Contadina FAQs

Can tomato paste be frozen? Can you substitute one tomato product for another when making a new recipe? Find the answers to our customers’ most frequently asked questions here.

  1. Can I substitute one tomato product for another in a recipe?

    Each tomato product used in a given recipe is chosen for the particular tomato flavor and texture that it gives to the dish. Because there is such a difference between tomato products, we do not recommend substituting one for another unless the recipe specifies you can do so.

  2. What are the differences between tomato paste, puree and sauce?

    Each of these products has its own special individual texture, consistency and flavor characteristics: see our Product Overview. Some tomato products such as paste, puree, and ketchup have standards of identity defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tomato sauce is a non-standardized food; that is, the ingredients statement can vary from company to company. Sometimes, ingredients are similar — yet the product will taste or appear different depending on the level of those ingredients used.

  3. Do all tomato products contain sugar?

    All tomato products contain some natural sugar in the form of simple carbohydrates. There is no added sugar in tomato paste and tomato puree. However, other tomato products have a small amount of added sweeteners (such as sugar, corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup) to reduce acidity and enhance the natural sweetness of the tomato.

  4. Can tomato paste be frozen?

    Virtually all tomato products can be frozen. Take the leftover product, whether stewed tomatoes, tomato paste or tomato sauce, and put it into a freezer container closest in size to the amount of product. Seal tightly. Leftover tomato sauce or paste can also be poured into ice cube trays, unmolded when frozen and the cubes stored in zip-lock bags. When you need to add extra flavor to a sauce, dressing, stew or soup — or for sautéing vegetables, fish or chicken — reach for a cube or two.

  5. How long can tomato products be kept in the refrigerator after they are opened?

    Tomato products can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Remove the balance of the product from the opened can and place it in a container equal in size to the amount of product. Seal tightly. This reduces the amount of air in contact with the tomato product. Air causes oxidation and the product will turn black.

  6. Can Contadina® Pizza Squeeze be frozen?

    Pizza Squeeze should be refrigerated after opening, and is best if used within four weeks of opening. It may be frozen, however, the squeeze bottle will be affected. It may shatter if dropped. There must also be enough empty room in the container for the product to expand during freezing. For even thawing, thaw in the refrigerator. Shake before using in case the product has separated.

  7. Do Contadina® tomato products contain skins or seeds?

    CONTADINA® Tomato Sauce, Puree, and Paste are processed to remove the skins and seeds, but we cannot guarantee that they are free of peel specks and fragments. In addition, we use peeled tomatoes for CONTADINA® Whole, Chunky, Stewed, and Diced Tomatoes. Tomato skins are left on CONTADINA® Crushed Tomatoes, however, because many consumers feel that the natural tomato peel adds to the finished recipe.

  8. What is the difference between the products' weight versus liquid measure?

    There is always confusion regarding ounces by weight (avoirdupois) versus ounces by volume (fluid ounces). Federal regulations require that viscous products be labeled by weight, yet recipes generally specify a quantity by volume (i.e., cups, tablespoons). The weight of products heavier or denser than water will always be more than their volume in fluid ounces. In the case of tomato sauce, the 8 oz. avoirdupois weight will be 7 oz. by fluid ounce volume.

    Therefore, when purchasing products, please keep in mind that a canned or bottled liquid product such as tomato sauce will contain fewer liquid ounces than the number of weight ounces that appear on the label.