Mayonnaise is an emulsion of oil and water. It is used as a salad dressing, sandwich spread, and cooking ingredient. Mayonnaise is made from eggs, vegetable oils, vinegar, and seasonings.
There are two types of mayonnaise: regular and light. Regular mayonnaise has a higher fat content than light mayonnaise. The fat helps keep the product stable and gives it a creamy texture. Light mayonnaise is lower in fat and has a thinner consistency. Both products have similar flavor profiles.
The first commercial recipe for mayonnaise was created by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, who founded the Battle Creek Sanitarium near Michigan City, Indiana. He developed his own version of the condiment to use on wheat bread he served at the sanitarium. His original formula included egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, sugar, mustard powder, and olive oil.
Mayonnaise is so ingrained in Western society that it appears to be used in everything. Or all of it. Anything from salads to fries to burgers to pizza to putting it into various sauces for a roast. There has to be a lot of mayo to go around for this much mayo. And there it is, always in the form of a whitish-creamy jar of bliss.
Perhaps you’ll attempt making your own mayonnaise at home, in which case you’ll have total control over the components. And it turns out to be yellow! What makes store-bought mayonnaise white? What happened to the homemade mayonnaise that turned yellow? Which is the correct answer? Let’s take a closer look.
Mayonnaise is a staple condiment in American kitchens. It’s used in sandwiches, salads, and even desserts. However, did you ever wonder why mayonnaise is white?
There are two main reasons why mayonnaise is usually white. The first reason is because of the type of oil that is used to make it. Most commercial brands use vegetable oil. Vegetable oils are naturally white.
The second reason is because of the way that the product is processed. Commercial mayonnaise is typically made using an emulsifying agent called lecithin. Lecithin is a natural substance found in egg yolks.
Because it contains a tiny quantity of egg yolk – around 5% as required by law – store-bought mayo is white. The remaining ingredients can include egg white or water, as well as at least 70% vegetable oil. Commercial mayonnaise is made with powerful blenders and mixers that incorporate far more air than a person can manually mix with a whisk at home.
As a result of the mixing, there is less pigment from the yolk and more air. Commercial mayonnaise appears to be a white hue, and if you’ve grown up with it, that’s the color you’d anticipate. Mayonnaise is a creamy, light yellow in color. But first, let’s look at why store-bought mayonnaise is white in the first place.
Commercial mayonnaise is not only white but also very thick. This means that when you add some to a sandwich, salad, or another dish, it will spread easily across the surface. That’s what we expect from mayonnaise.
However, industrial food processors do things differently. They don’t just blend together the eggs, oil, vinegar, spices, etc., they actually whip them until they become foamy. As a result, the mixture becomes extremely aerated.
When preparing mayonnaise at home, you use a whisk to finish it off. You may also use a mixer. In either case, the result is a pronounced yellow hue. This is due to the fact that the quantity of mixing you’re performing does not include as much air into the emulsion as a powerful mixer or blender does. So, if you want your homemade mayonnaise to be white, or at least lighter than normal, use a decent mixer or blender instead of doing it by hand. In this manner, small air bubbles emerge in the mayonnaise, making it look paler.
If you were wondering how mayonnaise gets its characteristic pale appearance, then here’s one important piece of information: whole eggs contain less yolk than scrambled ones.
A single large egg has about 6 grams of fat. A medium-sized egg has about 4 grams of fat, while a smaller size egg has 2 grams of fat. Another explanation for the whiteness of commercial mayo is that it does not include as much egg yolk as homemade mayo. Egg yolks give the mayo its pale yellow hue, and the more you use, the nicer the mayo will be. Commercial mayo, on the other hand, isn’t there to make things better; it’s there to make money.
As a result, single egg yolk and other additives are commonly used in commercial mayonnaise recipes. We’ll get to it in a minute, but first, let’s talk about the difference between single egg yolk and, say, three egg yolks mixed together in the same mixer. Furthermore, remember that commercially available mayonnaises have been blended using high-speed mixers. These machines create an incredibly fine foam which makes the product appear whiter.
The number of egg whites added varies depending on the recipe. Some may call for 1/4 cup of egg whites per 8 ounces of oil. Others may require 1/2 cup. Whichever way you slice it, the ratio of egg whites to oil remains constant.
In addition to adding extra ingredients like egg yolks, commercial mayonnaise makers often add water to their products.
The reason behind this practice is simple: Water helps keep the consistency smooth. If you think back to grade school science class, you know that liquids expand when heated. When you heat the liquid, it expands. And since most foods consist mostly of water, heating them causes them to swell. However, once the temperature drops below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the expansion stops.
You might be asking why, of all things, someone would add water. To save money and calories, to be precise. Mayo prepared with a little water instead of more egg yolk has fewer calories. Because there is still a lot of oil in it, it is still a high-calorie meal. However, it is lower than the average.
And because water is so transparent, it doesn’t contribute any color to the emulsion, instead of making it even paler. When you put it over something, it turns into a highly transparent mayo, although it looks white in the container.
Homemade mayonnaise can turn out very different colors from batch to batch. The main culprits are the type of vinegar you choose and the amount of salt you use. Vinegar gives the mayonnaise a sour taste, whereas salt adds flavor. Both affect the pH level of the mixture. As we’ve seen before, low pH levels cause food coloring agents to change color.
The majority of homemade mayo recipes call for multiple egg yolks, which contribute a lot of colors. A teaspoon or two of mustard is added to assist the emulsion along in nations with a strong French influence, and this also provides the color.
Finally, homemade mayonnaise is often whisked or even whipped with a wooden spoon. This results in a thicker, yellow-colored mayo that is frequently more delicious than store-bought mayo.
Yes! In fact, if your home refrigerator isn’t properly maintained, then yes, it will spoil faster. But don’t worry — just throw away the spoiled stuff and make some new batches. You should always refrigerate leftover mayonnaise after opening. Store it in airtight containers in the fridge.
If you want to extend its shelf life, place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the mayonnaise. Then cover the top tightly with aluminum foil. Mayonnaise may spoil, but only after a lengthy period of time. The mayonnaise will first split and moisture will separate from the bulk.
As the oil in the mayonnaise goes rancid, the mayonnaise will begin to smell sour and a little like detergent or cilantro. If you store mayo in the fridge all the time, you’ll almost certainly finish the tub or jar before it spoils. Mayonnaise should not be kept on the counter for more than a few hours at room temperature. It will separate and get rotten much more quickly.
In conclusion, I hope that these answers have helped clear up many questions about mayonnaise. I hope this article was useful and helped you through most of your food curiosities.