Why Are Tomatoes Acidic? (The Real Reasons)

why are tomatoes acidic

If you love tomato sauce but hate the acidic taste it can leave in your mouth, then this blog post is for you.

A lot of people believe that tomatoes contain an acid called citric acid, which makes them sour and acidic.

This blog post will discuss how the pH level of a tomato impacts its flavor and if there are other ingredients that affect it as well.

Let’s find out more, shall we?

Why are tomatoes so acidic?

Tomatoes are sometimes more acidic than other fruits. It is because of the sugar and acid content in them. Sunlight also affects how acidic they are. If they are not ripe, then they can be more acidic than when they are ripe.

why are tomatoes acidic

They are acidic with a pH of 4.3-4.9 for fresh ones. If you cook them, the pH will change because of the cooking process and additives used to make them taste better or look better.

The ones that are canned have a pH of 3.5-4.7, which is lower than those that are fresh. This is because adding a preservation agent increases the shelf life of the canned ones. For tomato puree and juice, the pH ranges from 4.1-4.6

There are many different acids in tomatoes. The main ones are citric acid and malic acid which can affect the flavor. These acids can be affected by a few major factors, such as:

  • What variety was planted
  • How much sunlight it has
  • How ripe it is
  • How much water it gets
  • And its location

Tomatoes will have a different flavor depending on the concentration of acid and sugar in them. If you have less water, there is more acid inside, which means that they will taste sour.

If you have more water, then the fruits will be sweeter. You should give your plants enough water so they can grow properly.

It’s the same analogy to when you put sugar in a cup of water, it will taste sweeter. If there is less water, then the same amount of sugar will taste sweeter.

So if there is not much rain in the growing season, the fruits will have less water, therefore, they would contain a higher amount of acid inside.

Also, tomatoes that are grown in different areas can change their flavor profiles. Those that are on opposite sides of the country can taste different and have a different combination of acids and sugars.

You might need to experiment with some other combinations if you want yours to grow sweet, sour, or balanced.

Can you make your tomatoes less acidic?

I can’t make your tomatoes less acidic if they’re still green on the inside. If you cut them and try, there is no way it would be a good experience for your taste buds.

So, what can you do?

If your tomatoes are just fine (i.e: they’re ripe ones), but you would like them to be less acidic, what you can do is one of the following methods.

Get rid of the jelly & seeds inside

Tomatoes can be cut open and the seeds (and jelly) discarded. When you remove the seeds, you will get less acidity, because they are the most astringent.

Try adding some sugar

To make things sweeter, add sugar. If you are cooking something that requires the tomatoes to cook, adding the sugar at the end or while it is simmering might be a good idea. Just try it.

Add a few more hours of simmering

When you simmer tomatoes, it can help them release their natural sugars. When you add onions and carrots to the sauce, they add sweetness without adding any sugar.

So for this to work, you need to simmer on low for at least two hours so the flavors can come together.

What makes some tomatoes sweet to taste?

Many varieties are sweet because of the sugars that form during the ripening process. These sugars are glucose and fructose, which also affect how flavorful the tomato is.

As a tomato ripens, it becomes sweeter. This is because exposure to adequate sunlight enhances their sweetness.

The ones grown in areas with less sun tend to be less sweet than tomatoes grown in warm but sunny regions like California or Mexico.

When cooked for a long time, most of the liquid in the fruit is gone. This means that the sugar is more concentrated in the tomato sauce.

Tomatoes are first acidic, and then sweet. As the sweet taste increases, the acidity decreases, but never disappears completely.

Are tomatoes high in acid?

They might be healthy, but they also might cause heartburn according to WebMD. It is best not to eat them too much for people with allergies.

Can I eat tomatoes if I have acid reflux?

Do not eat tomatoes if you have acid reflux (source). They are bad for your heart in some ways but in other ways, they can make acid reflux worse.

What tomato has the least acid?

Tomatoes with low acid are the Golden Boy or Lemon Boy and Golden Jubilee. They turn yellow when they get ripe and have the word “sweet” in their name.

Are cherry tomatoes less acidic?

Yes, there are a series of sweet cherry tomatoes, from the “Super Sweet 100” to the “Pink Grapefruit” variety. All of these varieties are described as low-acid.

Do green tomatoes have less acid?

Green tomatoes are not ripe yet. They are pale green all over, feel harder, and have a more acidic flavor. For people who have sensitivities to acidic foods, green tomatoes would be more acidic than ripe ones.

Are yellow tomatoes less acidic?

This source says that the yellow and orange ones usually have a sweeter and fruitier flavor than red tomatoes. Most orange and yellow varieties have lower acid levels than red ones. It also says that some of them don’t even have ANY acid content.

Which tomato is the most acidic?

The top 3 most acidic tomatoes are:

  • Celebrity
  • Row Pack
  • Rutgers

Are tomatoes more acidic than others?

Researchers found that tomato varieties that were lighter and smaller than the average tomato were more acidic. They also found that new varieties of tomatoes were not less acidic.

The average pH for all of the tomatoes tested was between 4.14 and 4.68, with lighter and smaller tomatoes being more acidic, on average than larger ones.

Why does my tomato sauce taste acidic?

Tomato sauce tastes acidic because the tomatoes have a lot of acids. Adding sugar will balance the acidity and make it taste better. You can also add baking soda to your tomato sauce to make it less acidic, but adding sugar is easier.


Tomatoes are acidic and contain a high amount of citric acid. This is why they’re used in so many dishes that need an extra kick, such as guacamole or salsa. We hope you enjoyed this blog post on the benefits of tomatoes.

Tamara Pierce

Tamara Pierce is a food writer at Elapasony, passionate about exploring diverse cuisines and sharing recipes and food experiences. From trendy restaurants to local hotspots, she's always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors.

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