Some ketchup in the U.S. is labeled “Fancy”. This is a USDA grade, relating to specific gravity. Fancy ketchup has a higher tomato solid concentration than other USDA grades.
Ketchup has moderate health benefits. it is a source of lycopene, an antioxidant which may help prevent some forms of cancer. This is particularly true of the organic brands of ketchup, which have three times as much lycopene. Ketchup, much like marinara sauce and other cooked tomato foods, yields higher levels of lycopene per serving because cooking increases lycopene bioavailability.
In May 2010, Hunt’s stopped using high fructose corn syrup in its products because of consumer complaints.
Tomato ketchup has an additive, usually xanthan gum, which gives the condiment a pseudoplastic or “shear thinning” property. This increases the viscosity of the ketchup considerably with a relatively small amount added – usually 0.5%. – which can make it difficult to pour from a container. However, the shear thinning property of the gum ensures that when a force is applied to the ketchup it will lower the viscosity enabling the sauce to flow. A common method to getting it out of the bottle involves inverting the bottle and shaking it or hitting the bottom with the heel of the hand, which causes the ketchup to flow rapidly. A technique involves inverting the bottle and forcefully tapping its upper neck with two fingers (index and middle finger together). Specifically, with a Heinz ketchup bottle, one taps the 57 circle on the neck. This helps the ketchup flow by applying the correct shearing force. These techniques work because of how pseudoplastic fluids behave: their viscosity (resistance to flow) decreases with increasing shear rate. The faster it is sheared (by shaking or tapping the bottle), the more fluid it becomes. After the shear is removed the ketchup thickens to its original viscosity.