5 profitable tomato processing business opportunities

Tomato is one of the most important food crops. It grows in almost every country. Tomato is a rich source of vitamins A, C, potassium, minerals, and fibers. Tomatoes are used in the preparation of soup, salad, pickles, ketchup, puree, sauces and also consumed as a vegetable in many other ways. As the raw material is available throughout the country, a small scale tomato processing unit is a profitable venture in India.

Large-scale tomato processing includes various operations like producing tomato juice, ketchup, puree etc. Apart from that, you can start with a singular product as home-based manufacturing unit. It doesn’t require a lot of space. The production process is simple. Here in this article, we intend to explore tomato processing business ideas for Entrepreneurs.

Tomato processing industry is huge. The only ketchup and sauce market in India is pegged at Rs 1,000 crore and growing at around 20% year-on-year. There is a big market for the processed tomato products. The market scenario has revealed a positive indication for the specially packed tomato sauce in local as well as outside market. Rapid urbanization has increased the use of processed tomato products.

There is ample scope for a unit to come up in this product sector to cater especially to the suburban and rural sectors of India. Increase in the number of teenagers and youngsters with higher spending power as well as an increase in working population (especially women), is fuelling the growth of Fast food industry in India and globally. Tomato products are one of the most important ingredients in ready to eat or fast food products thus increasing its usage as important tastemaker / enhancer and flavoring ingredients.

Another aspect is modern packaging technology such as Multi-layer- Flexible plastic packaging, Tetrapack, and Brick packing have made it possible to distribute tomato products to wide, distant and remote areas. It allows storing the products at room temperature for a period of more than 4 months. It has also increased the shelf life of these products, which has contributed substantially in boosting the demand for tomato products in India and Globally

Tomato processing in India is still not very significant. Processed tomato products have good export potential, especially in the Middle East. Many units are operating in the small scale sector in the country. Initiating a small scale tomato processing unit, focusing on a single product is the financially viable investment opportunity.


In starting any of tomato processing business you must obtain following registration and license from the concerned department.

1. Register your firm with ROC as per the management liability and mode of operation.

2. Obtain Trade License from local Authority

3. Open a current account for cash transaction

4. Obtain Udyog Aadhaar MSME registration.

5. Obtain FSSAI license

6. Apply for VAT registration

7. Obtain BIS certification. The agency offers different standardization for different tomato processed products. Such as for Tomato Juice IS 3881 : 1966, Tomato Ketchup IS 3882 : 1966 and Tomato Puree IS 3883 : 1966

8. This type of unit does not attract pollution to the environment. However, material waste (skin, seeds, etc.) are the main effluents for which the provision of treatment is there. It is recommended to have NOC from the state Pollution Control Department.

1. Steam boiler

2. Washing machine (Rotary rod, Washer equipped with spray arrangement, collection tank, etc.)

3. S.S. tilting type steam jacketed kettle of cap

4. S.S. tilting type steam jacketed Vacuum kettle of cap

5. Pulper cap.

6. Exhaust and processing tank

7. Pasteuriser tank

8. Bottle washing machine

9. Vacuum filling machine

10. Water storage tank cap (HDPE)

11. Misc. equipment such as buckets, cutting and peeling knives, etc.

12. Weighing balance

13. Crown cork machine

14. Weighing Scales platform

15. Working Tables

16. Laboratory Equipment

17. Pollution Control Equipment

here we have listed some of the common machinery required for a full-scale tomato processing unit. You can procure the machines according to your specific requirement.

Fully ripe well-developed colour tomatoes are used for making juice. Tomatoes are washed, trimmed, steamed, crushed in a crusher or cut into pieces with knives. The crushed pieces are heated in the steam jacketed kettle till they become quite soften. The heated tomatoes are passed through the pulping machine using a fine mesh sieve to separate juice from seeds and the skin. The sugar and salt @ 1% are added and heated to 85-90ºC. The hot juice is then filled in bottles, sealed immediately and processed sterilised in boiling water for about 30 minutes and cooled.

According to the Indian standard specification for tomato ketchup, it should be prepared from sound and ripe tomatoes with more than 25% by weight of soluble solids. The juice obtained as above is concentrated with spices, salt, sugar, etc. The spices like cloves, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon and other ingredients etc. are tied loosely in a muslin cloth and placed in boiling juice in steam Jacketed Kettle. The sugar, salt, and vinegar or acetic acid, etc. are added later on.

To prepare tomato paste and pulp, juice is further concentrated under vacuum to around 9% to 12% solids. Tomato powder can be prepared using different technologies depending upon the end use of the product. The technology for Tomato Processing can be sourced from CFTRI, Mysore or from any reputed machinery supplier.

The juice obtained as above is concentrated under vacuum to about 9% to 12% total solids so as to get tomato puree. The product is filled in bottles, crown corked and processed in boiling water for 30 min. and cooled.

For preparing sauce, the juice is concentrated under vacuum and controlled temperature while salt; sugar, vinegar, spices, onion etc are added as per requirement. This mixture is boiled under vacuum

till it contains minimum 12% tomato solids and 28% total solids. The sauce is then passed through a sieve to remove fibrous and other materials. Finally, material is cooled and preservative is added prior to

sending it for packing.

Compliance with the Fruit Products Order, 1955 is mandatory for tomato processing. The tomato products should conform to specifications laid down in FPO. The FPO specifications are as follows:

● Tomato Juice: 5% total solids.

● Tomato Puree: 9% total solids and Sodium Benzoate 250 ppm

● Tomato Ketchup: 25% total solids. Acidity: 1.0% Sodium Benzoate: 750 ppm

You may also adopt HACCP and ISO 9000 certification for tomato processing plant.

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