Author Topic: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce  (Read 46601 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« on: May 03, 2008, 09:42:35 PM »
I have been conducting experiments recently in an attempt to try to reverse engineer a basic original pepperoni pizza from Papa John’s. As part of this effort, I have tried to reverse engineer the signature pizza sauce that PJ uses on that pizza (and others as well).

The starting point for the reverse engineering of the PJ sauce was information that was provided to me a couple of years ago by PJ, in which the ingredients for the sauce were given as follows:

Pizza Sauce: Vine-ripened fresh tomatoes, sunflower oil, sugar, salt, spices, garlic*, extra virgin olive oil and citric acid. *Dehydrated.

A statement accompanied the above ingredients list that read as follows: “Ingredients are not necessarily listed in the order of predominance”.  Usually, in documents required by government regulators, the ingredients are required to be specified by their predominance, by weight. Possibly the information I received was not a public document. However, for my purposes, I decided to treat it as such.

Earlier ingredients lists for the PJ sauce that I was able to find from Internet searches indicated that oregano was one of the “spices” used by PJ in its basic sauce. I also saw references to basil and black pepper. The PJ website indicates at the F.A.Q.s/Allergen section at http://www.papajohns.com/menu/faqs.htm that the sauce includes a blend of sunflower and olive oils. Another section of the website, at http://www.papajohns.com/pizza_story/sauce.htm, says that the tomatoes are “packed within an average of six hours after harvesting”. Elsewhere the tomatoes are described as being “fresh-pack” tomatoes. I am pretty certain that the tomatoes come from Stanislaus, because of the “citric acid” listed in the sauce ingredients. Escalon, the other major supplier of fresh-pack tomatoes to the pizza industry, does not use any citric acid in its tomato products. To the best of my knowledge, there are no other suppliers than Stanislaus and Escalon that are in the position of being able to supply fresh-pack tomatoes to meet the needs of a pizza chain (PJ) with over 2000 stores in the U.S. (and over 3000 worldwide).

The other major part of my reverse engineering effort was to obtain a sample of the PJ sauce itself. To do this, I simply asked the counterperson at a local PJ’s where I purchased a PJ original pepperoni pizza for a sample of their regular pizza sauce in lieu of the garlic sauce they usually hand out. I told the counterperson that I preferred to dip the rims of my PJ crusts in their pizza sauce rather than their garlic sauce. I was given a sample that, on my scale when I got back home, weighed 80 grams. That was the sauce that I tried to reverse engineer to come up with a clone. I guarded it like it was gold. As a side note, I wondered whether PJ’s uses the same sauce for its breadsticks. As best I could tell from the PJ counterperson, the sauces are similar but not the same. 

The first thing I did with the PJ sauce was to closely examine it. It was very smooth, with no tomato chunks. It was not watery. I could see very small greenish/grayish “shreds” that I took to be herbs of some sort. The sauce also had a sheen to it that no doubt was because of the oil blend of sunflower and olive oils. The sauce had a sweetish taste, was not salty, and I detected garlic, but it was not overwhelming. The sauce did not taste particularly oily, but I could feel it on the tongue.

To replicate that sauce in my case, I decided to use the Escalon 6-in-1 tomatoes (ground tomatoes with added puree) since I did not have a 28-ounce can of the Stanislaus Tomato Magic tomato product that is considered to be the Stanislaus counterpart to the 6-in-1s. My starting quantity of the 6-in-1 tomatoes was around 145 grams. According to information provided by member dapizza at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,994.msg38390.html#msg38390 (Reply 14), PJ uses 5 ounces (about 142 grams) of pizza sauce on its pizzas (which I took to be the 14” size). Before weighing out the tomatoes, I first pulverized them with an immersion stick blender to get rid of any chunks of tomato, and then drained some of the water out of them. I was careful not to drain too much water because I wanted the final sauce to have some “spreadability” to it when saucing the pizza.

As my approach to replicating the PJ sauce, I decided to first try to get the same sweetness as the PJ sauce, which appears to be a dominant characteristic of the PJ pizza sauce, then the herbal taste, the garlic and, finally, the oil blend--to get a sheen and mouthfeel comparable to the PJ pizza sauce. If I could get close with this approach, the salt and possibly ground pepper would be the final adjustments. Doing repetitive taste comparisons as I added ingredients to the 6-in-1s and noted their quantities, I finally came up with the following ingredients and quantities:

144 grams 6-in-1 tomatoes, partially drained (the weight is the weight after draining)
1 t. sunflower oil
7/8 t. sugar
1/16 t. salt
5/16 t. dried oregano* (Italian variety that originally came from my garden and was pulverized in a mortar and pestle and between my fingers)
1/8 t. dried basil* (Italian variety that also originally came from my garden and was pulverized in a mortar and pestle and between my fingers)
1/8 t. garlic powder
a dash of olive oil (I used Classico in the bottle with the yellow label)
* the amount is after pulverizing

I found no need to add any ground pepper, inasmuch as I could not detect it in the sauce. To allow the herbs to infuse in the tomatoes, I put the sauce into my refrigerator overnight. The following day, I could taste the difference. As with any sauce, it can be tweaked to suit personal tastes.

Overall, I found my “clone” pizza sauce to be quite close to the sample I used for my test. There was still a slight difference, which could have been because of some unidentifiable herb or because of the citric acid in the PJ pizza sauce. If anything, at the end of my test I concluded that my clone had a fresher, brighter taste. I have used my clone a few times to make clone PJ pizzas and it seems to work quite well.

I have shown below a couple of photos of my recent PJ pepperoni pizza clones in which I used my clone sauce. As befits my new avatar, I showed the latest PJ clone in a pizza box (a PJ pizza box, at that.) At some point, when I am satisfied with my dough formulation, I will perhaps be posting that dough formulation in another thread. I still have a little bit of the PJ pizza sauce sample left (in my freezer), so I may try at some point to scale up my recipe and also to see if I can make a Wal-Mart Great Value crushed tomatoes clone version. Those with the Stanislaus Tomato Magic product might be able to use a similar approach to mine to try to get an even closer clone to the PJ pizza sauce.

For those who are interested, the 6-in-1 canned tomatoes can be purchased directly from the producer, Escalon, at http://www.escalon.net/. The 6-in-1s are also occasionally sold in supermarkets, including some Kroger supermarkets and specialty Italian food stores. Many foodservice companies that supply the pizza industry also stock the 6-in-1s. Some of these foodservice companies will sell to individuals on a cash-and-carry basis.

Peter

Edit (2/18/14): For a replacement link for the two above inoperative links, see the FAQ on the sauce at http://www.papajohns.com/faqs/nutritional-faqs.shtm
« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 09:18:45 AM by Pete-zza »


Offline November

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2008, 11:05:01 PM »
That's a crazy salt-to-sugar ratio: about 9.3 times more sugar than salt.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2008, 09:08:01 AM »
November,

You raise a very interesting point—one that was not lost on me as I worked on the PJ sauce clone. As I was working on the sauce clone, the disparity you noted prompted me to look at the labels for the Stanislaus Tomato Magic, 6-in-1 and Wal-Mart Great Value tomato products. I don’t know which Stanislaus tomato product PJ is actually using, but if my math is correct, 145 grams of the Tomato Magic product (undrained) contains 324.9 mg. of sodium and 9.28 g. of natural sugars. For the 6-in-1s, the corresponding numbers are 232.3 mg. of sodium and 5.27 g. of sugars. The ratio of sugars/sodium for the Tomato Magic product is higher than for the 6-in-1s (28.57 vs. 22.21). For comparison purposes, the Wal-Mart Great Value tomato product, which I have always thought was “salty” to my palate, contains 225.82 mg. of sodium and 4.75 g. of sugars for a 145 g. serving. Its ratio of sugars to sodium is the lowest of the three products (21.03). I don’t know if it is a valid assumption, but I assume that if I wanted the 6-in-1s to “behave” more like the Tomato Magic, I would perhaps have to add some salt (a little over 1/32 t.) and sugar to the 6-in-1s. On a weight basis, and using table sugar (sucrose) as the added sweetener, that would come to about a teaspoon. Maybe a mild honey or some other sweetener with fructose and glucose would come closer.

As previously discussed, I chose to try to replicate the PJ sauce ingredients and their quantities as best I could using actual PJ information and a sample of the pizza sauce actually used by PJ. I thought that this would be a better way to go than starting with a copycat recipe as found on the Internet. No doubt, my personal senses of smell and taste were a factor in trying to create the clone, and may have been the basis for my not using more salt. However, to me, the PJ pizza sauce did not taste salty, but it did taste sweet. I concluded that if one can get the sweetness of the tomatoes to the right level and the herbs to the right levels, then the resulting sauce should work pretty well on a PJ pizza clone. As it so happened, in my case the salt, as a percent of the weight of tomatoes, fell in between the sugar and spices, although there was plenty of room to use more salt and keep it in the same place in the pecking order.

Interestingly, the PJ pizza sauce appears not to have changed all that much over the years from the standpoint of ingredients used (although the quantities and the ingredients pecking order may have changed). For example, in a June 1, 2001 document originating with Papa John’s, and disclosed at https://home.comcast.net/~tfcozzo/food/PapaJohns.htm, the “Pizza Sauce Mix” was given as:

Pizza Sauce Mix: Fresh tomatoes, sunflower oil/extra virgin olive oil blend, salt, oregano, spices (pepper), citric acid, sugar, garlic, basil, soybean oil, pectinase.

The “Pizza Dipping Sauce” used at that time was very similar to the Pizza Sauce Mix except that the tomatoes were just plain “tomatoes”, which may not have been the “fresh tomatoes” used in the Pizza Sauce Mix.

Peter
« Last Edit: July 02, 2008, 09:30:44 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline November

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2008, 11:01:38 AM »
Peter,

Maybe when I have a little more time, we can talk about using instrumentation (that you hopefully have access to) and special techniques for determining constituents and their quantities in an unknown solution or material.  I have no doubt that you can tell if one sauce has the same amount of salt or sugar as the other by taste alone, but only if salt or sugar is the only ingredient.  Unfortunately for reverse engineering efforts, human taste buds are deficient for separating receptor signals generated by different chemicals.  Proteins for instance are actually registered as sweet in the human mouth, and some proteins are so sweet, they are even used as artificial sweeteners (e.g. monellin, thaumatin, brazzein, curculin, pentadin to name a few).  Monellin for example is 3000 times sweeter than sucrose by weight.  So the protein species factor also contributes to one particular variety of tomato's sweetness over another, usually in a more subtle way than what sucrose provides.  I'm saying this primarily as a reminder that all kinds of chemicals fight for the same taste receptors in your mouth, not that you should worry about protein species in your tomatoes.  It's quite possible that PJ is using more or less of a particular herb that contributes to the sweetness level of the sauce.  Herbs, like tomatoes, can also sometimes contain ethers, phenols, methyl compounds, and the like that provide a sweet sensation.  Anethole, estragole, chavicol, and safrole are examples of such chemicals.

There are all sorts of ways of separating chemicals and compounds from a solution, which is what you really need to do for better accuracy.  I'll get back to this subject as soon as I can.

- red.november

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2008, 11:32:35 AM »
November,

Thanks for your reply. I sensed that there were competing factors in my analysis. However, I was only looking for a reasonable approximation. Also, as I was adding things to the tomatoes, I had my eye on the pecking order. Once I got to the point where I was satisfied with the sugar and herbs, I filled in the gaps with the rest of the ingredients while keeping them in the original pecking order given by PJ.

I am in no particular hurry on this matter. The last PJ pepperoni pizza I bought (with extra sauce) weighed around 38 ounces. The last two PJ clones I made were a couple ounces less. I will be in leftovers for a while at the rate of my pizza consumption. The next aspect of this project is to find out why my clones are about two ounces less than the PJ pizza. FWIW, the last two PJ clones I made lost about 6.8% and 9.3%, respectively, during baking (at 475 degrees F and 500 degrees F, respectively). I have long wondered about these sorts of things.

Peter




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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2008, 04:07:04 PM »
Peter,
I really wanted to try this for a pizza I am making tomorrow so I set out to get the ingredients that I don't have on hand. I wrote down sunflower oil and searched high and low for it, but could not find any. I DID locate Safflower oil. I grabbed it thinking that maybe I read it wrong here. I got back from the store and re-read this thread and found that indeed it's sunflower oil that I need. Strike 1. I also had no luck finding the 6 in 1's. Strike 2. I'll have to try other stores for the elusive ingredients, but for now I am going to make this using my usual Centos crushed tomatoes. As far as the Safflower oil, I'm not sure if I should use it. Is sunflower oil hard to find?
Kevin

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2008, 04:31:31 PM »
Kevin,

I had a hard time finding the sunflower oil. I thought for sure that a high-end food store near me would have it because they carry just about every type of oil that man has ever created--with literally hundreds of bottles on six shelves twelve-feet long that took me about 15 minutes to examine in search of the sunflower oil. But, no sunflower oil. I also checked a Kroger's near me, also to no avail. I finally found the sunflower oil at a no-frills food store that caters primarily to a Hispanic base. I fell to my knees with great happiness when I found it.

There are some traditional food stores and some specialty food stores that carry the 6-in-1s but it depends where you live. There are no stores near me that carry the 6-in-1s so I bought my most recent supply directly from Escalon, at escalon.net. Some food stores also carry the Stanislaus Tomato Magic. I have found it in the past in a Dallas Italian specialty food store in both 28-ounce and #10 can sizes. There are also foodservice companies that carry both the 6-in-1s and the Tomato Magic (as well as other Stanislaus products), but not all of them sell to private individuals on a cash-and-carry basis, and they may carry only the #10 cans. PennMac, at http://www.pennmac.com/page/27, carries the 6-in-1s but shipping charges may be high. If you are interested, you can compare the total costs at both Escalon and PennMac.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 11:59:47 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Garlic head

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2008, 04:37:15 PM »
Peter,
The 6 in 1's, I don't think I'll have a hard time finding. I've seen them around so I will find them.
It also just occurred to me that there is a heath food store within walking distance of my house. I bet they will have the sunflower oil so I'll be making this eventually, just not today. I'll report my results here.
Kevin

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2008, 02:35:13 PM »
In order to make PJ pizza clones more efficiently, I decided to scale up the sauce recipe I previously posted. This time, I started with a full 28-ounce can of the Escalon 6-in-1s. The baseline for the latest batch was the set of percents of ingredients I previously used, except that this time I reduced the amount of garlic powder in order to keep it in the right place in the original PJ ingredients list recited in the opening post in this thread.

As before, I pureed the 6-in-1s with an immersion blender and drained some of the water from the pureed tomatoes. The amount of tomato product to which I added the remaining sauce ingredients was 668 grams (23.56 oz.). Because of the larger quantity of oregano and basil used this time, I used a spice blender to pulverize the dried oregano and basil leaves. I used my MyWeigh 300-Z scale to weigh out as accurately as possible all of the ingredients, other than the 6-in-1s for which I used my regular scale, and did my best to convert those weights to volumes, using conversion data in some cases to confirm my actual conversions using measuring spoons. In my weighings, I used grams as the measure of weight. The resulting sauce recipe, including percents of ingredients relative to the weight of the 6-in-1s (668 g.), is as follows:

100%, 6-in-1 puree, 668 g. (23.56 oz.) (Note: the weight is the weight after pureeing and draining)
2.759%, Sunflower oil, 4.60 t. (18.43 g.)
2.483%, Sugar, 4.16 t. (16.59 g.)
0.241%, Salt, 0.29 t. (1.61 g.)
0.207%, Dried Italian oregano, processed in a spice grinder, 2 1/4 t. (1.38 g.) (Note: weight is after grinding)
0.069%, Dried Italian basil, processed in the spice grinder, 5/8 t. (0.46 g.) (Note: weight is after grinding)
0.194%, Garlic powder, 3/8 t. (1.30 g.)
0.172%, Olive oil, 0.26 t. (1.15 g.) (Note: I used the Classico olive oil in the bottle with the yellow label)

When using the sauce on a dough skin, I found that it spread out similarly to other pizza sauces I have used. However, if desired, it can be thinned out a bit using some of the juices drained from the tomatoes at the outset. So, for those who attempt the recipe, it may be a good idea to reserve a small amount of the juices for such a purpose.  To my tastebuds, the latest sauce batch tasted the same as my original clone sauce. As with any recipe of a subjective nature, some tweaking of the ingredients may be necessary to satisfy personal taste preferences. Also, ingredients like oregano and basil can vary quite widely based on brand, age, storage conditions, how long they marinate in the sauce, etc.

As November previously noted, unless I were to use sophisticated analytical equipment/methods, my clone is unlikely to be a precise or accurate replication of the PJ sauce sample I used as the basis to produce the clone. Without a doubt, my tastebuds and sense of smell won't be the same as the next person. So, even though I tried to keep all of the ingredients in the right places in the ingredients list, there is still a lot of subjectivity to the process. Also, since I am not a diehard PJ aficionado, others who are big PJ pizza fans may be in a better position to tell me whether the clone bears a sufficient resemblance to the PJ sauce. After I have used the clone sauce for a while, I may even buy another PJ pizza just to see if it is still close to the real thing, even if only for my tastebuds.

Peter 


« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 12:20:42 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline November

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2008, 04:20:54 PM »
Peter,

I have a friend who only orders from Papa John's, so the next pizza I make that I know he'll be around to taste, I will use this sauce to see what he thinks.  I think I will use a Papa John's dough clone too, just to get the whole experience as close as possible.

- red.november


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2008, 04:54:57 PM »
November,

You previously mentioned the sugar/salt ratio. Is there a relationship between the two? For example, if I doubled the amount of salt in a salt/sugar combination (e.g., in a sauce), would I have to increase the sugar proportionately or in some other way in order to detect/maintain the same degree of sweetness? And would the same phenomenon apply to salt and sugar in a dough?

Peter

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2008, 05:25:08 PM »
Peter,

There is not an exact answer to that since we're still dealing with the very subjective topic of flavor.  However, from a chemistry standpoint, to have an equal number of sodium ions as sucrose molecules, you would need a ratio of about 5.857 g sucrose for every 1 g of sodium chloride.  This assumes that both the salt and the sugar are fully dissolved in whatever is being flavored.  Objectively that would be a balanced mix, but if you're trying to achieve a more salty flavor, as most savory foods have, you would obviously use more salt to accomplish that.

- red.november

Offline November

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2008, 05:42:25 PM »
And would the same phenomenon apply to salt and sugar in a dough?

The major reason one adds sugar to a tomato product is to cut the acidity.  There is very little acid in dough by comparison, so how much to add of sugar is still a subjective matter.  Salt also takes on a different role in dough, so how much to add of salt is a matter that resigns itself to what you are trying to achieve with your dough biologically, chemically, or physically, in addition to flavor.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2008, 08:04:27 PM »
In the course of my ongoing research on the Papa John's original pizza, I came across a couple of other online documents that provide some clues to what PJ has used, and may now be using, in its pizza sauces. The first source is http://www.vegfamily.com/forums/showthread.php?t=503&page=2 (dated 5/27/03), in which the PJ pizza sauce is stated to comprise:

Pizza Sauce: Tomatoes, blend of vegetable oils (sunflower and olive), sugar, salt, garlic, spices, and citric acid, soybean oil.

The second source, at http://www.joyfoodsinc.com/papajohns_prod2.html, states the pizza sauce used by PJ for its thin crust pizzas (made by contract vendors) to comprise:

SAUCE: Vine-ripened fresh tomatoes, sunflower seed oil, sugar, salt, dehydrated garlic, extra virgin olive oil, spices, citric acid.

I have now seen five different PJ sauce formulations. While there are differences between the various sauce formulations, they appear to be quite minor. So, it appears that PJ has not made many changes in their pizza sauces over the past several years.

Following up on a lead provided by member November, I was also able to confirm (via a couple of posts at the tipthepizzaguy.com website) that the PJ pizza sauces are delivered to the PJ stores in canned, ready-to-use form. The canned sauces are delivered to the stores from the PJ Quality Control Centers, of which there are now eleven in the U.S., and from whom all franchisees (which represent about 80% of all PJ stores) are required to purchase their sauces and other related products (including dough). As previously noted, PJ has long had a relationship with Stanislaus Food Products, which claims to be the biggest canner of fresh-pack tomatoes in the world. (Escalon is not far behind.) As is well known, Stanislaus already prepares ready-to-serve sauces (for pasta and pizza), so it seems quite likely that Stanislaus is involved in the preparation of the pizza sauces for PJ. As some evidence of this, I noted from Stanislaus' website at http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/products/real-italian-products/ready-products#4 that their Pizzaiolo "Autentico" pizza sauce comprises:

Vine-ripened fresh tomatoes, blend of extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil, salt, seasonings, granulated garlic and naturally derived citric acid.

Similarly, the Stanislaus Full Red Fully Prepared Pizza Sauce comprises:

Vine-ripened fresh tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, salt, oregano, seasonings, granulated garlic and naturally derived citric acid.

As can be seen by the two Stanislaus products, the ingredients used in those products are quite similar to what PJ uses but for the lack of sugar. It occurs to me that someone with access to the Stanislaus ready-to-serve pizza sauces might be able to add sugar to those products to come up with a reasonable facsimile of the PJ sauce.

Peter

EDIT (7/8/13): For a Wayback Machine link for the dead veganfamily.com link, see http://web.archive.org/web/20120723105440/http://www.vegfamily.com/forums/showthread.php?t=503&page=2
« Last Edit: July 08, 2013, 08:48:07 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline November

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2008, 08:40:23 PM »
The additional sugar would fall somewhere between 8 g and 26.5 g per 28 oz can of puree.  I'm sure that can be narrowed down even more, but at least you know the minimum amount of sugar to add.

EDIT: If the Stanislaus cans already contain the exact amount of salt used in Papa John's sauce, that means the amount of salt to add to a generic tomato puree in the quantity stated by Peter above (668 g) would be about 6.77 g.  That seems far more reasonable for a pizza sauce.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2008, 08:45:36 PM by November »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2008, 09:43:36 PM »
One of the dominant themes that has come through from my PJ research is that they like to keep things simple and to rely on efficient operations. For example, they basically sell only pizzas, breadsticks and non-alcoholic drinks. They don't sell salads or appetizers or desserts (other than an occasional dessert pizza).

PJ's relationship with Stanislaus is long standing. They also have a long-standing relationship with Leprino's, which supplies the mozzarella cheeses to PJ (and to Pizza Hut and Domino's as well) and spends large sums in developing technology and products that are easy to use by pizza operators, such as the IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) comminuted (shredded or diced) cheeses that PJ uses. So, it would be consistent for PJ to have Stanislaus or someone in concert with Stanislaus do the bulk of the work to come up with a sauce product that will be easy to prepare and deliver to PJ's Quality Control Centers. Everything goes to the eleven Quality Control Centers, which is where the dough is made for the roughly 3200 PJ stores. PJ doesn't even do the delivery to the stores themselves. Their name and logo is on the trucks but the actual delivery is done by UPS, specifically, their UPS Supply Chain Solutions subsidiary (see http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2002/04/29/focus9.html). The decision to outsource the delivery was because PJ did not deem distribution logistics to be a core competency and because UPS could do it better and more efficiently. With twice-a-week delivery to stores of dough balls, cheese, sauce, pepperoni and other pizza-related items, and figuring how to keep the dough balls at the right temperature during transit, is a big activity. It was the dough delivery logistics that originally got me to thinking how I might divine a dough formulation that would fit within the dough production and twice-a-week delivery cycle while allowing a few days of storage of the dough balls at the stores themselves.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 27, 2008, 09:49:03 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline November

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2008, 10:54:30 PM »
The additional sugar would fall somewhere between 8 g and 26.5 g per 28 oz can of puree.  I'm sure that can be narrowed down even more, but at least you know the minimum amount of sugar to add.


Based on the nutrition facts found at the bellow page, I've narrowed the range of additional sugar down to 8.3 g to 17.3 g per 668 g of tomato puree.  The following probabilities are based on a margin of error for nutrition facts labeling and sodium level normalization.  Within that range, there is a 50% chance of the amount being within the range of 9 g to 15.6 g, and a 25% chance of the amount being within the range of 11.1 g to 12.6 g.  In other words, between 11.1 g and 12.6 g is a good place to start.

http://www.howmanycaloriesin.com/Calorie_Finder.aspx?FoodID=39242

As an aside, according to USDA data (bellow), generic pizza sauce contains 11.7 g of sugars per 668 g of sauce.

http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001-01c22XL.html

EDIT: Disclaimer: I did not account for total weights, and I don't know how accurate the howmanycaloriesin.com website is other than they left out data that should be there.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2008, 11:13:48 PM by November »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2008, 03:25:17 PM »
November,

Thanks for running the numbers on the salt and sugar. I suspected that my salt level was low but I couldn't detect a lack of salt and, hence, was reluctant to add some just to make the percent seem more plausible. I am bound at some point to make some more of the PJ sauce clone, so I will keep your numbers for salt and sugar in mind when I make it.

Peter

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2008, 04:15:33 PM »
As part of my PJ pizza/sauce reverse engineering/clone efforts, today I purchased another 14" pepperoni pizza from PJ's. In part, I was hoping to be able to get another sauce sample to use in future sauce experiments along the lines discussed in this thread. However, the pizza maker at the PJ store who made my pizza and waited on me insisted that the pizza sauce that comes in those little tubs ("Pizza Dipping Sauce") is the same as used on their pizzas. I have heard that story before, most recently from November, and it always struck me as being eminently plausible, but I still had nagging doubts. Apparently because of my cross examination on the point, the pizza maker threw in one of the little pizza dipping sauce tubs for free (the usual charge is $0.75).

When I got home, I got out my magnifying glass and read the label on the mini-tub of pizza dipping sauce. The ingredients were specified as follows:

Ingredients: Tomato sauce (tomato puree, sunflower oil, sugar, salt, garlic*, extra virgin olive oil, spices, citric acid), water, natural flavor (yeast extract), sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (as preservatives). *dehydrated

As some point I intend to open the pizza dipping sauce mini-tub and taste it to see if it is like the last sample of the real pizza sauce I was given the last time I visited the PJ store. I think the two sauces are different, although they may be similar but for the type of tomatoes used (regular tomatoes vs. fresh-pack) and additives. If PJ is using Stanislaus for their canned pizza sauces, I would have to wonder whether Stanislaus is involved in those mini tubs. I have never read that Stanislaus does that kind of thing.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2008, 03:06:36 PM »
I noticed recently from the Papa John's FAQ section of its website, at http://www.papajohns.com/menu/faqs.htm, that canola oil can be used in lieu of the sunflower oil in its pizza sauce. I also noticed the other day that the only store where I was able to find sunflower oil is discontinuing it. I had hoped to do a side by side comparison of the two oils but discovered that I didn't have any pure canola oil on hand.

Peter