Friday, December 09, 2011

St. Rita Tomatoes As A Market Leader



St. Rita Tomatoes As A Market Leader

~ By Ingram Osigwe

It is a well known fact that tomato paste has become a major staple of Nigerian cuisine today. What originally arrived on the world scene from farms in Southern Italy and Malta in ancient Europe, Tomato paste was originally made by boiling tomato fruits, draining out the juice and spreading out the semi-liquid remnant on wooden slabs where it is left to reduce the water content and congeal into a thick red paste. In this form, known as pasata di pomodoro it is preserved with olive oil and is a great condiment for cooking Italian dishes.

With the advent of modern technology, heavy agriculture led to the production of tomatoes in vast quantities; thus the need for a means of preservation that will utilize the heavy production. Scientific research led to the invention of the pasteurization process. Thus tomatoes were industrially peeled, sliced and the seed removed. Then the flesh is boiled to reduce the water content, put in cans, sealed and heated to kill all living organisms within the can. In this manner, it is preserved and can last for as long as five years on the shelf.

A history of Nigerian cuisine reveals that Tomato paste arrived on the scene with the arrival of British colonialists and some slaves who returned from North and South America after the abolition of slave trade. These slaves brought with them such recipes as ‘Jollof Rice’ (originally a dish of the Jollof or Wollof people, a tribe in Senegal), as a result of interactions during the Trans-Atlantic slave journey through the west coasts of Africa, which usually culminated in a final roundup at the canary islands, off the west coast of Senegal, before the final journey in slave ships, to the Americas. With their arrival back from the long journeys over many years through the Diaspora, these returnee slaves, (most of whom were of the Yoruba Stock) brought with them such recipes as tomato stew and jollof rice.

Nigerians so embraced this new delicacy that it became a Nigerian staple; no longer to be taken away from Nigeria. In northern Nigeria it was adapted into stew for Shinkafa, in the South East; it is consumed as both Stew and Jolloff Rice. In the West, Tomato paste is so much in the diet that it is used for virtually every standard soup recipe, ranging from Ewedu and Efo-Oriro to Gbegiri and Okro soups, Tomato Stew made from Tomato paste, forms the base of all the soups. Today, Nigeria is among the highest ranking consumers of Tomato paste all over the world.

Most tomato paste consumed in the country originally came from Imports from Italy and Spain. But today, with the rise of the Chinese industrial supremacy, Nigerian importers have turned to China as a result of cheaper and more feasible trade offers. Most of the tomato paste is thus imported in drums and repackaged in Nigeria. This Situation led to a lot of malpractices as many so called manufacturers started adulterating the tomato paste with wheat custard and red colouring, leading to food poisoning and kidney diseases among Nigerians. Thanks to Dora Akunyili’s NAFDAC, many fakers were nabbed. But the fall out of the situation was a loss of faith on the part of Nigeria’s consuming public, on imported Tomato Paste. It was at this juncture that SYVAFRANK International Limited Arrived on the scene.

With high integrity and quality as it’s watchword, SYVAFRANK Nigeria Limited developed the St. Rita tomato brand and maintained its quality from day one till today, despite huge economic losses as a result of flooding of the market with cheaper but adulterated tomato paste. But now, St Rita tomato paste is a favourite of Consumers all over Nigeria. Housewives and Caterers from Calabar to Kano, Sokoto to Abeokuta, Lagos to Enugu, all savor with delight the rich taste of St Rita Tomato Paste. St Rita’s Tomatoes is barely 2 years in the Nigeria but the impact on the market attest much to the quality. St. Rita Tomato paste is made with pure Vine ripened Tomato fruits, processed through the most hygienic and best technological pasteurization processes to help bring out the flavor of family-favorite meals. Creating these superior tomato products takes skill, time, and experience, as well as state-of-the-art research and a passion for excellence. St. Rita has excellent taste and flavor of its own and adds a rich aroma and rich yummy taste to meals.

Today SyvaFrank International Limited the sole importers and marketers of St Rita tomatoes can make bold the claim that St Rita’s paste tomatoes is now a market leader in the country. According to the marketing Manager of SyvaFrank International Limited Mr. Sunday Anene, The Nigerian consumers are getting sophisticated about their choice of quality goods. St Rita has exceeded the expectation of what a good tomato should be. He reiterated the Company’s resolve to continue with this tradition of quality. The health benefits of Good Tomato paste cannot be over emphasized; Good Tomatoes like St RITA is NAFDAC approved and comes with 28 vitamins and minerals including Lycopene and carotenoids. Lycopene is an antioxidant which prevents some forms of cancer. Good tomato helps to reduce Sunburn, Consuming tomato paste may help protect you against flushing that occurs as a result of exposure to ultraviolet light.

As we enter the Yuletide season, Major distributors of St Rita Tomatoes can look forward to mouth watering incentives from the company.



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