Why Heinz Developed A Ketchup That Could Be Made On Mars

Everyone has a personal preference when it comes to condiments. Some like their sauces spicy, others like them sweet, but most people can agree on one thing — ketchup is magical. In fact, according to Darren Seiffer, a food and beverage analyst at the NPD Group, 92% of American households keep a bottle somewhere in their cupboard or fridge (via The Daily Beast). Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Mintel discovered that almost half of all Americans use ketchup weekly. Made from a special blend of tomatoes, vinegar, sweetener, and spices, this tomato-filled condiment can add flavor to any food and make it taste delectable. Also, you know a condiment is the best when there's an entire gift shop business dedicated to it on the Heinz website, with ketchup apparel such as luggage and costumes. Even singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has a tattoo of a Heinz bottle on his forearm (via Food & Wine). That's true love right there!

Not only is ketchup the current king of condiments, but it's about to be the special sauce of the future. According to a press release issued by Heinz, the ketchup company just announced the creation of its new "out-of-this-world sauce," which has been dubbed "Marz Edition." Over the past nine months, a team of astrobiologists has been hard at work at the Aldrin Space Institute at the Florida Institute of Technology, growing tomatoes in soil, temperature, and water conditions similar to that of Mars.

Heinz's pioneering experiment proves that food production beyond Earth is possible

According to Florida Tech News, the 14-person Heinz research team worked in the Red House at the Florida Institute of Technology, which is a greenhouse that replicates the conditions that humans may face when trying to farm on Mars. The soil used in the greenhouse was from the Mohave Desert — which is similar to the nature of Martian soil — and the only light that the plants received was from LED lighting. After a collective two years in the making, Heinz was able to produce a bottle of ketchup that passed its company's unparalleled quality and taste standards. This experiment demonstrates the possibility of long-term food harvesting and production beyond earth.

Heinz's groundbreaking ketchup experiment is one of the first and largest projects completed regarding farming on the Red Planet. "We're so excited that our team of experts has been able to grow tomatoes in conditions found on another planet and share our creation with the world," Cristina Kenz, the chief growth officer for Kraft Heinz International Zone, said in a press release. "From analyzing the soil from Martian conditions two years ago to harvesting now, it's been a journey that's proved wherever we end up, HEINZ Tomato Ketchup will still be enjoyed for generations to come." While we might still be a ways away from establishing a human colony in space, at least we know that Americans can still enjoy their favorite condiment on Mars!