It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet

Where can I buy low-acid canned tomato products?

For several months I have been looking for low-acid tomato canned products. I read someplace that you can buy these items, but there was no source given. Have you heard of this?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

A bowl of tomato sauce surrounded by ripe red tomatoes

At this time there is no low-acid tomato sauce on the market that I am aware of. I do know that some companies have explored this, but in my research I have not found any that have put this on the market yet. Some canned tomato brands are reputed to be lower in acid, but I am not aware of any actual testing to confirm their pH. GERD / Acid Reflux is very individual: a particular brand of canned tomato products might work well for some, while other people find all tomatoes, regardless of brand or type, to be too much of a trigger.

We have a Low Acid Tomato Sauce recipe on the Dr. Gourmet website that uses baking soda to make the sauce a neutral pH (neither too acidic or too basic). Try the basic recipe, and if it does not provoke reflux, feel free to add those spices to it that you know you can tolerate to make it your own. (Note that we have not tested this technique with other foods, but if you have, please share in the comments!)

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr Gourmet