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Tomato Powder

Tomato powder is a dehydrated and pulverized tomatoes. It is convenient and easy to make, yet it is home to many culinary uses that call for that classic tomato flavor such as soups, sauces, eggs, and even juices. While the inventor of this great idea remains anonymous, history decodes that Aztecs were salting and sun-drying tomatoes since 700 AD. It became popular in Italy around the 19th century when botulism was detrimental. Soon, the powder becomes a staple in every kitchen worldwide. Tomato powder is a versatile ingredient and it has a long shelf-life. Its concentration of sweet and acidic flavor notes made this powder a true kitchen favorite. Modernization allowed the production of tomato powder through spray-drying, freeze-drying, and oven-drying.

Tomato Powder Trivia

  • Tomato powder is home to numerous health benefits. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C, with a whopping 345% of vitamin A RDA for every 100g of this powder. It’s also high in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, potassium, and folate which supports bone health, metabolism, muscle function, and blood pressure. In addition, it’s also rich in dietary fiber which supports gastrointestinal health and weight loss. Lycopene, the carotenoid that gives tomatoes its color, also helps in reducing the risk of diseases like heart disease, stroke, prostate cancer, and osteoporosis.
  • Consuming tomato paste, which can be done using tomato powder, can defend us against sunburns, increasing each one’s UV light protection over 30%.
  • Tomato powder is cholesterol-free!
  • Tomato powder can be topically applied to your face to reduce oiliness. It also promotes a cleaner and tighter skin. Hence, this ingredient can also be found in soaps, body washes, and scrubs.

Tomato Powder Buying Guide

Pure tomato powder is not quite easy to find in your favorite grocery stores and online shops. What you can mostly find though, is a tomato powder that is blended with some other ingredients like herbs, spices, and seasonings. Not to mention that tomato powder and its byproducts, like tomato sauce or paste, cost a lot more than making one at home. Still, here are some things to look out for when you opt to buy the store-bought ones:

  1. Look for tomato powder in the spice, condiment, or seasoning aisle. 
  2. Check out the sodium content as most commercial products contain unnecessary amounts of salt. Or better yet, opt for no-salt-added, reduced-sodium, or low-sodium.
  3. Double-check its purity. Check out the ingredients list to see if there are other spices involved in the product.

Fortunately, you can get organic and pure tomato powder at various farmers’ markets, where they also showcase a lot of tomato products like salsas, sauces, and more.

Tomato Powder Production & Farming in Texas

In Texas, the secret in growing tomato plants is timing. It is the most important thing to consider; if you plant too early, a late frost can destroy your plant. On the other hand, if you plant too late, your plant will not be ready when the spring season starts which in that case, you won’t be able to harvest your fruit. That’s why Texans do not prefer to grow tomatoes from seeds. Instead, we find it best to buy the plants that are around six to eight inches tall. The plant only needs to be on a well-drained soil in a larger container which is then watered twice a week to keep its moisture. Tomato plants are kept outside during the warmer season, usually by the end of March or the beginning of April, and you can count several weeks until your first harvest. 

Pesticides, additives, and chemicals:

Although store-bought tomato powder is more convenient than making one at home, it’s not our best choice. Pure tomato powder is hard to find as it is usually pre-blended with salt, different spices, and seasonings. In addition, they sometimes contain additives and chemicals for a lower cost yet fast-producing and shelf-stable products. Thus, here are some additives that we found on some tomato powder brands:

  • Silicon Dioxide – This chemical compound is also known as silica. It is used as a thickener, stabilizer, anticaking agent, and carrier for aroma and flavor. Although it is safe to consume, it can lead to lung problems when consumed past its RDA. 
  • Dextrose and Maltodextrin – It is a type of sugar that acts as an artificial sweetener, food neutralizer, and a preservative. Too much consumption of this ingredient can lead to body fluid build-up and high blood sugar. 
  • Sunflower Lecithin – Made from the gum of dehydrated sunflower, this additive acts as a thickening agent, emulsifier, and a mild preservative. It is considered to be generally safe and beneficial to the human body; however, for some people, it causes them nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. 
  • Natural and artificial flavorings – These are additives that are used to intensify the flavors of the product. For tomato powder, some natural flavorings include garlic powder, basil, chilis, mushrooms, and more.
  • Sodium – Although sodium is a natural food that balances our body fluids, it can cause harm when consumed past its RDA which is 2,300 mg per day.


Tomato powder can be packaged in a variety of ways. It can come in pet bottles, jars, tubs, glass and plastic containers, pouches, and single-use packets.

Enjoying Tomato Powder

Tomato powder, along with its byproducts, is a staple ingredient among Tex-Mex and Southern food specialties. Tacos, Tex-Mex rice, skillets, quinoas, enchiladas, salsas, chilis, burritos, and Mexican vinaigrettes are just some of the dishes that are flavored with tomato powder. You can also mix this powder with flour to make and bake some dough or make a vibrant red pasta. Consequently, you can also use this as a finishing condiment and sprinkle over some cooked meals, just like salt and pepper. You can also try mixing this powder onto some dips and dig in your crackers and chips – everybody loves tomato-flavored cream cheese!


Tomato powder should be kept in an airtight container like ziplock bags or mason jars. You may opt to use a funnel when transferring it into small-mouth containers to prevent it from spilling. As long as you store them in a dry, cool, and dark area far from hot zones like stoves, grills, or ovens, your tomato powder could last for a year. On another note, homemade tomato pastes and sauces can last up to 7 days in the refrigerator.

Don’t throw that overly ripe or leftover tomatoes! Let’s turn them into tomato powder!

Seriously! When you’re about to throw that overly ripe or leftover tomatoes from your salsas, think twice as it could save you time and money from buying commercially produced tomato powder. Although dehydrating tomatoes take the most time in making tomato powder, you certainly don’t have to be cooking for the entire time. Instead, you just have to be at home when you’re doing this so that someone can check on your tomatoes from time to time. Here is a recipe that you can make ahead of time and during your day-offs. It calls for fresh tomatoes but you can absolutely use what you have on hand – just follow the same procedure. You can also find some ways to turn your tomato powder into something more useful so better stay tuned.

Yield: 16 tablespoons


  • 4 pounds fresh tomatoes


  1. Turn on the dehydrator at 135ºF or preheat the oven to 180ºF. Turn on the oven fan if your oven has one.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the stems of your tomatoes, rinse, and cut into thin slices. 
  3. Lay them out separately on dehydrator trays, baking sheets, or Silpats, making sure that they don’t touch each other.
  4. Dry the tomatoes in the dehydrator or oven for 6 to 10 hours, rotating the tray every 30 minutes. To check, the tomatoes have to be brittle and completely dry.
  5. Once they’re ready, take them out and leave on the counter until they reach room temperature. Pulverize the dehydrated tomatoes using a food processor or blender and transfer to a sealed or airtight container. 

As previously mentioned, tomato powder is known for its versatility. Thus, here are the following steps when you want to convert your tomato powder into something that your recipe calls for:

Tomato sauce: Mix one part of tomato powder to six parts of water.

Pizza sauce: Mix one part of tomato powder to three parts of water. Sprinkle with oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper then bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce is reduced viscously. 

Tomato paste: Mix two parts of tomato powder to one part of water.

Tomato juice: Mix two tablespoons of tomato powder in an 8-oz glass of cold water.

Tomato soup: Mix two tablespoons of tomato powder in an 8-oz water. Bring to a boil, add your favorite seasonings or vegetables, and finally season with salt and pepper.



  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 84.5 4%
  • Carbs: 20.9g 7%
  • Sugar: 12.3g
  • Fiber: 4.6g 18%
  • Protein: 3.6g 7%
  • Fat: 0.1g 0%
  • Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 37.5mg 2%
  • Iron 1.3mg 7%
  • Vitamin C 32.7mg 54%
  • Vitamin A 4829IU 97%
  • Calcium 46.5mg 5%
  • Potassium 540mg 15%
  • Vitamin E 3.4mg 17%
  • Vitamin K 13.7mcg 17%
  • Vitamin B6 0.1mg 6%
  • Folate 33.6mcg 8%
  • Magnesium 49.8mg 12%
  • Phosphorus 82.6mg 8%
  • Manganese 0.5mg 27%
  • Copper 0.3mg 17%
  • Zinc 0.5mg 3%

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