How Can Mayonnaise Pep Up Your Food?

Food , Cooking & Drink

Who does not love the white and creamy condiment called mayonnaise? It is hugely popular in the preparation of snacks like burgers, sandwiches, salads, cupcakes, and dips. It is traditionally made with egg yolk, oil, and vinegar. To enhance taste, mustard and spices can also be added to it. While now it is commonly seen as a fast-food ingredient, previously it was used more as a dip, popularly in Spain and France. What makes it tastier than cheese and butter is that it has a unique blend of sweet and salty flavors.

Mayonnaise, informally mayo, is a thick cold sauce or dressing commonly used in sandwiches, hamburgers, and composed salads, and on French fries. It also forms the base for many other sauces, such as tartar sauce, remoulade, salsa golf and rouille.

It is a mix of oil, egg yolk, and an acid, either vinegar or lemon juice; there are many variants using additional flavorings. The color of mayonnaise varies from near-white to pale yellow, and its texture from a light cream to a thick gel.

Commercial egg-free alternatives are made for vegans and those who avoid chicken eggs or dietary cholesterol as well as people with egg allergies.

Mayonnaise is used commonly around the world, and is also a base for many other chilled sauces and salad dressings. For example, sauce rémoulade, in classic French cuisine, is a mix of mayonnaise and mustard, gherkins, capers, parsley, chervil, tarragon, and possibly anchovy essence.

Nutritional information
A typical formulation for commercially made mayonnaise (not low fat) can contain as much as 80% vegetable oil, usually soybean but sometimes olive oil. Water makes up about 7% to 8% and egg yolks about 6%. Some formulas use whole eggs instead of just yolks. The remaining ingredients include vinegar (4%), salt (1%), and sugar (1%). Low-fat formulas will typically decrease oil content to just 50% and increase water content to about 35%. Egg content is reduced to 4% and vinegar to 3%. Sugar is increased to 1.5% and salt lowered to 0.7%. Gums or thickeners (4%) are added to increase viscosity, improve texture, and ensure a stable emulsion. Mayonnaise is prepared using several methods, but on average it contains around 700 kilocalories (2,900 kJ) per 100 grams, or 94 kilocalories (Cal) per tablespoon. This makes mayonnaise a calorically dense food.

The nutrient content of mayonnaise (> 50% edible oil, 9–11% salt, 7–10% sugar in the aqueous phase) makes it suitable as a food source for many spoilage organisms. A set of conditions such as pH between 3.6 and 4.0, and low water activity aw of 0.925, restricts the growth of yeasts, a few bacteria and molds. Yeasts of the genus Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus fructivorans, and Zygosaccharomyces bailii are the species responsible for the spoilage of mayonnaise. The characteristics of spoilage caused by Z. bailli are product separation and a “yeasty” odor. A study suggests that adding encapsulated cells of Bifidobacterium bifidum and B. infantis prolongs the life of mayonnaise up to 12 weeks without microorganism spoilage.


It greatly improves the taste of vegetables, which justifies its use in salads, rolls, and wraps, besides adding a rich taste to burgers, buns, and bread bases.

What makes healthy mayonnaise popular in India is the fact that nearly 42% of our population is vegetarian, and mayonnaise is ideally used invegetarian fare for its versatility and taste. The following are some interesting ways to use mayonnaise in your food:

a. Munching- dipping boring vegetable sticks in eggless mayo will make them taste delicious. If you want to skip the 100 calories that one tbsp of mayonnaise contains, you can make your own dip with hung curd and mayonnaise for a guilt-free indulgence.

b. Lunchbox savior- your kid’s boring lunch can get an instant makeover with just a simple recipe with mayonnaise. Layer his/her mini buns, chapattis, pizza bases and idlis with mayonnaise and they will look forward to their lunch boxes more than ever! If you are packing pasta for lunch, a dollop of mayo will make it creamier thus delighting their taste buds.

c. Treating unexpected guests- have unannounced guests at home, with nothing interesting in your refrigerator? Simply spread mayo between crackers, serve it as a dip along with bread sticks/rusks, or try recipes such as mayo cutlet or mayo omelet. Your guests will love it!

d. Family time grub- you can add an interesting touch to popcorn by tossing it with mayo, oregano, and garlic powder. You can also mix mayo and cream cheese together, add some chopped herbs and serve as a dip with nachos and chips. French toast or simple garlic bread, when accompanied by mayo, also tastes great.

e. Health-conscious option- go for eggless mayonnaise if you want to stay away from animal fat and cholesterol. Since it is a calorie-rich food, over-indulgence is not a good idea. Also, a healthy recipe with veg mayonnaise is to make a dressing of mayo, lemon juice, honey or maple syrup, and pepper powder (all in limited quantities), and toss your greens into it.

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