Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => American Style => Topic started by: Pete-zza on May 03, 2008, 09:42:35 PM

Title: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza 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 (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, (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 add 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 (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/. (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 (2/1/16): For Wayback Machine replacements for the two above inoperative links, see the following: http://web.archive.org/web/20080308010631/http://www.papajohns.com/menu/faqs.htm and http://web.archive.org/web/20061201031528/http://www.papajohns.com/pizza_story/sauce.htm (http://web.archive.org/web/20061201031528/http://www.papajohns.com/pizza_story/sauce.htm)
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: November on May 03, 2008, 11:05:01 PM
That's a crazy salt-to-sugar ratio: about 9.3 times more sugar than salt.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza 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

EDIT (6/27/21): For the Wayback Machine version of the inoperative Comcast link, see https://web.archive.org/web/20060820092821/https://home.comcast.net/~tfcozzo/food/PapaJohns.htm
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: November 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
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza 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



Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Garlic head 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
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza 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
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Garlic head 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
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza 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 


Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: November 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
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza 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
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: November 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
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: November 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.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza 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 (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, (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 (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 (http://web.archive.org/web/20120723105440/http://www.vegfamily.com/forums/showthread.php?t=503&page=2)

EDIT (7/18/14): For a Wayback Machine link for the dead joyfoods link, see http://web.archive.org/web/20110208193603/http://www.joyfoodsinc.com/papajohns_prod2.html (http://web.archive.org/web/20110208193603/http://www.joyfoodsinc.com/papajohns_prod2.html)
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: November 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.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza 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
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: November 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.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza 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
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza 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
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza 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, (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

EDIT (7/14/14): For a substitute link to that given above, see http://www.papajohnsmenu.org/papa-johns-nutrition.html (http://www.papajohnsmenu.org/papa-johns-nutrition.html)
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on June 03, 2008, 06:42:58 PM
In the opening post in this thread, I presented a list of ingredients for Papa John's pizza sauce:

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

Recently, Papa John's introduced a whole-wheat pizza in all of its stores. According to this website, http://www.dietdetective.com/content/view/3313/65, (http://www.dietdetective.com/content/view/3313/65,) Papa John's is using the same pizza sauce for the new whole-wheat pizza. I was in a Papa John's store recently when a customer ordered a whole-wheat pizza, and it was made just like other pizzas in terms of sauce, cheese, and toppings.

Peter

EDIT (7/14/14): For the Wayback Machine version of the above inoperative link, see http://web.archive.org/web/20081120070942/http://www.dietdetective.com/content/view/3313/65/ (http://web.archive.org/web/20081120070942/http://www.dietdetective.com/content/view/3313/65/)

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: scprotz on June 04, 2008, 09:06:23 PM
The base tomato product used in Papa John's sauce is Stanislaus Full Red.  They used this for many years until they had Stanislaus 'brand' the product for Papa John's (so now the labels all say Papa John's instead)

Also, if you've ever examined one of the Spice packets (about 20 ounces of spice) or tasted it, the stuff seems like it is mostly pure sugar with a bit of salt and some minor other spices (garlic being easily tasted).
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on June 04, 2008, 09:19:17 PM
scprotz,

What you say about the Stanislaus Full Red seems to make sense. May I ask where you came into possession of that information?

Also, are the spice packs still being used in any way? I am aware of some small "Special Seasoning Packets" but they are mostly salt.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: scprotz on June 04, 2008, 09:35:04 PM
Before all the drivers worked 'for' Papa Johns (back when they were Ryder drivers), you could ask any one of them what they were hauling...lots of dough..lots of Leprino Cheese and lots of Stanislaus cases of Full Red - Plus I knew an ex-driver who confirmed it... This was circa 1996/1997 (but I don't think the flavor has changed much since then...if it has, I think it is for the worse).

Also, I asked a driver for some spice one day..he just gave it to me...go figure...
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on June 04, 2008, 09:42:51 PM
scprotz,

The Papa John's sauce is part of the puzzle. I also was able to identify Leprino as the source of the cheese blend. Do you know offhand who makes their pepperoni?

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: scprotz on June 04, 2008, 10:08:22 PM
Doskocil (which you can get from just about any vendor)...you can try others, but the flavors are obviously different.

(they use Doskocil for all their meats I think)
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on June 04, 2008, 10:40:10 PM
scprotz,

Thank you. I remember reading about Doskocil, after they acquired Wilson and then went into bankruptcy. I believe that Doskocil survived the bankruptcy. They were suppliers of meat products to Domino's and other pizza operators. When I was doing my research on Papa John's, I saw that the ingredients for the PJ pepperoni were very similar to the ingredients used in the Domino's pepperoni.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: scprotz on June 04, 2008, 11:08:47 PM
Last I checked on Doskocil was around Oct 2003.  I also think Sysco foods is a distributor for them (many smaller pizza foods distributors carry both Doskocil and Leprino).

I'm pretty sure that Dominos and PJs use Leprino.  I also think Dominos and PJs both use the Doskocil crumbled meats..not as sure on the Pepperoni, but its a good bet.

I've found if you don't have a distributor to make the sauce, I've used off the shelf Hunts Sauce (from any grocery)...the consistency is similar (though the flavor is off slightly)...I have some sweet sauces that I've conjured up to make similar PJ pizzas..but I find with enough sugar and salt in the Pizza Sauce, it really comes down to the cheese and dough to make it just right...

I'm hoping to give Randy's recipe a test run soon (this weekend maybe)...to see how accurate it is..

When I was in college (ages ago) I learned how to 'hand dock' a pizza (Dominos Style)...PJs does it the same way..so going to use that technique on the dough and see how it comes out.  Also, I'm going to use King Arthur flour with filtered water (the gluten content is decent at 11%-12%...I may even pick up a bag of the KA bread flour with the higher gluten content so it is closer to industrial flour)...Any suggestions on flour alternatives?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on June 04, 2008, 11:44:56 PM
scprotz,

Doskocil was ultimately acquired by Tyson Foods, the big poultry outfit that has now branched out into other meat products.

I recently asked Papa John's for information on its various products. I had done this a few years ago but wanted to get updated information. According to the information I received today, the Papa John's pizza sauce now comprises the following ingredients:

Pizza Sauce: Vine-ripened fresh tomatoes, sunflower oil, sugar, salt, spices [oregano, black pepper, basil], garlic*, extra virgin olive oil and citric acid. *Dehydrated. No trans fat.

The updated list of ingredients for the pizza sauce is basically the same as what I started out with in my reverse engineering/clone efforts, but specifically identifies the spices as comprising oregano, black pepper and basil. In my clone sauce, I did not use any ground pepper, even though I had identified it as a possible "spice", because I couldn't detect it in the sample of the Papa John's pizza sauce that I used to come up with my clone sauce.

I have done a lot of research on Papa John's, and hope soon to be posting the results of my research, along with a recommended dough formulation that I believe is a good clone formulation. I have been using bread flour (King Arthur, at 12.7% protein) for my experiments but believe that Papa John's uses high-gluten flour with a protein content close to 14%. I am now in the process of trying to get additional information from Papa John's to nail down some remaining aspects relating to the flour. Whether I get that additional information or not, I plan to post the results of my research and the recommended clone dough formulation. My dough formulation bears similarities to what Randy has done but it also has several differences.

You are correct about Leprino being the supplier to both Papa John's and Domino's. Leprino mentions it in their own documents.

Peter

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on July 03, 2008, 06:47:31 PM
I recently opened up one of the small mini-tubs of Pizza Dipping Sauce that Papa John's sells along with its pizzas (currently, PJs gives a free mini-tub of its Special Garlic Sauce with its pizzas). As noted in Reply 18 in this thread, the Pizza Dipping Sauce sauce is made up of the following ingredients:

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

What I was most interested in determining is whether the same sauce is used for dipping purposes as is used on PJ's pizzas. I had attempted to get the answer to this question from Papa John's itself but I was only told that the mini-tubs of dipping sauce are prepared by a different vendor than the regular pizza sauces. That vendor adds the preservatives to the sauce and does the related packaging of the sauce into mini-tubs.

Doing a side-by-side taste test of the two sauces, I came to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that the two sauces are not the same. It's possible that the two sauces tasted differently because of the preservatives added to the Pizza Dipping Sauce, but I think that the tomatoes are also different, especially since the tomatoes used for the Pizza Dipping Sauce are described only as "Tomato sauce", including "tomato puree" whereas the tomatoes for the basic PJ pizza sauce are described as "Vine-ripened fresh tomatoes". These are the fresh pack tomatoes that PJ's boasts about in its advertising.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on July 04, 2008, 08:30:47 AM
Having run out of my 6-in-1 Papa John's pizza sauce clone, I thought that it might be useful to make a new batch of the sauce but using the Wal-Mart Great Value (WMGV) Crushed Tomatoes in Puree instead of the 6-in-1 tomatoes. Such a clone might come in handy when I am out of 6-in-1s. Also, a can of the WMGV tomatoes is much less expensive (a bit over $1 for a 28-ounce can) than a can of the 6-in-1s. (There is also a WMGV Concentrated Crushed Tomato product, which may be better to use to make a clone sauce, but it is not sold at my local Wal-Mart.)

To begin the exercise, I started by comparing the labels of the two tomatoes. The ingredients for the WMGV tomatoes are cut tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, citric acid. By contrast, the ingredients for the 6-in-1 tomatoes are Vine-Ripened Fresh Unpeeled Ground Tomatoes, Extra Heavy Tomato Puree and Salt. A comparison of the nutrition information for the two tomatoes shows that the two products have the same fiber, sugars and protein for a 1/2-c. serving, but that the WMGV tomatoes have a bit more sodium. The 6-in-1s have a bit more total carbohydrate. The differences between the two tomatoes became much more apparent when I processed the WMGV tomatoes in preparation for adding the ingredients to make the WMGV PJ sauce clone. I did this by pureeing the WMGV tomatoes with a stick (immersion) blender (as I had also previously done with the 6-in-1s) and then draining off some of the water from the pureed WMGV tomatoes until the consistency was about the same as I used to make the 6-in-1 PJ sauce clone. It was then that I discovered that there was less drained product with the WMGV tomatoes than with the 6-in-1 tomatoes--587 grams versus 668 grams for the 6-in-1s. The WMGV puree also looked more watery and was not as smooth as the 6-in-1 puree. This condition persisted even when I added the rest of the ingredients, including the sunflower and olive oils, to make the PJ sauce clone, as discussed below.

In preparing the WMGV sauce clone, I considered the comments about salt and sugar levels made by member November in earlier posts in this thread even though those comments were not specifically directed to the WMGV tomatoes.

The WMGV sauce clone was prepared in the same way as I prepared the original 6-in-1 sauce clone, using an actual sample of the pizza sauce as used by PJ"s on its pizzas in its own stores. As will be noted below, I reduced the amount of dried oregano that I originally used--based on my experience in making PJ clone pizzas--and I added some freshly ground black pepper on the assumption that some black pepper is actually used in the PJ pizza sauce. The quantities of ingredients were selected to provide the closest "taste" match to the PJ pizza sauce that I could achieve. The final WMGV sauce clone was as follows:

100%, 587 g. (20.71 oz.) WMGV puree
2.556%, Sunflower oil, about 3 1/4 t. (15 g.)
2.317%, Sugar, about 3 1/2 t. (13.6 g.)
0.35%, Salt, 3/8 t. (2.06 g.)
0.12%, Dried Italian oregano (ground in a mortar and pestle), about 1 1/8 t. (0.70 g.) (Note: the weight is after grinding)
0.069%, Dried Italian basil (ground in a mortar and pestle), about 3/8 t. (0.41 g.) (Note: the weight is after grinding)
   -      A couple of pinches of freshly ground black pepper
0.20%, Garlic powder, a bit less than 1 1/8 t. (1.17 g.)
0.172%, Olive oil, about 1/4 t. (1 g.)

I allowed the WMGV sauce clone to "marinate" overnight in the refrigerator before actually using it on a PJ pizza clone. Although the WMGV sauce clone did not spread as smoothly on the pizza as the 6-in-1 sauce clone, and was more watery, I could not detect significant taste differences on the finished pizza itself. Unfortunately, I did not have an actual PJ pizza to use for comparison purposes, or even one of my own clones using the 6-in-1s, so some more testing may be necessary. There is little doubt that the 6-in-1s are a better tomato than the WMGV's, so given a choice I would personally choose the 6-in-1s. There is still a slight taste difference between my sauce clones and the actual PJ pizza sauce, but it is hard to tell where that difference comes from. However, on the most recent clone pizzas, my taste receptors could not detect the difference. 

For a photo of a recent PJ clone pizza using the above sauce, see Reply 20 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg59217.html#msg59217.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on August 26, 2008, 02:41:39 PM
I recently had occasion to open a #10 can (6 lb. 10 oz.) of Stanislaus Tomato Magic ground tomatoes, which is the Stanislaus counterpart to the Escalon 6-in-1 fresh-pack ground tomatoes. The major difference between the two products from an ingredients standpoint is that the Tomato Magic product includes citric acid. The 6-in-1 product does not. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to try to make a Tomato Magic clone of the Papa John's basic pizza sauce. So, to this end, I measured out 28 ounces of the Tomato Magic tomatoes. As with my prior clone efforts, I pureed the tomatoes more finely using a stick blender and allowed the tomatoes to drain until what remained was roughly the consistency of the PJ pizza sauce as I remembered it. After draining, I was left with 671 grams (23.69 oz.) of pureed Tomato Magic tomatoes. As it turned out, that quantity was very close to the amount of ground tomatoes, 668 grams, that I used to make the 6-in-1 PJ clone sauce. I added the same ingredients to the pureed and drained Tomato Magic tomatoes as I used for the previous PJ sauce clones (the 6-in-1 and Wal-Mart versions). The final sauce formulation was as follows:

100%, Stanislaus Tomato Magic pureed tomatoes, 671 g. (23.69 oz.) (Note: the weight is after pureeing and draining)
3.212%, Sunflower oil, 4 3/4 t. (21.55 g.)
2.239%, Sugar, 4 t. (16 g.)
0.312%, Salt, 3/8 t. (2.09 g.)
0.161%, Dried Italian oregano, ground in a mortar and pestle, 1 1/8 t. (1.08 g.) (Note: the measurements are after grinding)
0.075%, Dried Italian basil, ground in a mortar and pestle, 5/8 t. (0.5 g.) (Note: the measurements are after grinding)
     -      Five grinds of fresh black pepper
0.224%, Garlic powder, 3/8 t. (1.5 g.)
0.149%, Olive oil (I used the Classico olive oil in the bottle with the yellow label), 1/4 t. (1 g.)

I have not yet had a chance to try the Tomato Magic clone sauce on a PJ clone pizza. However, from a taste standpoint, the Tomato Magic clone sauce seems quite close to the 6-in-1 version. I should also add that, in my opinion, the 6-in-1 and Tomato Magic versions are both better than the Wal-Mart version. I believe it is because of the fresh-pack tomatoes that both Escalon and Stanislaus use. However, in the absence of the Escalon and Stanislaus fresh-pack products, the (non-fresh-pack) Wal-Mart canned tomatoes will produce a reasonably good alternative.

There is still a taste component in the real PJ pizza sauce that I have not been able to capture in any of the three PJ clone sauces I have made to date. However, I am not sure that I could detect it in a real PJ pizza either. I will have to pay closer attention to the sauce in the next PJ pizza I buy from Papa John's to see if I can detect a difference in the sauces. To date, I haven't been able to detect a difference from the finished PJ pizzas themselves. I thought that perhaps the citric acid was the missing taste component, but it is not. It is something else, maybe another herb.

One of the things I have noted in the three PJ clone sauces that I think bears mentioning is that they freeze quite nicely--without significant release of water due to the effects of freezing on the cellular structure of the base tomatoes. I believe it is the addition of a fair amount of sugar or oil, or possibly both, that are responsible for the improved freezing characteristics. I recently used a previously-frozen 6-in-1 sauce with only seasonings and I found that I had to drain off a fair amount of water that remained after defrosting.

Peter

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: jiminvegas on October 16, 2008, 03:58:44 AM
The dippig sauce is a different recipe.. This comes from John Scnatter to my ears.. The original Pjs in indiana used to send sauce on the side in a container that was dipped per order..John found out that owners were pre dipping sauce containers and placing them in the walk in on trays.. the plastic in the contains had a negative effect on the taste after a day or so..so to prevent this he went to pre packaged to help maintain quality and consistancy
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on January 16, 2009, 01:57:57 PM
Recently I decided to make a fresh batch of Papa John’s clone pizza sauce using the 6-in-1 recipe posted at Reply 8 of this thread, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6633.msg57044.html#msg57044. As noted in that post, the amount of 6-in-1 tomato puree I used in that recipe was 668 grams. In order to reproduce that amount of puree for the latest batch of sauce, I decided to use a more technical approach, but still a simple one, than just going by feel (mainly consistency) and estimating the amount of liquid I would need to remove from a 28-ounce can of the 6-in-1 ground tomatoes.

I began by looking at the label on the can of 6-in-1s. According to that label, the net weight of the contents of the can is given as 794 grams. I realize that it is unlikely that the contents would weigh exactly 794 grams, due to normal variations in production can-filling processes, but I felt that that value would be close enough for my purposes. So, subtracting 668 grams from 794 grams told me that the amount of liquid I would have to remove from the can was 126 grams.

I then opened the can and scraped the tomatoes stuck to the inside of the lid back into the can. That way, I would have just about all of the ground tomatoes in the can. I then placed a one-cup Pyrex glass measuring cup on my scale and tared it out. A sieve with a fine mesh was then placed over the top of the measuring cup. The photo below shows the arrangement I used. As can be seen in the photo, the sieve is not a great deal larger than the top of the measuring cup. Using a common tablespoon, I then periodically lifted tomatoes from the can into the sieve, and stirred them to allow the liquid to drain into the measuring cup. From time to time, I would lift the sieve off of the measuring cup to check the weight of the liquid in the measuring cup. When that amount reached 126 grams, I stopped. I estimate that it took about a couple of minutes to complete the exercise. Notably, the amount of ground tomatoes that I lifted into the sieve did not exceed the capacity of the sieve. So, there was no need to empty the contents of the sieve at any time.

When I viewed the level of the liquid in the measuring cup after I was done, it was a bit shy of ½ cup. That may turn out to be a useful measure that I can rely upon the next time I make another batch of sauce using the 6-in-1s. 

As it turned out, the actual weight of the ground tomatoes, after scraping some of it off of the sieve and removing as much of the rest as possible from the can, was 674 grams. After further pureeing the tomatoes with a stick immersion blender, and accounting for minor losses due to a small amount of tomatoes sticking to the blender, the final weight of the ground tomatoes was 668 grams—just the amount I needed.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Steve on January 16, 2009, 07:24:01 PM
When I make a NY style pizza with 6 in 1 tomatoes, I just puree them in my blender (after I add the spices). Perfect consistency for NY style sauce (not watery at all).
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Essen1 on January 17, 2009, 03:31:50 PM
Steve,

I agree. I usually use a boat motor for a few pulses after adding the spices and that's it.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on January 17, 2009, 03:57:25 PM
Steve and Mike,

I was trying to replicate the consistency of the PJ sauce based on a sample that I got from one of the PJ shops. If I used the 6-in-1s as is right out of the can, the sauce would have been too watery.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: smarttowers on June 29, 2009, 06:37:14 PM
Well I have whipped up a version of the WMGV sauce using the WMGV crushed tomato's in puree.
Quote
100%, 587 g. (20.71 oz.) WMGV puree
2.556%, Sunflower oil, about 3 1/4 t. (15 g.)
2.317%, Sugar, about 3 1/2 t. (13.6 g.)
0.35%, Salt, 3/8 t. (2.06 g.)
0.12%, Dried Italian oregano (ground in a mortar and pestle), about 1 1/8 t. (0.70 g.) (Note: the weight is after grinding)
0.069%, Dried Italian basil (ground in a mortar and pestle), about 3/8 t. (0.41 g.) (Note: the weight is after grinding)
   -      A couple of pinches of freshly ground black pepper
0.20%, Garlic powder, a bit less than 1 1/8 t. (1.17 g.)
0.172%, Olive oil, about 1/4 t. (1 g.)

Using those numbers I modified it to use the crushed tomato's.
This is what I came up with:

806g           Tomatos
20.60g   Sunflower oil   1T 1.55t
18.675g   sugar       1T 1.62t
2.821g    salt      .59t
.9672g    oregano      1 3/8t
.55614g      basil      1/2t
1.612g    garlic powder   1 3/8t
1.386g    Olive Oil   3/8t


I thought it was pretty strong on garlic before I put it in the fridge. Hoping that after the other spices have had time to meld better that it will tone the garlic flavor down some. Also didn't seem as sweet as I remember Papa John's sauce but again time will tell if the sugar will disperse better.

So Pete few questions when you made it did the garlic seem pretty strong?
Did the sweetness come out more after the sauce was cooked or when it had sat for awhile?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on June 29, 2009, 07:32:42 PM
smarttowers,

My recollection is that it was the oregano--which I had dried from Sicilian oregano grown in my own garden--that I had to adjust in the various PJ sauces I tried to reverse engineer and clone, not the garlic powder or the sugar. As you can imagine, there are a lot of variables involved in trying to reverse engineer and clone a sauce. Our tastebuds are unlikely to be the same, and there can be variations among different brands of herbs, spices, garlic powders and the rest of the ingredients used in the sauce. The age and condition of the ingredients will also be a factor. Moreover, a freshly prepared sauce will taste different the next day after a period of refrigeration, and an uncooked sauce will taste different than the same sauce cooked on a pizza. Apart from the fact that the Escalon- and Stanislaus-based PJ clone sauces tasted better to me than the one using the WMGV, I could not detect major differences between the various sauces once they were cooked on the pizzas and buried under the cheeses and the toppings.

In your case, you should assess the results you get on the pizzas you make and use the results as a baseline to make adjustments in future batches of the sauce.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Sonic98 on November 10, 2010, 02:11:10 AM
I tried your sauce clone, but every one thought it came out much too sweet. Did I use the wrong type of pure? It actually seemed a little on the sweet side right out of the can.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: c0mpl3x on November 10, 2010, 02:38:12 AM
pete

have you ever used stanislaus full red for cloning the sauce?
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on November 10, 2010, 10:19:43 AM
I tried your sauce clone, but every one thought it came out much too sweet. Did I use the wrong type of pure? It actually seemed a little on the sweet side right out of the can.

Sonic98,

Thank you for your feedback.

As member November mentioned earlier in this thread, there are limitations to trying to reverse engineer and clone a pizza sauce using only one's tastebuds, which can vary from one person to another and even at different times for the same person. Unfortunately, at the time I conducted my PJ sauce experiments all I had was my tastebuds. But it is clear from the PJ sauce ingredients list I started with that sugar is added to the already sweet (naturally) Stanislaus tomatoes used in PJ's regular pizza sauce. For some people, that can mean a sauce that is cloyingly sweet and, from reports I have read, there are many people who will no longer buy PJ pizzas because the sauce is too sweet for them, not to mention the above average amount of sugar in the PJ dough/crust that will also contribute to the overall sweetness of the pizza. As one who is very sensitive to the presence of sugar in many different foods, I can understand that reaction. If it weren't for the fact that I was trying to reverse engineer and clone the basic PJ pizza sauce, I perhaps wouldn't personally choose a sauce as sweet as those I made.

In your case, I believe you have several options. You can 1) repeat the sauce formulation you used but reduce the amount of added sugar, 2) ask for a sample of the PJ pizza sauce the next time you buy a PJ pizza (but not the sauce in the little tubs) and conduct your own reverse engineering/cloning tests, or 3) use a different pizza sauce that contains little or no sugar. I suppose you could also use less sweet tomatoes than the Stanislaus and Escalon fresh-pack tomatoes, as I did with the Wal-Mart crushed tomatoes, and add whatever amount of sugar satisfies your tastebuds. If you decide to go with options 1) or 2), I hope you will return to the forum and report on your results, either on this thread or a new thread if you wish.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on November 10, 2010, 10:37:09 AM
pete

have you ever used stanislaus full red for cloning the sauce?

c0mpl3x,

No, I have not tried the Stanislaus Full Red tomatoes. In all of my PJ reverse engineering/cloning experiments, both for the dough/pizzas and sauce, I have tried to use ingredients that our members have a good chance of finding either in supermarkets or by mail order at reasonable prices, and in small can sizes (28 ounces) in the case of canned tomatoes. In the past, I have been able to locate the small cans of Stanislaus tomatoes, like Tomato Magic and I believe the Full Red, but it is a hit or miss proposition as to whether the store where I have located these tomatoes--an Italian food market in Dallas--will have them on its shelves at any given time. The 6-in-1s in small cans I purchase online from time to time as I need them. I am sure that I can obtain the Stanislaus and Escalon fresh-pack tomatoes from pennmac (http://www.pennmac.com/page/27) in the #10 cans but I have not gone that route thus far. Also, in my case, I am often able to get the large cans of some Stanislaus tomatoes at the Italian food market  in Dallas.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: c0mpl3x on November 10, 2010, 01:57:55 PM
c0mpl3x,

No, I have not tried the Stanislaus Full Red tomatoes. In all of my PJ reverse engineering/cloning experiments, both for the dough/pizzas and sauce, I have tried to use ingredients that our members have a good chance of finding either in supermarkets or by mail order at reasonable prices, and in small can sizes (28 ounces) in the case of canned tomatoes. In the past, I have been able to locate the small cans of Stanislaus tomatoes, like Tomato Magic and I believe the Full Red, but it is a hit or miss proposition as to whether the store where I have located these tomatoes--an Italian food market in Dallas--will have them on its shelves at any given time. The 6-in-1s in small cans I purchase online from time to time as I need them. I am sure that I can obtain the Stanislaus and Escalon fresh-pack tomatoes from pennmac (http://www.pennmac.com/page/27) in the #10 cans but I have not gone that route thus far. Also, in my case, I am often able to get the large cans of some Stanislaus tomatoes at the Italian food market  in Dallas.

Peter

ill ship you a #10 can of full red if you are interested.  it's re-labeled to that of a local pizza distributor that used to be a multi-million dollar/year company that supplied sports venues and stadiums with pizza for the pittsburgh/tri-state (ohio/west virginia/pennsylvania)
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on November 10, 2010, 02:37:34 PM
ill ship you a #10 can of full red if you are interested.  

c0mpl3x,

Thank you very much for the kind offer. However, the next time I go into Dallas I should be able to pick up a large can of the Full Red.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: c0mpl3x on November 10, 2010, 05:37:39 PM
c0mpl3x,

Thank you very much for the kind offer. However, the next time I go into Dallas I should be able to pick up a large can of the Full Red.

Peter

$5 + shipping and the can is yours if you don't feel like spending the time/gas/etc to drive all the way out there  8)

also based on the info on the back of these cans they have changed since i last bought them and are no longer full-red

"concentrated crushed tomatoes, HF corn syrup, salt, olive oil, spice, dehydrated onion, garlic and citric acid"

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Sonic98 on November 13, 2010, 03:51:52 PM
Sonic98,

Thank you for your feedback.

As member November mentioned earlier in this thread, there are limitations to trying to reverse engineer and clone a pizza sauce using only one's tastebuds, which can vary from one person to another and even at different times for the same person. Unfortunately, at the time I conducted my PJ sauce experiments all I had was my tastebuds. But it is clear from the PJ sauce ingredients list I started with that sugar is added to the already sweet (naturally) Stanislaus tomatoes used in PJ's regular pizza sauce. For some people, that can mean a sauce that is cloyingly sweet and, from reports I have read, there are many people who will no longer buy PJ pizzas because the sauce is too sweet for them, not to mention the above average amount of sugar in the PJ dough/crust that will also contribute to the overall sweetness of the pizza. As one who is very sensitive to the presence of sugar in many different foods, I can understand that reaction. If it weren't for the fact that I was trying to reverse engineer and clone the basic PJ pizza sauce, I perhaps wouldn't personally choose a sauce as sweet as those I made.

In your case, I believe you have several options. You can 1) repeat the sauce formulation you used but reduce the amount of added sugar, 2) ask for a sample of the PJ pizza sauce the next time you buy a PJ pizza (but not the sauce in the little tubs) and conduct your own reverse engineering/cloning tests, or 3) use a different pizza sauce that contains little or no sugar. I suppose you could also use less sweet tomatoes than the Stanislaus and Escalon fresh-pack tomatoes, as I did with the Wal-Mart crushed tomatoes, and add whatever amount of sugar satisfies your tastebuds. If you decide to go with options 1) or 2), I hope you will return to the forum and report on your results, either on this thread or a new thread if you wish.

Peter

I had actually used Hunts Tomatoe pureee. I will try something different next time. I will also go with the orignal amount of salt you listed the 7/8 t insead of the 3 t. I do plan on going to PJ and getting of their sauce so I can compare. I actually did not try toyr dough recipe as I alrrady had one in mind, but I will try yours. I want to try a different tomato product as the base, but I'm not sure if I can get the full red. I have no problem ordering something off the new if I have to though
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Sonic98 on November 13, 2010, 04:04:38 PM
Doskocil (which you can get from just about any vendor)...you can try others, but the flavors are obviously different.

(they use Doskocil for all their meats I think)

I wonder where I can get other toppings. It's kinda hard to find any pizza toppings other than pepperoni on grocery stores though I did recently find a nice brand of sausage crumbles that worked well on my attempts to make Pete's clone
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Stevorino on April 09, 2011, 05:33:36 PM
I am making this sauce for my PJ Clone.  Just wanted to type up a couple of early impressions.

I made it with Kroger great value, I looked for the 6-in-1 product but didn't see it at two stores.  I'll keep an eye out for it.

I put all the ingredients listed into a blender and pulverized it with the 'margarita mode' (as my wife and I call it) and it turned out pretty decent at first taste.  I did NOT further crush the herbs.  That seemed a bit overkill at first...but after tasting the sauce, I can see the value for next time.

I plan on letting it sit in the fridge in an airtight container overnight so the flavors blend a bit.  I'll post my thoughts.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: c0mpl3x on April 09, 2011, 05:50:47 PM
I am making this sauce for my PJ Clone.  Just wanted to type up a couple of early impressions.

I made it with Kroger great value, I looked for the 6-in-1 product but didn't see it at two stores.  I'll keep an eye out for it.

I put all the ingredients listed into a blender and pulverized it with the 'margarita mode' (as my wife and I call it) and it turned out pretty decent at first taste.  I did NOT further crush the herbs.  That seemed a bit overkill at first...but after tasting the sauce, I can see the value for next time.

I plan on letting it sit in the fridge in an airtight container overnight so the flavors blend a bit.  I'll post my thoughts.

at PJ, we are using sauce canned 9 months ago.    i've been there for almost a year, and their sauce is 7-10 months from canned date, to the date that we get it.   it sits for quite some time
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on April 09, 2011, 06:02:20 PM
I made it with Kroger great value, I looked for the 6-in-1 product but didn't see it at two stores.  I'll keep an eye out for it.

Steve,

There have been reports in the past that some Krogers carry the 6-in-1s but I have never found them in any Krogers near me, even their Signature stores, but I have found them in a specialty Italian food market near me, sometimes in the small cans but more often in the #10 cans. There are many online sources for the 6-in-1s but many of our members order them directly from Escalon at http://www.escalon.net/products.aspx. I believe that PJs is still using a Stanislaus product, which, like the 6-in-1s, is a high quality fresh-pack tomato.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Stevorino on April 10, 2011, 03:44:18 PM
I'll have to look around at the other local grocery stores.  There's another 2-3 stores near my house that are a bit 'higher-end' than the nearby Kroger.

I'm taking the dough out of the fridge now - so I'll post my impressions later tonight/tomorrow.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Lydia on May 16, 2011, 12:03:48 PM
Papa John's Tomato Sauces

Quote from article; New York post:

Quote
Almost all sauces are reconstituted, from cooking tomatoes at a high temperature and evaporating them to create a concentrated paste that can be stored for two years without going bad and can be transported easily. If you’re going to make tomato sauce, you need to add water and cook it again. The sauce made from tomatoes grown in Stanislaus County in California is cooked only once, so they say it preserves volatiles, or flavor components. That’s probably true, but I don’t know anyone who has done a study about it. Stanislaus companies sued to try and distinguish their sauce from the ones that are common commercially.

Papa John’s used it, too, but two years ago they switched to Heinz tomato sauce made from tomato paste. [UPDATE 5/5: Chris Sternberg, senior vice president for communications at Papa John's, contacted The Food section and says: Papa John's uses only fresh-packed tomato sauce and has never used tomato paste for its sauce. Sternberg says the company uses fresh-packed sauce from both Stanislaus and Heinz.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/all-we-can-eat/books/qa-ripe-author-arthur-allen.html (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/all-we-can-eat/books/qa-ripe-author-arthur-allen.html)

at the link below you can see the papa johns "fully prepared pizza sauce" being processed at Heinz-Escalon plant.

Heinz California Tomato Tour August '10
Quote
http://picasaweb.google.com/elliotpope/HeinzCaliforniaTomatoTourAugust10#


For the Heinz product I would look into the Bell'orto line of tomatoes first for a best match. They are very flavorful high quality tomatoes.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on May 16, 2011, 12:44:48 PM
Lydia,

Thank you very much for your post.

I know that big companies can't let themselves be dependent on a single supplier for critical items and therefore try to avoid sole source contracts. Hence, they have backup suppliers to the main supplier or spread the business around to multiple suppliers. I tried both the Escalon 6-in-1s and the Stanislaus Tomato Magic tomatoes in my tests, mainly because I was able to find them in small cans. For those who cannot find the small cans, I recommended the Wal-Mart crushed tomatoes.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: CDNpielover on November 19, 2011, 08:43:32 PM
I just made this sauce and it's AWESOME.  Can't wait to see what it wil taste like after 24 hours in the fridge!  Thanks for sharing this, Peter!   :chef: :pizza:
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on November 19, 2011, 10:48:12 PM
I just made this sauce and it's AWESOME.  Can't wait to see what it wil taste like after 24 hours in the fridge!  Thanks for sharing this, Peter!   :chef: :pizza:

I'm glad you liked it. It seems to work pretty well on a Papa John's type of pizza although I have used it on other types of pizzas also.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: CDNpielover on November 19, 2011, 10:50:37 PM
yea I don't get Papa John's often since it's not too close to my house.  I have to agree with the others that the sauce is really sweet - i've never noticed that at PJ's before.  however, i REALLY like it.  this might be my new go-to sauce.  thanks again Mr. Pete!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: johnamus on November 20, 2011, 01:11:18 AM
Peter,

In your opinion is lemon juice a viable addition in order to match the citric acid level in PJ's sauce?

-John
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on November 20, 2011, 08:36:51 AM
In your opinion is lemon juice a viable addition in order to match the citric acid level in PJ's sauce?

John,

I have never done it, but I understand that some members do use lemon juice as a substitute for citric acid. As an alternative approach, one can use actual citric acid, which is readily available in powdered form. I have a small packet of citric acid that I purchased some time ago from an Indian food store to try to replicate a Pizza Hut pizza sauce, but I couldn't detect a big difference so I did not pursue the matter further.

As you know, Papa John's uses a Stanislaus tomato product, which does include citric acid. By contrast, Escalon, which makes the 6-in-1 products, says that it does not add citric acid to its products, as it notes at http://www.escalon.net/about_us.aspx where it says:

Unlike competitive tomato products, citric acid (a sour tasting preservative) is never added to any Escalon branded product. As a result, the final products are tantalizing in color, and so true to the sweet taste of fresh tomatoes that you will think they were just plucked from the vine.

But, the above quote should not be interpreted to mean that the Escalon tomato products do not have any citric acid. I once spoke with a food broker in the Dallas area who deals with several suppliers of canned tomato products and when I mentioned that Escalon tomato products had no citric acid, he corrected me and said that all tomatoes have some citric acid and that producers of canned tomatoes regularly adjust levels of citric acid in their products. In Escalon's case, it just does not add any more citric acid to its tomatoes. But it is there naturally and, in that vein, you will often see that a tomato can label says that there is naturally occurring or derived citric acid in their product. It's possible that if the amounts of citric acid are below a certain level the producer/canner does not have to list the citric acid on its labels. I would imagine that there is an FDA regulation on the matter.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on December 06, 2011, 12:54:11 PM
Today, at Reply 8 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16096.msg162383.html#msg162383, I reported on a phone call that I made to the company that makes a new line of tomato products that are sold at Wal-Mart under the name of Classico, a company that, like Escalon, is owned by Heinz. The specific product that I called about is the Classico crushed tomatoes. As noted in Reply 8, I was told that the Classico crushed tomatoes are very similar to the Escalon 6-in-1s that I have used to make a Papa John's clone pizza sauce for use with PJ clone pizzas. In fact, the Classico crushed tomatoes are produced by Escalon. I can't see any reason why the Classico crushed tomatoes can't be used in lieu of the 6-in-1s to make a credible PJ clone pizza sauce. I suspect the same is also true of the Classico ground peeled and unpeeled tomatoes that are also sold at Wal-Mart's. They are all of the fresh-pack variety, as is the case with the Stanislaus tomatoes used by Papa John's for its pizza sauce in its stores.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: CDNpielover on March 23, 2012, 10:10:57 PM
it's the end of a long day mediating between 2 conflicting "senior" co-authors on a scientific manuscript.  i'm making pete's awesome pj sauce clone, and just want to thank you pete for doing such thorough work on this formulation.  i dont know what you do for work, but your approach is inspirational and the depth and clarity of your writing is second to none.  cheers!   and please keep up the great work!   :chef:
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on March 23, 2012, 10:28:41 PM
it's the end of a long day mediating between 2 conflicting "senior" co-authors on a scientific manuscript.  i'm making pete's awesome pj sauce clone, and just want to thank you pete for doing such thorough work on this formulation.  i dont know what you do for work, but your approach is inspirational and the depth and clarity of your writing is second to none.  cheers!   and please keep up the great work!   :chef:

CDNpielover,

Thank you for the kind remarks. I guess you could say that what I do on this forum is my work, but it doesn't feel that way to me. I like the technical and mathematical aspects of pizza making, maybe even more than the pizzas themselves.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: JPHL on April 16, 2013, 02:00:59 PM
I notice your sauce in reply#20 using walmart tomatoes uses somewhere around 21 oz of tomatoes.  the cans themselves contain 28 oz.  from an earlier post it seems you make them into a finer puree and do something else to remove excess water.  can you elaborate more on this.  I'm sorry if this is something basic but I am fairly new to pizzamaking and really cooking in general. 
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on April 16, 2013, 07:40:58 PM
I notice your sauce in reply#20 using walmart tomatoes uses somewhere around 21 oz of tomatoes.  the cans themselves contain 28 oz.  from an earlier post it seems you make them into a finer puree and do something else to remove excess water.  can you elaborate more on this.  I'm sorry if this is something basic but I am fairly new to pizzamaking and really cooking in general.
JPHL,

I believe you meant to say Reply 30 rather than Reply 20 in your post. Reply 30 is the post where I discussed using the Wal-Mart Crushed Tomatoes in Puree, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6633.msg59208.html#msg59208 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6633.msg59208.html#msg59208).

The Wal-Mart tomatoes were not my first choice since they are not made from fresh-pack tomatoes. I decided try them, however, for the benefit of those members who did not have access to good canned fresh-pack tomatoes. I soon discovered, however, that the Wal-Mart tomatoes were more watery than the fresh-pack tomatoes. I was striving for the consistency of ground fresh-pack tomatoes. When I drained the Wal-Mart tomatoes, I ended up with less solid product. That is why the amount of the prepared Wal-Mart tomatoes was around 587 grams.

If you are considering using the Wal-Mart tomatoes, I have some good news for you. For some time now, Wal-Mart has been carrying the Classico brand of tomatoes. They are fresh-pack tomatoes and are produced by the same company (Escalon/Heinz) that produces the 6-in-1 fresh-pack canned tomatoes. You can see the particular Classico canned tomatoes that are available at different Wal-Mart stores at http://tomatoes.classico.com/products/ (http://tomatoes.classico.com/products/). The product that comes closest to the 6-in-1s are the Classico Peeled Ground Tomatoes, although I think the Classico Crushed Tomatoes should also work. Not all Wal-Mart stores carry the entire Classico line so you may have to check out a few Wal-Marts.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: chaspie on April 17, 2013, 04:20:12 PM
Peter, Walmart also sells (at least in my area) Cento brand All-Purpose Crushed tomatoes in 28 ounce cans.  That's what I've been using to make my sauce for NY style pizzas.  I assume they would work well for American style pizza too.  I think they taste great, and they are nice and thick, not watery.  The only ingredients are "Fresh Red Ripe Tomatoes".

   
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: barkonbutts on October 13, 2013, 03:36:01 PM
Great sauce, I like to use Cento petite diced tomatos, need to find sunflower oil...but with out it, the sauce is still just about spot on!!
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: spazster on January 06, 2014, 07:09:01 AM
I just tried this with Contadina whole peeled tomatoes. Either my strainer catches more than than Pete-zza' or they are just too watery.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: rdibble on October 21, 2014, 04:56:30 PM
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.

...

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

Can you elaborate? I'm interested in these techniques.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: jenosmaverick on February 20, 2017, 08:45:49 AM
I know this thread is like a couple of years old already but here goes. For the tomato any brand alternatives? we only have hunts,dona elena,del monte canned tomatoes here in the Philippines. Not pretty sure about heinz if they do have canned tomatoes. Sadly I don't have much of a choice :(
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on February 20, 2017, 05:26:01 PM
I know this thread is like a couple of years old already but here goes. For the tomato any brand alternatives? we only have hunts,dona elena,del monte canned tomatoes here in the Philippines. Not pretty sure about heinz if they do have canned tomatoes. Sadly I don't have much of a choice :(
jenosmaverick,

Unfortunately, I will not be able to help you. However, I have an old friend of the forum that is active in the Philippines in the field of pizza. I will send you a PM with his real name and forum name that might enable you to get in touch with him to see if he can help. You should tell him that I referred you to him.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: jenosmaverick on February 21, 2017, 12:17:46 AM
Thank you very much sir!

Kevin,
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: MadMatt on June 14, 2017, 06:38:37 PM
I'd like to try this but we don't have crushed tomatoes.. I use whole tomatoes and my current ones I'm using come in concentrated juice (most are just regular juice) so it's somewhat thick but still too watery that I'd have to drain some of it to use as a sauce. 


What would be a good way to turn whole tomatoes into crushed tomatoes?

Thanks

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on June 14, 2017, 07:37:09 PM
I'd like to try this but we don't have crushed tomatoes.. I use whole tomatoes and my current ones I'm using come in concentrated juice (most are just regular juice) so it's somewhat thick but still too watery that I'd have to drain some of it to use as a sauce. 


What would be a good way to turn whole tomatoes into crushed tomatoes?

Thanks
MadMatt,

There are many different ways to convert either fresh or canned whole tomatoes to crushed form. You might want to do a Google search to find a method that you think will work best in your particular case. Many of the methods have videos to better show the process.

FYI, I have a food mill like the one shown in the photos starting at Reply 72 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=45149.msg462967#msg462967.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: MadMatt on April 26, 2018, 09:29:08 AM
Pete when do you add the garlic because I've had a lot of pizza sauces coagulate from it should I heat it up in the oil?



I was surprised by the amount of sugar in this papa johns sauce clone until I looked up the nutritional info in pizza sauces you can buy in British supermarkets they may have more than yours but it's hard to calculate without the sugar already in your tin tomatoes.

Out of three leading British supermarkets their pizza sauces, that they call pizza toppers (how stupid is that?)  have this amount of sugar



7.6g   sugar per 100g
6.1g sugar per 100g
6.0g sugar per 100g







Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on April 26, 2018, 12:49:53 PM
Matt,

When I was playing around with the PJ clones, PJ told me the ingredients used to make their pizza sauce. I posted the PJ sauce formulation at Reply 20 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6633.msg58010#msg58010

You are correct that the PJ sauce does contain a fair amount of sugar, which is pretty high up in the ingredients statement (the ingredients are ordered by weight). And that would be the sugar added to the sauce, not the natural Sugars in the tomatoes themselves. As for the tomatoes used by PJ, I was once told by a member who seemed to be in the know (see Reply 21 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6633.msg58070#msg58070) that PJ used the Stanislaus Full Red tomatoes. Unfortunately, there are several Stanislaus tomatoes that are called Full Red, as you can see at:

https://www.stanislaus.com/products/nutrition-facts

However, were I to guess, I would perhaps go with the Full Red Concentrated Crushed Tomatoes at https://www.stanislaus.com/_pdfs/Full-Red-Concentrated-Crushed-Tomatoes.pdf or the Full Red Pizza Sauce at https://www.stanislaus.com/_pdfs/Full-Red-Pizza-Sauce.pdf. And if you look carefully, you will note that the Nutrition Facts for the two products are the same, including 4 grams of Sugars per 60-gram serving size. Those Sugars, along with the sugar added to the sauce, would be taken into account in the PJ nutrition information.

With respect to the garlic powder, it is dehydrated, as noted in the first post cited above. I assume that the garlic powder used by PJ is part of the spice packet used at the store level to make the PJ sauce. However, if you are using the garlic powder in a way that leads to gelling of the sauce, I suggest that you follow the advice rendered by Tom Lehmann at:

Reply 5 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=23273.msg236067#msg236067, and at

Reply 1 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=50312.msg506125#msg506125

Peter

Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: catlover1019 on October 07, 2018, 05:38:09 PM
Hi, I'm planning to make a pizza with this sauce. I wondering what post on this thread, if any, contains the most updated recipe. Also, if that recipe is easy to follow without a super-percise or accurate scale. The only scale I have is persice to 1 gram, but probably not too accurate. Also, what tomato product would you reccomend that's easy to find at a store like WalMart or Safeway (Vons)? I'm planning to start with a small batch, so I don't need or want one of those big 6 pund cans, I'm trying to find something a little more manageable. Thank you very much for doing all the work to reverse engineer this recipe.
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on October 08, 2018, 11:33:40 AM
Hi, I'm planning to make a pizza with this sauce. I wondering what post on this thread, if any, contains the most updated recipe. Also, if that recipe is easy to follow without a super-percise or accurate scale. The only scale I have is persice to 1 gram, but probably not too accurate. Also, what tomato product would you reccomend that's easy to find at a store like WalMart or Safeway (Vons)? I'm planning to start with a small batch, so I don't need or want one of those big 6 pund cans, I'm trying to find something a little more manageable. Thank you very much for doing all the work to reverse engineer this recipe.
catlover1019,

It's been a while since I revisited the PJ clone sauce, so it may be useful to summarize my prior findings, while also addressing your specific questions.

I will start by saying that if one has access to the Stanislaus Full-Red Fully Prepared Pizza sauce such as described at https://www.stanislaus.com/_pdfs/Full-Red-Fully-Prepared-Pizza-Sauce.pdf or the Stanislaus Pizzaiolo "autentico" Pizza Sauce as described at https://www.stanislaus.com/_pdfs/Pizzaiolo-Autentico-Pizza-Sauce.pdf, both of those products would be good starting points to simulate the real PJ pizza sauce. But a fair amount of sugar would have to be added to those sauces. I do not have access to those products so I can't speak from experience. But I suspect they would be good products.

In my tests and experiments, I used the Escalon 6-in-1 ground tomatoes, the Stanislaus Tomato Magic pureed tomatoes (in the big can), and a WalMart Great Value pureed tomatoes product. I was able to purchase the 6-in-1s at the Escalon website. I found the Tomato Magic tomatoes at a market in Dallas. The Great Value tomatoes were purchased at a local WalMart. The three recipes can be seen here:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6633.msg56931#msg56931,

Reply 8 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6633.msg57044#msg57044 (a scaled up version using the 6-in-1s),

Reply 30 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6633.msg59208#msg59208, and

Reply 31 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6633.msg61296#msg61296.

I believe that all three recipes will produce reasonable clones of the PJ pizza sauce. And from my tests I liked all three versions, and it would have been hard for me to pick one as the best although if push came to shove, I might have gone with the 6-in-1s. However, at the times of my tests I did not always have a real PJ pizza to do side-by-side comparisons.

In your case, I think you should be fine using a WalMart tomato product. But I would go with a ground or crushed tomato product. Over the years, the tomato product line at WalMart has changed many times. However, this morning I did a search of the current lineup of WalMart tomatoes and this is the one that seems to be the closest for our purposes:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Value-Crushed-Tomatoes-28-Oz/10415230

I also don't think I would worry too much about your scale. In fact, you might want to use the volume measurements. You may have to tweak the recipe a bit to your taste because different brands of herbs and spices have somewhat different taste profiles. And the tastes can vary based on the age and condition of the herbs and spices.

As a final note, I checked the PJ website this morning (https://www.papajohns.com/company/papa-johns-ingredients.html), where I saw the list of ingredients for their pizza sauce, and it is basically the same sauce they have used for years.

Good luck and let us know how you did if you decide to proceed.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: ahmad213 on April 23, 2020, 12:28:08 PM
Hey Pete,

Just looking at your clone pizza sauce recipe and I am trying to proportion the ingredients to the batch size we would make in our takeaway with 10kg of pizza sauce. I have altered then numbers according to the percentages and added a white wine vinegar for extra tang.  Does this seem about right?

10kg plain canned tomato pizza sauce
300g oil
250g sugar
20g salt
20g oregano
20g basil
20g garlic powder
150ml white wine vinegar - correlated from another post I where it was approx 2 table spoon per 28 ounce (with slight reduction)

Am I just being paranoid or do these numbers seem about correct?

Mo
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on April 23, 2020, 04:48:04 PM
Mo,

Can you tell me what is in the plain canned tomato pizza sauce?

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: ahmad213 on April 24, 2020, 04:48:02 AM
Peter,

It is 'Tomatoes 99%, acidity regulator and salt.'

Thankyou,

Mo
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: Pete-zza on April 25, 2020, 09:34:41 AM
Mo,

When I tried to reproduce the Papa John's pizza sauce, I looked at their ingredients list for their sauce. That was given in the first post in this thread, at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6633.msg56931#msg56931

Today, I revisited the PJ website to see if they changed their pizza sauce. As you can see at https://www.papajohns.com/company/papa-johns-ingredients.html, they did not, although they may have changed sources or brands.

I should mention at this point that in the U.S. when companies publicly post things like sauces and doughs with a listing of ingredients, the order of the ingredients should be by weights. This is by law. So, in the case of the PJ pizza sauce this means that there should be more tomatoes than sunflower oil, and more sunflower oil than sugar, more sugar than salt, more salt than garlic, and so on.

The listing of ingredients you proposed complies partly but not completely with the listing of ingredients as used in the PJ pizza sauce. This is not to suggest that your proposed sauce ingredients will not work or be satisfactory. But if your objective is to get close to what PJ does or what I did, you might want to use more garlic than either oregano or basil. And you might want to add a bit of ground black pepper since the PJ pizza sauce has that as an ingredient in addition to the oregano and basil "spices", as noted in Reply 4 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=6758.msg58199;topicseen#msg58199

Lastly, in your case, you propose to add white vinegar to your sauce and that should be sufficient as a source of citric acid (white vinegar is about 5% citric acid and about 95% water).

What you might want to do is to put all of your ingredients together but leave out the oregano and basil. You can then gradually add the oregano and basil and taste the sauce as you do so to be sure that you do not have too much of either and that the sauce passes your taste test. You perhaps keep track of how much oregano and basil you use to be able to replicate the sauce again in future efforts. You might also gradually add the white vinegar so that the sauce doesn't become overly thin. I'm sure that the citric acid that PJ uses is in dry powder form.

If you decide to proceed, please let us know how things turn out.

Peter
Title: Re: Reverse Engineering/Cloning Papa John's Pizza Sauce
Post by: ahmad213 on April 25, 2020, 04:24:00 PM
Hey Peter,

Thankyou for the suggestions.
Appreciate it very much show - I shall indeed let you know how I get on.

Best wishes,

Mo