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Israel says Heinz doesn't contain enough tomato to be called ketchup

The Israeli Health Ministry has ruled that Heinz brand ketchup doesn't contain enough "tomato solids" to qualify as real ketchup.
Israel says Heinz Ketchup is no longer ketchup. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

In Israel, where condiments are held to a higher standard, Heinz ketchup is no longer legally ketchup.

The Israeli health ministry has ruled that Heinz brand ketchup, doesn't contain enough "tomato solids" to qualify as ketchup, and must now be referred to as "tomato seasoning" on its Hebrew packaging, the Times of Israel reports.

The source of the crackdown is Heinz's top local competition.

Israeli food manufacturer Osem produces about two thirds of the ketchup consumed in Israel, and have been lobbying hard against Heinz, the Times reports.

In January, the Israeli news site Ynet reported that Osem said it had taken Heinz ketchup to a "leading European external laboratory," and found it "only contains about 21% tomato concentrate," below the 41 per cent tomato concentrate required by Israeli trading standards.

Heinz told Newsweek the problem isn't their product, it's Israel's overly rigid definition of ketchup, which "has yet to be brought in line with U.S. and European accepted international standards."

Now Heinz's Israeli importer is bringing out the big guns, with a petition to have the local definition of ketchup changed

Heinz isn't the only one questioning Israel's decision. 

Others questioned the quality of the competition. 

And it's left others asking another big question.

Indeed. 

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