My question is of a scientific nature in regards to the above product. My boyfriend has been given cans of this and every time he has used it, he has said that it tastes literally like nothing. Despite the addition of spices and herbs in copious amounts, it still tastes like nothing. I looked up this product online and found similar comments about it. My question is, by what process or addition does a manufacturer cause products to taste like nothing? I find this very curious indeed and was wondering if someone could help me out.
Italian style likely just means Roma (plum) tomatoes. It's a marketing ploy since there are lots of different types of tomatoes in Italy and no one 'style'.
Roma tomatoes (along with most other types) grown without proper plant nutrition, and limited sun can be especially bland if picked early as well. They don't have to add anything to make them bland. Keep in mind that tomatoes have a lot of water (like watermelons) and can easily end up bland if they're just given chemical fertilizer and water.
Try different brands. Even San Marzanos can be fake (about 2/3 of the export is fake) but they'll still taste better.
I have not used the product, but it must taste like something. It might not have the tomato taste that you (or others) want, but I would have a hard time believing they are tasteless. Having said that, and in my opinion, if an industrial producer of canned tomatoes uses an extremely large quantity of mass produced, less than ideal (from a flavor standpoint) tomatoes, they aren't going to have a big tomato taste. I've always had the best luck with canned San Marzano tomatoes, regardless of brand.
As my food sci 101 professor Jim Steele once told the class "Food companies love to sell water, because it is cheap. Even better than water they love to sell air - air isn't cheap, it's free." You get plenty of companies that pack poor quality produce with extra water and then they put a fancy label on it and market it as some sort of desirable brand. They end up tasting like water because they are for the most part just that.