Yes, ketchup is vegan.
One of the most popular condiments, ketchup is loved by many all around the world. And, if you find yourself in the United States, you’re guaranteed to see it in just about every restaurant.
Perhaps you’re new to a vegan diet and are wondering if ketchup is vegan – allow us to share with you the details about it and “ketch (ya’) up.”
What is Ketchup?
Ketchup, or catsup, is basically blended red tomato sauce that is a full flavor combo of sweet, tangy, and sugary.
You can dip french fries in ketchup vegan, drizzle some onto your veggie burger, add some into your pad thai, or even use it as a cleaning medium.
Originally from China and formerly known as ke-tsiap, Ketchup started out as a pickled fish sauce that was once used as more of a recipe ingredient as opposed to a condiment.
Let’s dive more into the details of this delicious tomato paste.
The ingredients in Ketchup do vary a bit according to the brand.
Ketchup is guaranteed to have red tomatoes as the base, with certain spices and sugar added.
Typically, ketchup vegan will have an ingredient list that looks similar to this:
-Sweetener (cane sugar or brown sugar)
-Spices (cloves, cumin, mustard, garlic powder, celery, cinnamon, or ginger)
Of course, this list will differ a bit from ketchup to ketchup, but your vegan ketchup will likely have at least one ingredient from each of these categories.
Are there any possible non-vegan ingredients in Ketchup?
This depends on the brand. The ingredient to screen for is sugar, as sugar that is not organic and refined is a red flag for the food item having possible cross-contact with animal bone char. But, most of the time, ketchup ingredients are vegan.
Ketchup Brands that are 100% Vegan
With various ketchup brands on the market, you might be surprised by the number of ketchups that have pure vegan ingredients. While some ketchup brands claim to be free of animal products per the manufacturer, there are some brands that are certified vegan by the Vegan Society, which is the ultimate A-OK that your ketchup is free of animal products.
A very popular brand of ketchup vegan that’s found around the globe, Heinz Ketchup recipe lists the ingredients as red tomatoes, salt, distilled vinegar, spice and herb extracts, salt, onion powder, natural flavoring, and sugar.
This ketchup brand’s recipe has changed a bit over time. Heinz Ketchup vegan is now made with ripe tomatoes that contain the naturally-occurring preservative pectin, allowing it to keep for months in the refrigerator, and giving the ketchup a thick consistency. However, back in the day, the main ingredient called for unripe tomatoes, which required sodium benzoate (a preservative) to be added to the recipe. This made for more watery ketchup, until the F.D.A. restricted the addition of this ingredient into food products.
There are no artificial flavors, colors, gluten, thickeners, animal ingredients, or palm oil in Heinz- but there’s one caveat.
Heinz Ketchup vegan that’s made in the U.S. does contain high fructose corn syrup, but the European recipe does not. This additive is a neurotoxin– causing harm to the nervous system and disrupting overall biological function.
*The sugar that is contained in this brand is vegan. The company itself states that the cane sugar is not processed using bone char (animal bones) and that it’s indeed safe for vegans to eat.
Heinz tomato ketchup is not certified vegan, but their site does claim their ketchup to be vegan.
If you have further questions about this ketchup brand at all, check the Heinz website for an email address to reach out to them.
Certified Vegan Ketchup Brands
Though Heinz tomato ketchup does dominate the ketchup market, there are some other ketchup brands to choose from that do not disappoint.
Quintesens L’Incroyable ketchup
This ketchup vegan is 100% organic. It’s a french recipe that contains:
-A vegetable medley of tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, beetroot, onion
– Cane sugar
Real Good Ketchup
This ketchup product is made from plant-based ingredients, and features 75% less sugar and salt than other ketchups.
This brand of delicious goodness is sweet enough without so much sugar.
If you’re a fan of smoky BBQ flavor, Real Good offers this as a flavor option. And, if you’re gluten-free, check out this brand’s line of ketchups that are gluten-free.
Plus, if you’re a vegan that is concerned about environmental impact, know that you can recycle your ketchup bottle after you’re all done with it.
This saucy-red condiment contains a recipe of 70% organic tomatoes, cane sugar, vinegar, salt, and spices.
It comes in a BPA-free bottle, so toxic plastics won’t leach into your ketchup and affect your health.
This product is organic, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
These brands are certified by the Vegan Society and are 100% vegan. You can be assured these brands have no animal products or by-products, and haven’t had potential cross-contact with bone char.
If you want to be absolutely certain of the origin of each and every ingredient in your ketchup, check out this video for information on how to diy vegan ketchup at home.
If you’re a strict vegan and have food sensitivities, this could be a viable route for you, if you have a little extra time on your hands. This helps if you’re pinchin’ pennies, or just want a fun project to do at home with the kids.
*Keep in mind that the main thing with ketchup being classified as “non-vegan” has to do with the sugar. So, do remember to opt for vegan-friendly sugar, or you can opt for maple syrup or brown sugar, that would work, too – it’s up to you!
If you’re of one those vegans that are a fan of juicy flavor in your life, you might consider adding some saucy ketchup to one of your favorite recipes. Maybe you’re tired of hot sauce and soy sauce and want to try something different in the world of condiments.
Whether your favorite condiment is ketchup, mustard, sour cream, or peanut butter, life is just better with the sauces and all the flavors!