X-ray of a commercial mayonnaise

X-ray of a commercial mayonnaise

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Mayonnaise is a cold emulsified sauce made mainly from beaten whole eggs and vegetable oil. Of Minorcan origin, it is generally seasoned with salt, lemon juice or vinegar. It is a sauce of Spanish origin culinary related to aioli.

Today it is used in a multitude of international dishes as an accompaniment, as a rule of vegetables and fish. Its origin has been disputed by scholars since the beginning of the 20th century. At present, it is still made by hand - with a mixer, no longer with a mortar - in Spain, Cuba, Italy, France and Belgium, but in the rest of the Western world the consumption of this sauce is mainly of industrial origin and is associated mainly to fast food.

But unfortunately the fast food boom has turned it into an almost artificial and very unhealthy product.

Here the analysis of a well-known Helmann’s brand (10grs, 2 coffee scoops)


0.2 grams (g) of added sugar per 10 g serving.

This reveals that 2% of the product is sugar.

Of the total carbohydrate content, 40% is sugar and the other 60% is modified starch.

It is a salty product and contains sugar, even though the original recipe does not contain sugar.


73 milligrams (mg) per serving, which covers 3.7% of the total sodium recommended for an adult (2,000 mg) and 4.9% of what is recommended for a child (1,500 mg).1


Water, non-hydrogenated vegetable oil, egg yolk, modified cornstarch, sugar, iodized salt, white vinegar, sorbic acid, citric acid, xanthan gum, phosphoric acid, concentrated lemon juice (0.04%), onion powder, flavorings and identical to the natural one, mustard essential oil, garlic powder, calcium disodium EDTA [toxic to the body]2 and paprika oleoresin, class IV [carcinogenic] caramel,3 orange food.5

It contains 19 ingredients in total, including starch, sugar and 11 of them are different additives.

In this case the starch used ismodified corn starch.

It has been found thatmost of this type of starch comes from transgenic corn, which to be viable requires a high use of highly aggressive agrochemicals to the body, including glyphosate.4

Hellmann's mayonnaise contains other precautionary ingredients.

For example, himCalcium disodium EDTA, which is not recommended in pregnant women or children. In low doses it inhibits the absorption of minerals and iron. In high doses it causes vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pains, clotting problems and micro-losses of blood in the urine. In laboratory animals it has been seen to cause damage to cell metabolism, affecting microsomes. It is easy to consume a large amount due to the many consumer products that contain it. It is prohibited in Australia and it is recommended to avoid.2, 5

It also containscandy IV, which has been shown to be carcinogenic.3

In the case ofxanthan gum You only have to be careful with young children, as it is a thickener that has been seen to generate a serious condition in them, called necrotizing enterocolitis. It is not known whether it is from the gum alone or from bacterial contamination or other unknown causes.6


The labeling is orange, yellow and beige, in the center is the brand and name of the product, along with a ham cake.

The nutrition information is not very visible and the letters are small, making it even more difficult to read.

Seeing the productWith the naked eye, it is difficult to detect its high content of additives.

It is worrying that a “homemade” and everyday product contains so many chemicals.

Consumers often use mayonnaise on sandwiches and other dishes, using a generous amount, consumed by children and adults.

Consumers have the right to freely decide our consumption and not through deception.

That is why the team of El Poder del Consumidor is frequently promoting that public policies are based on the public interest, not protecting private interests and at the expense of the health of the population.

It is important that consumers are adequately informed regarding the content of the products we consume.

Labeling is required that really allow guidance regarding the ingredients of the products offered on the market.

The State is obliged to establish mechanisms to guarantee the rights of consumers.

Our suggestion:

Consume with low frequency due to modified starch and ingredients that negatively impact health (IV candy, EDTA, modified corn starch).

We propose you:

Regular mayonnaise, preferably homemade.

If you do not have a homemade option, choose a mayonnaise without starch, without artificial colors and without the high amount of ingredients, such as this product.


We share the recipe to make a homemade mayonnaise, follow the steps well so that it is not cut, it is easy and healthy.


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 225 ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

How to make homemade mayonnaise:

  1. We separate the yolks from the egg whites.
  2. We place the yolks with 1 teaspoon of mustard and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in a bowl to beat. With the help of an electric mixer, we beat these ingredients until they have a homogeneous consistency.
  3. When it is well mixed, add the olive oil little by little in a continuous thread. Add a little, beat, add a little more, beat, and so on until all the oil is incorporated. In the end our mixture will be more yellowish and thicker.
  4. Add the rest of the lemon juice at the end, with salt and black pepper to taste. We beat one last time and voilà! Our mayonnaise is done.


  1. WHO (2012). Guideline: Sodium intake for adults and children. Geneva, World Health Organization (WHO). Available at:
  2. Ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA) E385. Available at:
  3. CSPI (2011). FDA Urged to prohibit carcinogenic "caramel coloring". Available at:
  4. Paganelli, A., Gnazzo, V., Acosta, H., López, S., and Carrasco, A. E. (2010). Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Produces Teratogenic Effects on Vertebrates by Impairing Retinoic Acid Signaling Chem. Res. Toxicolgy, 23 (10), pp 1586–1595.
  5. US. National Library of Medicine. ETHYLENEDIAMINE TETRAACETIC ACID. Toxicology Data Network. Available at:
  6. CSPI. Center for Science in the Public Interest. Chemical Cuisine Xantan Gum. Available at:


Video: How to Make Mayonnaise. Gordon Ramsay (July 2022).


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