POSTED FEB 12, 2018



Cento Certified San Marzano Tomatoes

Cento Certified San Marzano Tomatoes

Cento Certified San Marzano Tomatoes have always been, and continue to be grown and produced in the Sarnese Nocerino area of Italy. They continue to follow the same premium-quality standards that Cento has always stood by, the standards that made us the leading brand in the United States for San Marzano tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes are regulated and certified authentic by an independent third party, Agri-Cert, using the guidelines created to regulate San Marzano tomatoes in Italy. These guidelines were created to help differentiate a true San Marzano tomato that follows the criteria from other varietal Italian tomatoes grown outside the designated region or domestically. This ensures shoppers aren’t misled by non-genuine products who use the San Marzano name in their products, which, without following the strict criteria, may be inferior quality or contain a different flavor profile.

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Our Process

The Cento production plant is located in the San Marzano region in Campania, Italy, approximately 22 miles southeast of the town of Naples. The plant sits in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, renowned for its fertile soil and temperate climate. The close proximity of the plant to the local farmer’s San Marzano plantings allow for the hand-picked crop to be delivered within hours of selection.

San Marzano Seedling

The Seeds and Farms

Cento Certified San Marzano Tomatoes begin with the seed selection. Prior to each growing season, we carefully select our farms and distribute our seeds to select farmers. Our commitment to sustainability requires each of our farms to practice crop rotation, which helps the land remain fertile by not using the same key nutrients each growing season, reduces soil erosion, improves soil stability and increases crop fertility.

San Marzano

The Size, Shape, and Color

San Marzano tomatoes are similar in appearance to Roma tomatoes, but thinner and more elongated. The walls of San Marzano tomatoes are thicker, but contain fewer seeds, which makes this tomato varietal less acidic and sweeter than others. Guidelines set state true San Marzano tomatoes must have the traditional oblong shape, measure 6-8cm in length, and have a uniform, bright red color. Because Cento Certified San Marzano tomatoes are hand-picked only when ripe, no over-ripe, blemished, or rotted tomatoes are even brought into our facility; only the best of our tomatoes are picked in the field.

Steam Peeling Process

Peeling and Packing

The first stage of processing involves washing the tomatoes. The tomatoes are then steam-peeled, an all-natural process that has been used in Italy for centuries. Steam peeling is environmentally friendly and uses only hot water, no chemical by-products. Cento has used this method for generations and will continue to exemplify the highest industry quality and sustainability standards. The tomatoes are then sorted. At Cento, our tomatoes are hand-sorted to ensure only the best tomatoes are provided in our cans. The tomatoes are then packed into BPA-free lined cans with the addition of the allowed packing medium: a light tomato puree, made of only San Marzano tomatoes. Fresh basil leaves and a minimal amount of salt are allowed under the guidelines. Once the tomatoes are canned, the cans are sterilized and cooled.

Find My Field

Find My Field from Cento

From seed to shelf, our San Marzano tomatoes are monitored and held to the highest of our standards. PAC Traceability (Product Attribute Certification) is the driving force behind the traceability and authentication of Cento San Marzano Tomatoes. Each can comes stamped with a “lot code” on the lid, as well as a best before date. These lot codes allow us to trace every can to the farm where the tomatoes were picked to ensure that each crop is up to our high standards. If you’re interested in which of our farms your can of tomatoes came from, click the button below to trace your can!