Difference Between Tomato Sauce and Ketchup

Tomato sauce and ketchup are used as dipping and condiments respectively. Condiments are served with food items that are eaten hot. These sauce and condiments are either added to the dish while making it or added when the dish is served.


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Condiments give flavor to the food and in some cases texture. Each person has their likes and dislikes for condiments and consumes them accordingly.

Tomato Sauce vs Ketchup

Ketchup contains added sugar, vinegar, and spices, such as onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika, to enhance its flavor. Tomato sauce may contain additional ingredients such as herbs, spices, or vegetables, but it generally does not contain added sugar. It is similar to freshly ground tomatoes.

Tomato Sauce vs Ketchup

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Tomato sauce must be served hot. This term is used to refer to all the types of sauces made from tomatoes. They are given along with the main dish.

They are a part of the dish and not condiments. They go well with meat and vegetable dishes. They act as a flavoring base for pasta and salsa dishes.

The most famous table condiment consumed by people all over the world is ketchup. Ketchup is made from tomatoes. Ketchup is always eaten cold and is refrigerated.

Initially, the recipe included mushrooms, egg whites, grapes, walnut, and mussels. But, now ketchup is made with tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and seasoning. The spices and seasoning differ and thus change the flavor.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTomato SauceKetchup
Origin Mexico United Kingdom
RoleFlavor enhancerCondiment
Ingredients Tomato, Spices, Oil, SaltTomato, Vinegar, Sugar, Salt, Spices
ServingServed HotServed Cold
Sugar contentDoes not usually contain sugar Contains sugar

What is Tomato Sauce?

Tomato sauce is believed to be originated in Mexico. The first inscriptions about tomato sauce say about the type of sauce prepared and sold in the markets of Mexico.

An Italian cookbook published in 1790 states the use of tomato sauce in Pasta. Tomatoes are the ideal vegetable to make the sauce because they are juicy and rich in flavor.

Tomato sauce can be made simply by cooking chopped tomatoes with olive oil. This must be simmered and spices and seasoning can be added.

Tomato seeds are removed to give an appealing look and the peel can be removed if the sauce required must be smooth in texture. This simple sauce can be used to enhance the taste of pasta.

Garlic, Onion, Oregano, Chilli, Black pepper, and Parsley are added to give extra flavor. Garlic and Onion are added before adding tomato.

The recipe and flavor of tomato sauce differ in every country. There are many varieties of tomato sauce depending on the country it is made. The Mexican tomato sauce is the ancient one on the list.

Italian tomato sauces include puttanesca, arrabbiata, and pasta al Pomodoro. Italians also use a sauce made by cooking tomato along with garlic on Pizza.

French tomato sauce is made by adding salted pork belly, onion, bay, thyme, roux, salt, sugar, garlic, etc. American tomato sauces are either the tomato puree or paste used for cooking or the one served along with meat.

What is a Ketchup?

Ketchup contains tomatoes, sugar, seasonings, and vinegar which is added as a preservative. The flavor of the ketchup differs based on the spice added to it. Ketchup is industrially made and marketed.

The top producer in the US and the UK. Ketchup is condiments served with fried and greasy dishes. French fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, meat pies, grilled meat, etc are some of the dishes ketchup is served along with.

Mushrooms were the initial ingredient used in Ketchup production in the UK. Ketchup was then used to denote the dark sauce made with mushrooms or walnuts. But, the recipe for ketchup made with tomatoes was published in 1817.

This mentioned ketchup as Tomato Catsup. This recipe included anchovies. In the 19th century, ketchup was sweetened. Farmers made ketchup with their farm-grown tomatoes and sold it.

Many innovations were made in the ketchup recipe and marketing ever since. Ketchup was made available in small sachets and squeezable bottles.

Heinz became the famous ketchup brand. Ketchup dispensing pumps were available in fast food stores during the early 21st century. Then it was discontinued. Heinz marketed colored Ketchup from 2000 to 2006.

Ketchup normally has a tangy-sweet flavor. The water in ketchup separates and forms as a layer on the top. Pectin in tomatoes binds to water and gives the ketchup a gel-like consistency.

Water is present in high amounts because of the Vinegar added to ketchup. Vitamin C and Lycopene are two nutrients in Tomato ketchup.

Main Differences Between Tomato Sauce and Ketchup

  1. Tomato sauce is mainly used in the process of cooking dishes like pasta to give them taste while ketchup is a relish served with fast foods
  2. Tomato Sauce have different varieties and the flavor of these varieties also differ whereas, ketchup taste depends on the spices added
  3. Tomato sauce is made using tomato as the major ingredient. Ketchup was made using mushrooms and walnuts in the past and now tomato ketchup is more common
  4. Tomato sauce is made and added to dishes and no preservative is added to it in this case but, Vinegar is the preservative added to ketchup.
  5. Tomato sauce is available in markets in the form of canned sauce. This can be added to pasta or pizza but Ketchup is available in many packages like sachets, and bottles that can be served with fast food
Difference Between Tomato Sauce and Ketchup
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0023643807002915
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/131806
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