There are differences of opinion on whether one should use a "fresh" style sauce or a cooked sauce for pizzas, which is why it is important to go with what you like best. I know that people like Big Dave Ostrander and Tom Lehmann prefer the fresh style. The following is an excerpt (in quotes, with spelling corrected) of an answer given by Big Dave to a questioner who asked him to identify the best tomatoes:
"Escalon Premier Brands & Stanislaus Food Products are the best packers of tomatoes in the world.
The two plants are only 13 miles apart on McHenry Avenue. They are in the bullseye of the finest growers in California. The climate, sun and soil unique to the San Joachim Valley is unparalled in producing the best fruit anywhere.
What really sets both companies head and sholders above all of the competition is they only produce 'fresh pack' - not from re-manufactured (paste) products. Fresh pack defined is: The fruit is picked at the height of ripeness and trucked to a California Dept. of Agriculture grading station. Here the state inspectors draw out a random core sample of the load in the trailer and assign a numeric score. The graders are looking for ripe - pink- green ratios. Mold, Color, MOT (material other than tomato) PH level and other factors. The higher the score the more money the farmer gets per ton. Only the best, highest scores get to either plants. If the load has anything below a certain score the load is diverted to another packer.
Next the tomatoes are floated off the trailers (Mater' Freighters) and washed before entering the plant. These tomatoes are harvested and arrive at the plants 27-7. They spend almost no time in the parking lots. The field coordinators are like air traffic controllers. They travel from farm to farm and determine the exact time to harvest so the flow through the plant is uninterrupted and the full trailers don't sit in the parking lots rotting.
The tomatoes are then hand sorted on a huge conveyor by 10-30 quality line workers. They cull out all of the undesirable fruit and let only the best pass through to the peeling, crushing, grinding, slicing and evaporation lines.
The next step is huge. If the cooked tomatoes go directly into the can they are called 'Fresh Pack'. They are only cooked once. If they go to the evaporators and are cooked to an industrial paste (very thick)--need to cut it with a knife or saw. Then packed in Drums or 500 gallon Mylar, Scholle Bags. Tomatoes don't like excessive heat. Since they are a fruit rather than a vegetable they naturally contain high levels of fructose sugar. These natural sugars caramelize and turn the product orange or brown rather than the vibrant red we associate with great tomatoes. Once you scorch a tomato you can't undo the damage. It forever loses its fresh, just from the vine, taste and color. This product is called 'Industrial Tomato Paste'. The Paste is then stored until an order comes in for whatever: sauce, puree, BBQ sauce, juice etc. The paste is then dilluted with water to the desired thickness, measured with a refractometer, spiced or not, blended together in a mixer and heated once again to sterilize and hit with preservatives and filled into cans or pouches and labeled. The 2 step process is called re-manufactured. This is less expensive than fresh pack because the paste can be shipped by rail to a packing plant and rehydrated--let's say in Ohio or Georgia. It cost a lot less to ship paste than it does water. The re-manners can operate plants all year long. Fresh Packers (Escalon & Stanislaus) only pack for about 100-120 days a year. They then shut down the plant and pickle it till next year. Once the rains come in late Sept or early October the fruit in the field gets unusable and pack season is over. That's why it's a 24-7 operation.
Both companies pack two levels of tomatoes based on specifications. Stanislaus' best line is branded 'Saparito' and Escalon's is 'Bonta'. These are the best of the best and have the highest NTSS (Natural Tomato Soluable Solids) percentages. The next line would be called 'Full Red' for Stanislaus and 'Emma Bella' or 'Cristiforo Columbo' in the Escalon label. These lines are exactly the same but are built to slightly lower specs. But still, very good products.
During the manufacturing process, Stanislaus chooses to add Citric Acid to the hot tomatoes as they are being filled in the can. The Citric Acid acts as a preservative by balancing the PH level so bacteria can't reproduce, eliminating spoilage and 'can bulge'. Escalon heats their product to an exact temperature and holds it there, much like pasteurizing milk, thus killing all of the bacteria, and then fills and seals the cans (under vacuum) without using Citric. This subtle difference is the big sticking point. Some operators claim that the citric gives the tomatoes a tangy/tinny taste to the back of the tongue and salivary glands. Some don't see any difference."