Tomatoes are important part of Nigerian diet, they are not only a good sources of Vitamin A and C but also a good sources of other vitamins and minerals. Tomatoes contain higher levels of minerals such Phosphorus and Potassium; they also contain folate and high levels of the antioxidants beta-carotene and lycopene. One medium tomato have 552 unit of beta carotene and 3,165 unit of lycopene which can help boost the immune system by fighting the damaging effects of substances called free radicals . Tomatoes contain important nutrients such as niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that are associated with the reduction of heart disease. One study showed that women who eat 7 to 10 servings of tomatoes products per week had a 29% lower risk of cardio-vascular diseases than women who consumed less than a serving and a half of tomatoes products each week .
Tomatoes are a highly perishable food crop so it is usually consumed immediately after harvest. In the event that consumption does not take place after harvest there is a need to preserve so that spoilage does not occur
One of the ways of preserving tomatoes beside drying and refrigeration is through heat treatment by stewing it and storing the paste in and air tight containers for as long as 12months.
The following steps shows the processes involved.
1. The first thing to do is to separate the bad and the unripe tomatoes from the good and ripe ones
2. Wash the good tomatoes thoroughly with good and clean water to remove dirts and unwanted particles
3. Grind the tomatoes with the aid of the grinding machine into a fine paste
4. Boil the paste for about 1hr until the juice is properly boiled. As the paste is boiling add some quantity of salt
5. Sieve excess water from the paste. The filtrate i.e. the filtered water can be consumed as tomato juice.
6. Wash the anaerobic containers and dry them in the sun
7. Fill the anaerobic containers with the tomato juice
8. Cover the containers and make sure it is air tight.
9. Get a big pot
10. Put some quantity of water
11. Put some sacks into the water in the pot:- the sack is to prevent the anaerobic containers from direct contact with the body of the heating pot
12. Arrange the containers in the pot
13. Heat the pot for about 45minutes. Make sure the content boils very well.
14. Bring the pot down from the fire and allow to cool
15. Observe the lids of the storage container as the content cool down. A small depression is formed.
WATCH A VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE TOMATOPASTE