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Tomato Juice

Proving to be a perfect remedy for today's eat-on-the-run lifestyle, vegetable juices are the perfect fast food. One of them- the tomato juice is prepared from squeezed tomatoes. Interestingly, this juice is more popular as a beverage, either plain or in cocktails such as a Bloody Mary. Assuring to be an excellent natural energizer when feeling exhausted, fresh tomato juice has the similar amount of color pigments as that of carrots. Daily intake of 2 glasses of this great antioxidant is enough to provide you the outstanding benefits of lycopene.

This extremely healthy and tasty juice has really impressive nutritional facts (per 100g): Calories (21 kcal), Protein (0.88g), Carbohydrate (3.92g), Sugar (2.63g), Fat (0.2g). Furthermore, tomato juice gives you as much as 10% of daily dose of Vitamin A, 13% of Vitamin C, 1% of Iron and 1% Calcium.

 

Origin
It was in the year 1965 when the Ohio General Assembly made tomato juice Ohio's official beverage. Adoption of an official beverage coincided with the Tomato Festival held in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. The studies reveal that Ohio Indians and early white settlers did not grow tomatoes originally, owing to the fear that tomatoes were poisonous. However, by the 1840s, numerous state residents planted tomatoes in their gardens, followed by the commercial production in the late 1800s. Thus, in 1965, Ohio was the second leading producer of tomato juice in the United States, ranking behind only California.

Even today, tomato growing and processing remains an important component of Ohio's economy. There comes out to be another incident related to this popular juice. Tomato juice is said to have been served first in 1917 by noted chef Louis Perrin at the French Lick Springs Hotel in southern Indiana when he ran out of orange juice and needed a substitute.
 
 

Favorite Blends
There are more than 70 extremely popular recipes containing "tomato juice". The following are some of the most popular combinations:


 
  • Bloody Mary
  • Alexi's Spicy Bloody Mary
  • Red Beer
  • Algonquin Bloody Mary
  • Virgin Mary
  • Red Eye a la Cocktail
  • Bloody Bull
  • Bite Your Mama Bloody Mary
  • Vampire's Kiss
  • Bloody Virgin Bull
  • Russian Bloody Mary
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Acapulco Clam Digger
  • Ugly
  • Clamato Cocktail
  • Dale's Bloody Mary
  • Bleeding Nazi
  • Jake's Bloody Mary
  • Bloody Demon from Hell
  • Colorado Rattlesnake
  • Canadian Ceasar
  • Bloody O.J.
 
Other than that, some other recipes are counted as:
  • Tomato Juice & Vodka
  • Canning Tomato Juice
  • Easy Tomato Juice
  • Home-Style Tomato Juice
  • Hot or Cold Tomato Cocktail
  • Spicy Tomato Juice
  • Tomato Vegetable Juice
  • Tomato Water.

Production
Being a native to Central, South, and southern North America from Mexico to Argentina, tomato is produced on a vast scale globally in the present times. The word tomato derives from a word in the Nahuatl language, tomatl. A major concern in the production of tomato products is the preservation of pectin. The more pectin is retained, the thicker the final product; thus it is a great concern in the manufacture of "thick" products such as ketchup. There are some tomato products, such as juices and soups, where thickness is not the most sought after quality. Over there, much more emphasis is laid on color and flavor.

Processing
Tomato processing was initiated way back in 1847, when Harrison Woodhull Crosby, the chief gardener at Lafayette College developed a crude method of canning tomatoes. Till the year 1890, whole tomato canning was done by hand.

With improvements in the industry techniques during 1920s, the canning technology progressed and led way to the commercial production of tomato juice. In the late 1960s, mechanical harvesting became a reality, with introduction of better techniques of bulk handling and processing.

In processing for the tomato juice, the hot-break temperatures are set lower (around 150 degrees), and the paste is commonly referred to as Cold Break. Many commercial manufacturers of tomato juice also add salt. Other ingredients are also often added, such as onion powder, garlic powder, and other spices. There are many varieties of this "power juice" available in the market, in the blends of- Regular, Low Sodium, Healthy Request and Organic Tomato Juice.
 

Benefits of Having Tomato Juice

There have been several studies to extract as much information related to the benefits of tomato juice. The major ones are enlisted as:

  • Prevents/Heals Certain Types of Cancer: Going by the National Cancer Institute, people who consume large amounts of tomatoes and tomato products have a significantly decreased risk for prostate, lung, and stomach cancer. There is some evidence that people who consume a lot of tomatoes may also have a lower risk of pancreatic, colorectal, esophageal, oral, breast, and cervical cancers.
  • Good for Coronary Heart Health: Studies have shown that consuming tomatoes and tomato products containing lycopene reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. The tomato helps to dissolve animal fat in foods such as in butter, cheese, eggs, pork, beef, and many deep-fried foods, thereby preventing hardening of the arteries.
  • Reduces high blood pressure (Hypertension): The juice contains rich amounts of potassium, an extremely important component for the kidneys. Potassium was found to reduce high blood pressure.
  • Prevents Diarrhea: It relieves gastric disturbances as heartburn, nausea, vomiting and belching.
  • Soothes Eye Irritation: To relieve bloodshot eyes, having a fresh tomato juice glass as the first thing in the morning is a must. Scientists believe that the Vitamin C and flavonoids in the tomatoes strengthen the blood vessels.
  • Cleanses and revitalizes the skin: Tomato is excellent for cleaning and rejuvenating the skin.
  • Heals Sunburn: Being useful for healing sunburn, tomato juice can be used to transform a painful sunburn into a modest tan.
  • Restores Vitality: Hypoglycemic people (those who have low blood sugar) are beset with constant fatigue and lack of energy. Tomato juice is useful in rebuilding their strength.
  • Supports Liver Health: Russian doctors prescribe tomato juice in the diets of factory workers exposed to toxic chemicals. Being a useful detoxifier because of the presence of chlorine and sulphur, it helps to stimulate the liver. It assists liver in its task as an important filter for body wastes.

Interesting Facts of Tomato Juice

  • In Canada and Mexico, tomato juice is popularly mixed with beer, the concoction is known in Canada as Calgary Red-Eye and in Mexico as Cerveza preparada.
  • Apart from the obvious use as a beverage, tomato juice's mild acidity means that it can be used to clean up old coins or metal saucepans in much the same way as other acidic substances such as Coca Cola are used.
  • Tomato juice is frequently used as a packing liquid for canned tomatoes, though it is sometimes replaced by tomato puree for international commerce due to tariff issues on vegetables vs. sauces.
  • The juice is also thought to be an effective cleaning agent against skunk musk.
  • Tomato juice is a popular, and apparently viable substitute for blood in fiction involving vampires !!
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