Tomato powder is a powder made from tomatoes which can be used to add tomato flavoring to various dishes. This product is made by turning fresh tomatoes into a slurry and spray drying the slurry. With spray drying, hot gas is forced through a liquid mixture, creating a fine powder of uniform consistency. The consistency of the powder can be adjusted by making small adjustments to the spray nozzle as necessary. The result is a highly concentrated powder which usually has a dull red color which is sometimes enhanced with coloring because people expect it to be bright red.
One way to use tomato powder is as a base for tomato paste. The powder keeps longer than most tomato paste, and allows people to mix up exactly as much as they need for a fresh, clear flavor. Tomato paste is used in a variety of sauces and soups, especially in Italian cuisine. Tomato powder can also be used to make tomato soups, or to fortify broths and pasta sauces if they have a weak tomato flavor and a stronger one is desired.
Many dishes can also benefit from a small sprinkle of tomato powder to make their flavors pop a bit more. Especially in the winter when it can be difficult to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables, people may enjoy the summery flavor of fresh tomatoes when it's added to various dishes. Tomato powder can also be used in dips, seasoning mixes, and sauces. For example, people can add tomato powder to cream cheese to make a tomato-cream cheese spread for toast.
One thing to be aware of with tomato flavor is that it tends to attract moisture. If it is left in a cupboard which is damp, it may clot and clump. It should be stored in an airtight container to reduce the risk of losing flavor and to minimize clumping. It can also be stored in a freezer; the powder will stay loose in the freezer and it should also stay fresh and retain the strong flavor.