5 Profitable Tomato Processing Business Ideas & Opportunities

Tomato is one of the most important food crops in India. It grows in almost every state of the country. Some of the major producing states are Bihar, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. 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 a 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 the Indian Entrepreneurs.

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Tomato Processing Market Potential

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. The 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 an important tastemaker/enhancer and flavoring ingredients.

Another aspect is modern packaging technology such as Multi-layer- Flexible plastic packaging, Tetrapack, and Brick packing has 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 to boosting the demand for tomato products in India and Globally.

Due to increasing standards of living in the cities and the rapid urbanization taking place in the rural areas, consumption of tomato-based products is expected to go up steadily. At present, the market for ketchup/puree, especially in the urban areas, is dominated by brands likes MAGGI and KISSAN.

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.

How To Start Small Scale Tomato Processing Business

License & Registration

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 a 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.

Related: 8 Forms Of Business Organization India | How To Choose | Basic Guide

Udyog Aadhaar MSME | How To Get Online Registration

Food Business Operator License In India | Online FSSAI Registration

How To Get BIS Certification In India | Basic Guide

Tomato Processing Machinery

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.

  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

Tomato Processing Estimated Project Cost: 

Plant capacity: 3300 Units / Day Plant & machinery: Rupees 13 Lakhs
Working capital: Rupees 28.0 Lakhs Total Capital Investment: Rs. 56 Lakhs
Return: 73.89% Breakeven: 44.50%

The actual cost of the project may deviate on change of any of the assumptions.

5 Profitable Tomato processing Small Scale Opportunities

1. Tomato Processing for Juice

First of all, you have to procure fully ripe well-developed colour tomatoes for making juice. Then, wash the tomatoes. After trimming and steaming, crush them in a crusher or cut into pieces with knives. Then heat the crushed pieces in the steam jacketed kettle till they become quite soften.

Finally, pass the heated tomatoes through the pulping machine using a fine mesh sieve to separate juice from seeds and the skin. Keep heating to 85-90ºC and add the sugar and salt @ 1%. The hot juice is then filled in bottles, sealed immediately and processed sterilized in boiling water for about 30 minutes and cooled.

2. Tomato Processing For Ketchup

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.

3. Tomato Processing For Pulp

To prepare tomato paste and pulp, the 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.

4. Tomato Processing For Puree

First of all, obtain the juice obtained as above. Then, concentrate it under vacuum to about 9% to 12% total solids so as to get tomato puree. Finally, fill the product in bottles. Seal the bottles with crown cork and process in boiling water for 30 min. and cool.

5. Tomato Processing For Sauce

For preparing sauce, you will need to concentrate the juice under vacuum and controlled temperature. In addition, you have to add salt, sugar, vinegar, spices, onion etc as per requirement. Then, boil this mixture under vacuum till it contains minimum 12% tomato solids and 28% total solids. Then pass the sauce through a sieve to remove fibrous and other materials. Finally, cool the material and add the preservative prior to sending it for packing.

“Learning Resources”

The Complete Book on Tomato & Tomato Products Manufacturing (Cultivation & Processing)

Tomato Processing Quality Control

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:

  • First of all, 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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