But if you want tomatoes powder. Take the dried tomatoes and grind them to powder
Sieve to remove particles (most times tomatoes back doesn’t grind properly because they are hard)
Package for sell or store in an airtight container.
Some people don’t use the peel. You can remove the back and use it for something else. Whichever one you chose to do is okay provided you get tomatoes powder at the end of the day.
You can increase the shelf life by adding ginger powder. Ginger has been known over the years as a source of preservative apart from adding flavour to food.
Process tomatoes into paste and powder by first of all selling to your family members, friends, neighbours, colleagues etc.
Advertise by word of mouth, use other available advertisement portals.
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