Heinz has made a tomato ketchup over nine months using the same harsh conditions that exist on Mars, it was revealed on Monday.
Heinz Tomato Ketchup Marz Edition was created by growing tomatoes using the same soil, temperature and water conditions that exist on the Red Planet. Kraft Heinz collaborated with a 14-person astrobiology team from the Aldrin Space Institute at Florida Tech.
The tomato crops were successfully yielded from Heinz’s own tomato seeds, matching the same qualities usual tomatoes need to pass their quality and tasting standards for their ketchup usually made using standard Earth conditions.
Chief Growth Officer for Kraft Heinz International Zone, Cristina Kenz said: “We’re so excited that our team of experts has been able to grow tomatoes in conditions found on another planet and share our creation with the world. From analyzing the soil from Martian conditions two years ago to harvesting now, it’s been a journey that’s proved wherever we end up, HEINZ Tomato Ketchup will still be enjoyed for generations to come”
Heinz began experimenting with their Marz Edition ketchup two years ago. It is one of the largest projects related to Mars that has ever been completed, according to Kraft Heinz.
The Heinz Tomato Ketchup Marz Edition bottles are not currently on the market.
Dr. Andrew Palmer, who led the Aldrin Space Institute team, has submitted the first of three papers on the experiment.
Palmer said: “Before now, most efforts around discovering ways to grow in Martian-simulated conditions are short term plant growth studies. What this project has done is look at long-term food harvesting. Achieving a crop that is of a quality to become HEINZ Tomato Ketchup was the dream result and we achieved it. And working with the Tomato Masters at HEINZ has allowed us to see what the possibilities are for long term food production beyond Earth”
Heinz’s traditional ketchup has been used by astronauts for many years on the International Space Station (ISS).
As well as learning how to create their products in Mars-like environments, Heinz has also invested in following their environmental social governance (ESG) goals by aiming to use 100% sustainably sourced tomatoes for their ketchup by 2025.
Food production experiments in space are on the rise worldwide. In Abu Dhabi, where climate change has brought an increase in desertification which negatively impacts the agricultural conditions, scientists have started to explore how to grow more resilient seeds in space that can resist these developing harsh conditions on Earth.