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Why is traditional finish terminology unreliable?

Finish describes the texture of tomato paste. The texture refers to the amount of peel, seed, or core material (insoluble solids) remaining in the juice before it is concentrated. Finish is a key factor for both the yield and texture of your final product.

To ensure greater consistency of your product, Morning Star developed and has been utilizing for many years an improved means of identifying the finish for tomato paste and concentrated crushed tomatoes. These Morning Star Paste Finish Standards of Identity, as we call it, use a set of photographs to classify the texture of the tomato paste being desired vs. the use of traditional methods that rely upon the hole size of a finisher screen. This traditional method is unreliable due to variations in the production process and is especially true when ordering from multiple companies.

Factors other than hole size influence the amount of seed, peel, and other solid material passed through a screen, as described below, variation occurs for five main reasons:

  • Factory production Process
  • Speed and pitch of the Finisher’s rotor paddles
  • The type of equipment – brand of the Finisher
  • Variation in screen size – screen holes are manufactured differently
  • Wear and tear – how new or old is the equipment?


You may be asking: “What are photo finishes?” Let us explain. Morning Star developed 8 photo-based finishes ranging in name from Very Fine Finish to Very Coarse Finish and more. Each finish has been classified by the amount of pulp, seed, and peel present or not present. Relying on a photo comparison process allows us to consistently produce a product to our customer’s exact specification vs. hoping the screen size alone will achieve the required spec.

So why now? We initiated photo finish classification within our production process many years ago and have been marketing it in ways you may not have realized. Our Paste Finish Standards brochure and product specification sheets contain these finish photos within them. However, these photos have also included a screen size range to make it easier for you, our customer, to continue ordering your products in a familiar way. The time has now come to move away from ordering by screen size and transition entirely to ordering by photo finish. 

For additional information, please visit our Paste Finish Standards of Identity web page.

We recently recorded an educational video so our colleagues may explain this process in more detail. Watch below.


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As a reminder, Morning Star is now distributing our newsletters electronically using an email distribution vendor called Mailchimp. Your e-version will now include informative Morning Star videos and highlights. Depending on your company's firewall, these emails may initially be directed to you spam folder.

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