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How can I be sure your tomatoes are real San Marzano tomatoes from Italy? What does certified mean?

Cento Certified San Marzano Tomatoes have always been and continue to be grown and produced in the Sarnese Nocerino area of Italy. Our production plant in the San Marzano region of Campania, Italy sits in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. The rich volcanic soil and temperate climate of the area make San Marzano tomatoes retain the world-renowned flavor that makes them so special. An independent third-party agency, Agri-Cert, certifies that our Cento Certified San Marzano Tomatoes are produced with the proper, traditional method to ensure superior quality and authenticity. From seed to shelf, our Cento Certified San Marzano Tomatoes are monitored and held to the highest of standards.

What is BPA? Do your canned items contain BPA?

BPA, or Bisphenol A, is an ingredient in the epoxy which coats cans to preserve food. The coating allows food processors to utilize effective sterilization processes that ultimately protect the food from microbiological contamination to avoid food poisoning and protect the health of the public. We at Cento Fine Foods are aware of the consumer preference for can coatings that do not contain BPA. As of 2014, we transitioned out of epoxy based can linings and changed to other composite linings that do not utilize BPA in their formula for all of our canned products. We are now proud to assure you that none of our cans contain BPA as an ingredient in the protective lining. We hope this clearly answers any questions or concerns you may have regarding the use of BPA in our cans. We thank you for your continued support. Please feel free to contact us for additional information.

How do I know if a product contains allergens, glutens, etc.?

In compliance with national labelling laws, all of our products clearly state any allergens used in the manufacturing of the product. Please read every ingredient statement for all allergen declarations.

What is the sediment at the bottom of my balsamic vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar is an all-natural product and tends to have naturally occurring sediment from the grapes used to produce it. This sediment, known as the “mother of the vinegar”, is safe for consumption and not harmful in any way. Storing balsamic vinegar in a cool, dry place and closing the lid tightly will help prevent the formation of this sediment.

I’m having issues with opening my Cento Roasted Red Peppers, why is that?

The manufacturer of our jars for Cento Roasted Red Peppers made a change to the sealant for the lids, which caused issues with opening and removing the lids. The issue has been addressed and we have reverted to the old sealant, but some of the hard-to-open jars are still on the shelves. If you’re having trouble opening your jar of Cento Roasted Red Peppers, try using a silicone or rubber grip, running the lid under hot water, using a butter knife or teaspoon to break the seal or holding the jar at a 45-degree angle and smacking the bottom of it to create air bubbles and in turn, loosen the lid.

The foil in my Cento stock has been opened, what does that mean?

For consumer convenience, Cento stocks come with a twist-cap perforating aluminum safety seal. A one-step process to opening your new stock, there is no longer a tab to pull or cut under the cap. By twisting the cap, the tamper evidence ring will break away from the cap, producing a clicking sound, and the teeth under the lid will break the inner safety seal.

Why is the country of origin not mentioned on the products?

National labeling laws do not require the country of origin to be placed on the label if a product is manufactured within the United States. All of our imported products, however, clearly state the country of origin on the back or side panel of the label. If the country of origin doesn’t appear on the label, the product was produced domestically.

Why aren’t there “Best Before” dates?

Although “Best Before” dates aren’t required by laboring laws, Cento is committed to applying consumer-friendly “Best Before” dates on all of our products. In the event that your product is not clearly labeled with an open “Best Before” date, please fill out our Expiration Date form and we will gladly assist you in interpreting our product traceability codes.

What is double concentrated tomato paste and how does that equate to regular tomato paste?

Cento Double Concentrated Tomato Paste in a Tube is imported from Italy and therefore has a more robust flavor than our other canned Cento Tomato Paste. Because this has a stronger flavor than our canned tomato paste, we recommend using less in recipes that call for canned tomato paste. If your recipe calls for 2 Tablespoons of canned paste, 1 Tablespoon of Cento Double Concentrated Tomato Paste in a Tube should be used.

What is anchovy paste and can I use it as a substitute for anchovy fillets?

Cento Anchovy Paste combines ground anchovies of the Adriatic Sea and sunflower oil in a convenient, resealable tube that can be stored in the refrigerator for later use. It provides a burst of flavor to any sauce, antipasto, Caesar salad dressing or dip. You can use anchovy paste in place of anchovy fillets, with the equivalent of 2 anchovy fillets to ½ teaspoon of anchovy paste.

What are the black specks found in the jars of roasted peppers and marinated peppers?

Our peppers are fire-roasted and do not contain any artificial preservatives. The black spots, known as “char”, are a result of the open-flame fire roasting, and are not harmful in any way. The char adds to the delicious fire roasted taste.

After I open a jarred item, how do I properly store it?

Always check the label of each product for proper storage procedures. Generally speaking, most jarred products need to be refrigerated after opening. In most cases, it is best to cover all remaining product with water or oil before refrigerating to preserve freshness. If the item is packed in brine or water, add water. If it is packed in an oil marinade, add oil.

After opening canned tomatoes, how do I properly store them?

When storing unused canned tomatoes, seal them in an air-tight container and refrigerated immediately to preserve for 4-6 days. For long term storage, seal tomatoes in an air-tight container and freeze for up to 3 months.

Do you have a mailing list?

Yes! Please join our Mailing List by subscribing to our Cento Newsletter in the footer below. Sign up to receive emails and stay up-to-date with the latest news from Cento. We are always updating our social media accounts with the latest recipes, cooking tips and our newest products. Connect with us on social media! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube: @CentoFineFoods

Do you sell to the general public?

Products from our family of brands are now available for purchase on our online store, Shop Cento. If you are looking for a local retailer that carries Cento products, please feel free to contact us via our Locate a Product form. If the item you’re looking for isn’t available where you shop, we recommend speaking to your store’s management to request the product(s).

What are GMOs? Do your products contain GMOs?

GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. Genetic modification, also called genetic engineering, is most simply defined as the direct human manipulation of an organism’s DNA in a laboratory environment. This modification may include the addition of DNA from species that would not breed in nature, or the removal of specific strands of DNA. Examples of GMO manipulations include increasing an organism’s nutritional content or increasing a plant’s resistance to herbicides. It is important to note that GMOs don’t include plants and animals that are traditionally bred to achieve specific characteristics, i.e. cross-pollination or cross breeding. At Cento, we believe in transparency, sustainability and consistent quality. Although the USDA, FDA, WHO and AMA (links) concluded that products containing genetically modified ingredients pose no health risks, we understand the consumer preference for items containing no genetically modified ingredients. Because of this, we began transitioning our labeling policies in 2016 to clearly identify any products that do not contain genetically modification.

How do I identify Cento GMO free products? Who certifies the Cento GMO Free label?

You can identify NON-GMO products through our GMO statement, “Not produced with genetic engineering”, which indicates the product was not produced by means of genetic modification. At Cento, we believe in transparency. Our customers have the right to access accurate information about the products they purchase and use. In linewith the importance we place on transparency, we implemented our NON-GMO statement to help easily identify products that do not contain any genetically modified ingredients. Applying standards from the FDA, USDA and EU, Cento self-certifies our NON-GMO products through the continuous procurement of records and analytical testing for the ingredients in our products baring our NON-GMO statement The USDA has recently outlined guidelines for the labeling and disclosing of “Bioengineered Foods” (BE). The mandatory labeling of the BE products will start to roll out in January 2022.

What are these white spots on my chocolate?

With the following statement we inform that the presence of white spots on the surface of the chocolate is a phenomenon calling blooming. This is a typical phenomenon of chocolate mainly caused by the temperature. In fact, if the chocolate is stored at a too high temperature or is subject to frequent changes in temperature the cocoa butter loses its stability and migrates to the surface. Blooming is a purely aesthetic defect. The product loses its typical gloss, but is still suitable for consumption and perfectly safe. Please contact us with any questions.