Italy is the World's third biggest producer of tomatoes after the United States and China and the biggest exporting country of tomato based products.
Italy has a long tradition in the production of preserved tomatoes. This industry developed in the second half of the 18th century at the foot of Mount Vesuvius near Naples. The first products of “peeled tomato” in tins were exported to Great Britain in particular where they were consumed by coal miners in order to fight silicosis. Subsequently tomato concentrates (purées) were produced. Only in more recent times have chopped and sieved (passata) tomatoes been introduced.
The tomato is an Italian legacy of genius. The very first entrepreneur was Francesco Cirio who took the world by storm and exported the intense flavours of the tomato and vegetables from the South of Italy.
Today, Conserve Italia is an important player in the tomato marketplace with its brands: Cirio, Valfrutta, Jolly Colombani and has an absolute supremacy for quality and range of products. Conserve Italia's plants process approximately 350,000 tonnes of tomatoes a year.
From the “red gold” tomatoes the following products are obtained:
peeled (plum tomatoes): plum shaped tomatoes in juice with added salt;
sieved tomatoes: fresh tomatoes, sieved and slightly cooked to reduce the water content;
- chopped tomatoes: fresh round variety tomatoes – peeled and chopped into pieces;
- tomato purée: concentrated tomato juice that can be single, double or triple concentrate;
- sauces: finely chopped tomato pulp with added ingredients: olive oil, herbs and spices, vegetables, meat, etc.