Tomato Soup Powder: Salt on higher side

Tomato Soup Powder: Salt on higher side

Tomato Soup Powder

Making simple clear soup is easy but a restaurant style consomme, bisque or a creamy soup requires time and master culinary skills. And thus, we rely much on the readymade soup products. But do we know, which brand is good to consume? Here’s a comparison of four major tomato soup brands.

By Ashok Kanchan

India is positioned 16th in the global soup market, with average per capita consumption at about 0.09 Kg volume of about 9.9 kilo tonnes in 2019 and expected to reach 11 kilo tonnes in 2020. Tomato based soup is the most popular flavour in India. With these given facts, there is always an ambiguity about choosing the best food brand-be it a tomato soup. To make it easy for our consumers, we selected four popular brands of tomato soup powder to interpret the nutritional information given in their labels.

Sl. No. Brand Manufacturer / Marketer
1 Bambino Bambino Agro Industries Ltd.
2 Ching’s  Capital Foods Pvt. Ltd.
3 Knorr Hindustan Unilever Ltd.
4 Snac tac

Reliance Retail Ltd.

The Indian Regulation, Food Safety and Standards (Packaging & Labeling) Regulations, 2011 says mandatory nutritional information or nutritional facts per 100gram or 100milli litre or per serving of the product shall be given on the label containing the following information:

(i) Energy value in kilo calories.

(ii) The amounts of protein, carbohydrate (specify quantity of sugar) and fat in gram (g) or ml.

(iii) The amount of any other nutrient for which a nutrition or health claim is made. However, declaration of salt/sodium/fibre or dietary fibre and calcium is not mandatory.

2020 per day Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for Indians

Revised RDA’s 2020documenthas added 5 kg to the ideal body weight of Indians. According to the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN)-2010 report, the ideal weight of an Indian man was 60 kg, and for woman it was 50 kg.  However, the revised 2020 document said the increase in ideal weight was a result of increase in nutritional food intake. The reference height for Indian men and women has also been increased. While it was 5 feet for women and 5 feet 6 inches for men in 2010, it has now been revised to 5 feet 3 inches for women and 5 feet 8 inches for men.

RDA table has been updated and the new table has included carbohydrate while excludedenergy. Thereby,as the ideal weight for man and woman has been changed, requirements of protein, calciumhas been changed as well. However, there is no change in salt requirement. RDA refers to the daily dietary nutrient intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 percent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group. As per the Report of the Expert Group of National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) of 2020, major changes are as follows:


Age Group


Category of work


Body Wt





(kg) (gram/day) (gram/day)




















Pregnant woman



+ 10







Lactation 0-6m









Dietary Fibre

Dietary Fibre refers to plant cell wall components that are not digestible by human digestive enzymes. Dietary fiber requirement can be met by adopting a diet that incorporates plant origin foods including fruits, vegetables and grains.

Benefits of a high-fibre diet

  • Normalizes bowel movements. 
  • Helps maintain bowel health. 
  • Lowers cholesterol levels. 
  • Helps control blood sugar levels. 
  • Aids in achieving healthy weight.

The 2020 Report of the Expert Group of National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recommended about 40 gram /2000 kcal has been considered as safe intake.

Per serving carbohydrate, protein and fibre measurement

Sl. No. Brand Carbohydrate Protein Fibre / Dietary Fibre
In one Serving(gram) % of RDA (for man / woman)

In one Serving


% RDA for man

In one Serving


% RDA (ICMR) Recommendation)
1 Bambino 8.1 6.2 1.3 2.4 1.0 2.5
2 Ching’s  10.4 8.0 0.7 1.3 NM
3 Knorr 9.2 7.1 0.7 1.3 0.5 1.25
4 Snac tac 9.2 7.1 1.1 2.0 NM

NM -Not Mentioned

Key findings

  • We found brand Ching’s with highest declared carbohydrate and the brand Bambino has it lowest.
  • Consuming one serving of Ching’s tomato soup by man/woman implies 8 per cent of his/her daily carbohydraterequirement is met.
  • We found brand Bambino with highest declared protein and it was found lowest in Ching’s and Knorr.
  • Consuming one serving of Snac tac tomato soup by man means 2 per cent of his daily protein requirement is met.
  • Declaration of dietary fibre on the label is not mandatory. We saw brands Bambino and Knorr declared it on their labels. However, we found dietary fibre was higher in Bambino than Knorr.


WHO guidance on dietary salt

Adults should consume less than two grams of sodium, or five grams of salt per day. A person with elevated sodium levels could be at risk of raised blood pressure which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.


Traffic Light Labeling 

Foods which are high in fat, sugar and salt are linked with obesity and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure.Food Standards Agency of United Kingdom (U.K.) developed Traffic Light Labeling guidelines to help consumers to:

  • Correctly identify healthier food products.
  • Make comparisons between products easily.
  • Make these comparisons at a glance.

The above labeling system however is not followed in India.

The criteria for foods were set out as follows (per 100-gram food):



(Low content)


(Medium content)


(High content)

Fat less than or equal 3 gram More than 3 gram to 17.5 gram more than 17.5 gram
Sugar less than or equal 5 gram More than 5 gram to 22.5 gram more than 22.5 gram
Salt less than or equal 0.3 gram More than 0.3 gram to 1.5 gram more than 1.5 gram

Results will be interpreted, which can be easily understood as follows:

Green:  Eat often (Desirable)

Amber: Eat occasionally (Neutral)

Red: Eat sparingly (Undesirable)

Traffic Light Rating 

Sl. No. Brand Fat Sugar Salt

In 100 gram


Traffic Light

In 100 gram




In 100 gram




Salt per Serve 


1 Bambino 6.2 Amber 19.0 Amber 12.2* Red 1.8*
2 Ching’s  3.3 Amber 34.2 Red 11.3* Red 1.5*
3 Knorr 5.7 Amber 35.7 Red 10.1* Red 1.3*
4 Snac tac 4.9 Amber 20.3 Amber NM


NM – Not Mentioned

*Sodium multiplied by 2.5

Key findings

  • Traffic light for fat is amber in all brands which means one shall consume all these brands occasionally.
  • Traffic light for sugar is red of brands Ching’ and Knorr. It denotes one shall consume these brands sparingly. Traffic light for sugar is amber for brands Bambino and Snac tac.
  • Declaration of sodium/ salt is not mandatory in nutrition information of labels so only brands Bambino, Ching’s and Knorr have declared this information. In brands that have declared sodium/salt, traffic light is red – means one shall consume them sparingly.
  • Salt is on higher side in all brands. As per the WHO Guidance, consumption of one serving of Bambino tomato soup means one has consumed 36 per cent (more than 1/3) of its daily salt requirement.We found salt was lowest in Knorr brand.

Unit price 

Unit pricing or comparative pricingis a way to show the price of a commodity in relation to a standard unit of measure, such as the kilogram or litre or number. Unit price gives fair idea about cheaper and costlier brands.

Sl. No. Brand

Maximum Retail

Price (MRP)


Declared Serve Sizes 


Declared Net Weight on packet


Unit Price

(Price per Serve)


1 Bambino 60.00


(Buy one get one free)

50 7.50
2 Ching’s  55.00 4 55 13.75
3 Knorr 55.00 4 53 13.75
4 Snac tac 49.00 4 60 12.25

Key finding

  • As per the unit price per serving, the cheapest brand is Bambino and the costliest are Ching’s and Knorr.


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