Background


Hirzel Canning Company was founded in 1923 by the late Carl R. Hirzel, a Brewmaster by trade. The Hirzel family began growing and canning vegetables. His first product was sauerkraut, sold only in wooden kegs and barrels. The next year he began canning kraut, with the help of his wife Lena and oldest son, Karl. The third year they packed their first fancy whole tomatoes.

As the company’s reputation for selective farming and canning grew, it wasn't long before Hirzel bought their first delivery truck and began taking orders. The company grew steadily and presently is operated by the third and fourth generations of the family. There are three processing plants located in northwestern Ohio, with extensive greenhouse and farming operations that produce some of the raw product requirements. In addition, over 30 independent growers supply fresh tomatoes.

All styles of canned tomatoes and tomato products account for the majority of the present production with, of course, the continued processing of sauerkraut. A complete assortment of over 100 items is available in both retail and foodservice sizes packed in metal cans, glass and flexible packaging. And, just like the Hirzel family’s grandfather's days, the company carefully seeds and germinates their tomatoes - except now, they're grown in elaborate greenhouses until the plants are old enough to be transplanted to the fields.

Today, Dei Fratelli products are produced in various stainless steel processing systems and packaged in the most recent state-of-the-art containers to preserve our garden fresh taste. One tradition that the family has made sure to continue is that our Dei Fratelli products are carefully inspected throughout the planting, harvesting and canning processes.

Times and technology may have changed a few things since that initial operation, but one thing still remains the same: the Hirzel and Dei Fratelli families are committed to bringing the highest quality of products to your table.

Fact Sheet


Founded on the principle of serving customers to the best of our ability, our company will create the opportunity for our customers to succeed while ensuring our own future. We have always thrived on a partnership philosophy; we work together with our suppliers to ensure consistent quality, competitive product pricing, and delivery to build lasting relationships with our customers. This philosophy is embraced by the broad spectrum of hard working, committed individuals who work in the best interest of both the customer and Hirzel Canning Company. We feel that this approach to business is conducive to sustainable possibilities and unending success.

Over the years, we have developed a reputation as a strong, honest, family-oriented company that strives to employ individuals with high morals, strong work ethics, and integrity. The collective talents of our employees help build our reputation as we work to provide a stimulating and rewarding environment that encourages growth and promotion. Everyone at Hirzel Canning works together as a team to keep our customers competitive, informed, and successful!

The Hirzel/Dei Fratelli vision continues to be focused on the very concepts that have created our success from the beginning: Developing prosperous relationships with our customers, with the highest possible level of service and professionalism, creates a climate favorable for success and prosperity. Operational performance is continually evaluated to ensure the highest quality of products. We strongly believe that planning at all levels of processing from seed to the final package will guarantee constant improvement in company performance and customer satisfaction. By providing innovative ideas and products, we will continue to stay first in the business, ahead in the marketplace and distinguished in places to work and do business.

All of the tomato growers that provide raw product for Dei Fratelli products are located within 20 miles of our processing facilities. The growers' close proximity to processing plants ensures that the raw product is of the highest quality when it arrives at the manufacturing plants. Nearly all of the tomatoes are processed within 6 to 10 hours of their harvest.

In addition to our traditional farming methods, the Hirzel family has been farming assorted Certified Organic crops since 1987. That experience has taught us the value of many non-chemical farming techniques including: a five (5) year crop rotation that includes cabbage, corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa using rye and vetch as winter cover crops, shallow tillage, mechanical weed control and the use of compost. These techniques have changed the biological activity and fertility of the soils that are used for growing Dei Fratelli tomatoes.

Dei Fratelli in the News


Frequently Asked Questions


General Information
Where can I find Dei Fratelli products in my area?
What does Dei Fratelli mean?

Nutritional Information
Are Dei Fratelli products Gluten Free?
Is the vinegar you listed on the label Gluten Free?
Do you have Organic products?
What is Lycopene?
Do your products contain animal products?

Product Information
What kind of tomatoes are you using in your products?
Where do you get your tomatoes?
Are Hirzel products Kosher? If yes, how do I know?
Are your containers recyclable?
What are the expiration dates for your products?

Food Safety
How do I store opened containers of products?


General Information

Where can I find Dei Fratelli products in my area?

Dei Fratelli products are distributed primarily in the Midwest, Central and Southeastern states. Our distribution area is expanding daily. Please call us at 1-877-LYCOPENE (592-6736) to find out where you can find the Dei Fratelli products in your area.
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What does Dei Fratelli mean?

Dei Fratelli literally means "of the brothers" in Italian. There are two generations of Hirzel brothers that have been active managers of the company.
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Nutritional Information

Are Dei Fratelli products Gluten Free?

We greatly value the dietary restrictions of our customers. Therefore, we require "certification" from our suppliers for the absence of allergens such as gluten. All of our products are gluten free.
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Is the vinegar you listed on the label Gluten Free?

The vinegar (white distilled) we use in our products is gluten free and certified by our suppliers.
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Do you have Organic products?

We do not produce organic products for retail distribution under our Dei Fratelli brand. A considerably large portion of our farming operation is Organic. Our manufacturing facilities and farming operation are certified by Global Organic Alliance (GOA). Global Organic Alliance (GOA) is a recognized organic certifier. GOA is accredited by USDA / NOP organic regulations.
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What is Lycopene?

Lycopene is the natural pigment giving the red color to tomatoes and some other fruits such as watermelon. Lycopene is the most potent of all the carotenoids for quenching singlet oxygen which is a highly reactive molecule. Recent research suggests that lycopene suppresses the cancer cell growth and prevents cancer cells from dividing. For more information about lycopene, you may either e-mail or call us toll-free at 1-877-LYCOPENE.
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Do your products contain animal products?

Dei Fratelli products do not contain any animal products with two exceptions: some of our Pasta Sauces contain cheese. Please read the label carefully to determine if the variety of Pasta Sauce you select contains cheese. "Natural flavoring" refers to herbs and spices that are derived solely from plant sources.

In addition, the FDA has set a standard of identity for most of the products that does not permit the use of any animal products. Any deviation from this standard of identity would mean that the product could no longer be categorized nor sold legally under that name.
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Product Information

What kind of tomatoes are you using in your products?

We use processing tomatoes that are approved by both our farming and operations group. All tomato varieties are certified as GMO-free. Our farms follow Good Agricultural Practices and Pesticide Minimization Programs.
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Where do you get your tomatoes?

Hirzel Canning Company has its own Farming operation (HIRZEL FARMS) located primarily in the northwest Ohio area. Also, we contract with more than 30 tomato growers from local, family farms located in northwest Ohio and southern Michigan. To control the quality from seed to fresh packed crop, we supply the tomato plants to the majority of our growers. This helps us to bring you a high quality tomato product that is guaranteed GMO-free.
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Are Hirzel products Kosher? If yes, how do I know?

Yes, all Hirzel products are Certified Kosher except some of the varieties of Spaghetti and Pasta Sauces, which have cheese in them. Please look for the Pareve sign on the labels. Non-kosher items are manufactured on separate production lines. Additionally, when necessary, we can provide a list of our products that are designated as Kosher. For your further questions, please contact us at info@hirzel.com.
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Are your containers recyclable?

Yes, all of our containers are recyclable.
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What are the expiration dates for your products?

We do not have set expiration dates for our products; however, we have recommended "Best When Used By" dates.

The "Best When Used By" date on our products is designed as a guide for retail stores and consumers to assist with proper stock rotation.

For more information about this or any other subject, please contact us at 1-877-LYCOPENE or via e-mail at info@hirzel.com.
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Food Safety

How do I store opened containers of products?

We strongly recommend that you pour all of our canned products into glass or plastic containers before you store them in the refrigerator. Since condensation of the moisture takes place at refrigeration temperature, rust formation can occur on the original can. If you do not want to shorten the shelf life of the product after opening, please be sure not to touch inside of the container in which you are pouring. To eliminate any cross-contamination, it is highly advised to rinse the glass or plastic container with hot water and dish detergent before using it and cover the product while you are refrigerating it. You do not have to transfer the content into another container for our products packed in plastic or glass.
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