Is it Normal for Canned Tomatoes to Separate?

Is it Normal for Canned Tomatoes to Separate?

Ask the Chef

Is it Normal for Canned Tomatoes to Separate?

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This is part of our Ask the Chef series, with questions from our site users and answers from the chefs who work in the Food Channel Culinary Center. Names are removed but these are actual questions.

Question:

We pureed uncooked tomatoes and bottled them in sterilized bottles. In the fridge they have separated with a clear liquid at the bottom of the jars. Is it normal for this to happen and are they safe to use for sauces? Your advice will be greatly appreciated.

–RG

Answer:

I’m hesitant to declare anything “safe” as I don’t know the exact procedure that was used to prepare tomatoes, but it is normal for tomato puree to separate into layers when held in the refrigerator. The clear liquid at the bottom of the jars is juice that has separated from the chunky pureed tomatoes. Shake to blend when using for sauces.

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