Ketchup here and there?!

Having compared the American and German homepage of McDonald’s in order to analyze the ingredients of one packet of ketchup as a popular item on the Menu, three observations can be made: First, ketchup produced and sold in Germany consists of slightly different ingredients than American produced ketchup with effects on the calories per serving size  (Interestingly, serving sizes in Germany differ from American ones, in size and the fact that ketchup must be bought at German McDonald’s whereas it is free in the U.S). Second, nutrition and allergy information is more easily available at the German based website, and third, it is impossible to completely follow each and every production step from the tomato plant on the field to the sauce in the plastic packet. According to the German McDonald’s homepage, ketchup sold in Germany is made of a nonspecific amount of tomato dip, 6 g of carbohydrate, 0.7 g of salt, and 5 g of sugar adding up to 25 Kcal per serving size. American-produced ketchup (10 g) contains 15 calories, 110 mg of sodium, 3 g of carbohydrates, 2 g of sugar and 2 g of Vitamin A and C. Furthermore, it contains “tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, water, salt, natural flavors (vegetable source)”. Interestingly, European based companies rather use sugar whereas Northern American companies prefer using corn syrup as a sweetener. Contrary to the American homepage, the German one makes nutrition information easily available with icons and an interactive menu to click on, and mentions the brand names of partners and suppliers (e.g. Develey for ketchup). However, both homepages fail to exactly mention the farmers and factories that produce and process the sauce.

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