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Tomato juice was first served as a beverage in 1917 by Louis Perrin at the French Lick Springs Hotel in southern Indiana, when he ran out of orange juice and needed a quick substitute. His combination of squeezed tomatoes, sugar and his special sauce became an instant success as Chicago businessmen spread the word about the tomato juice cocktail.
Many commercial manufacturers of tomato juice also add salt. Other ingredients are also often added, such as onion powder, garlic powder, and other spices. In the United States, mass-produced tomato juice began to be marketed in the mid 1920s, and became a popular breakfast drink a few years thereafter. In Canada, by law, tomato juice must be made from whole tomatoes; in the United States, most tomato juice is made from tomato paste.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||73 kJ (17 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||0.4 g|
|Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
A small scale study in 2000 indicated that tomato juice contains a factor (codenamed P3) that inhibits platelets in blood from clumping together and forming blood clots. The authors suggest this might be beneficial to diabetes sufferers. The actual effect of increased intake of tomato juice by diabetics has never been studied.
Tomato juice contains the antioxidant lycopene. Scientific studies have suggested that lycopene consumption may protect against prostate cancer, breast cancer, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease. Epidemiological research has also shown that lycopene may protect against breast cancer and myocardial infarction (heart attack).
1 cup of canned tomato juice (243ml) contains, according to the USDA:
- Calories : 41
- Fat: 0.12
- Carbohydrates: 10.30
- Fibers: 1
- Protein: 1.85
- Cholesterol: 0
In Canada and Mexico, tomato juice is popular mixed with beer, the concoction is known in Canada as Calgary Red-Eye and in Mexico as Cerveza preparada. Tomato juice is the base for the cocktails Bloody Mary and Bloody Caesar, and the cocktail mixer Clamato.
Tomato juice is frequently used as a packing liquid for canned tomatoes, though it is sometimes replaced by tomato purée for international commerce due to tariff issues on vegetables vs. sauces. According to Cook's Illustrated magazine, tomatoes packed in juice as opposed to purée tend to win taste tests, being perceived as fresher tasting.
Among airplane passengers, tomato juice has an increased popularity, e.g. Lufthansa sold more than 1.7 million litres of tomato juice in 2008 - more than beer (at 1.65 million litre). Research has shown this to be due to the different pressure conditions in flights.
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