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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Which mayonnaise is the best? The expert assessed the composition of popular sauces

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Easter is fast approaching, and with it the time to prepare festive dishes. What kind of mayonnaise should you use to make them not only tasty, but also healthy? How to analyze the content of food labels available on the market of sauces? Do “light” and vegan mayonnaises have good ingredients? Dietician Justyna Marszałkowska-Jakubik answers our questions.

The classic recipe for mayonnaise is very simple and requires only a few ingredients. We are talking about egg yolks and oil, which are mixed until a creamy consistency is obtained. Then the whole thing is seasoned with a mixture of salt, sugar, vinegar and mustard or mustard containing all these products. Most of the sauces available on the market, however, have much longer ingredients. So what should you pay attention to when choosing mayonnaise?

How to choose a good mayonnaise?

It is best to follow the rule that the shorter the list of ingredients used in the production of mayonnaise, the better. – In fact, the most important thing is that this composition is short, that is, that it contains only those ingredients that we would add ourselves when making mayonnaise at home. This is the simplest rule – judges dietitian Justyna Marszałkowska-Jakubik.

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The content of oil and egg yolks in the product is also important – it should be as high as possible. When analyzing the composition of store mayonnaise, you should also pay attention to whether refined or unrefined oil was used to produce them. The first of them is subjected to a high pressing temperature, which negatively affects the amount of valuable ingredients contained in it – in particular omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids. – Unrefined oils contain more nutrients, which makes them of a higher nutritional value – Marszałkowska-Jakubik points out.

However, as he clarifies, the type of oil used in the production of mayonnaise is important only for people who regularly reach for this type of sauce. – If we are talking about occasional consumption of mayonnaise, the type of oil does not matter much. So if we reach for it once a year, on holidays, you don’t really need to look at it that much. When it comes to regular consumption, it is better to choose unrefined oils, he says.

Full-fat or light mayonnaise?

When reaching for mayonnaise, it is better to choose its full-fat version. Although products marked as “light”, “light” or “diet” tempt with reduced calorific value, their labels, apart from the basic ingredients needed to produce the sauce, often also mention other substances. – If the only difference is reduced caloric content, i.e. simply less oil, then “light” mayonnaises are a very good choice. However, such mayonnaise is difficult to find on store shelves. Very often, these products contain more additives to ensure the right consistency. So there is always a risk that they will have (in the composition – ed.) larger amounts of thickeners or stabilizers. Sugar and preservatives in the form of, for example, potassium sorbate are also often added to them – assesses the nutritionist. “If we want to slim down our festive dishes, combine classic pure mayonnaise with yogurt or fat-free skyr,” he suggests.

– Currently, buying mayonnaise with an acceptable composition is not a problem, especially before Easter, when the choice in stores is greater. Fortunately, producers are increasingly paying attention to the composition and attach importance to keeping it clean – adds Justyna Marszałkowska-Jakubik.

The composition of mayonnaise – how to read it?

The basic rule that should guide the analysis of mayonnaise composition is “the shorter, the better”. When browsing product labels, in addition to the basic ingredients of the sauce – oil, egg yolks, sugar, salt, vinegar and mustard – you can come across a whole lot of various additives.

The most commonly used additive is calcium disodium salt, designated as EDTA E385. It prevents delamination and rancidity of mayonnaise. – Consumed in excessive amounts can lead to disturbances in the mineral balance of the body, i.e. iron, zinc and copper deficiencies and muscle cramps. So I recommend looking for mayonnaise without E385 – points out Justyna Marszałkowska-Jakubik.

Popular mayonnaises also contain preservatives, such as potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate, labeled as E202 and E211, respectively. Some mayonnaises also contain thickeners, the most popular of which is modified starch (E1422) or stabilizers such as guar gum (E412) and xanthan gum (E415). Acidity regulators, flavors or dyes are also added to some products.

How to choose a good mayonnaise for Easter?Lukas Gojda/Shutterstock

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When asked about the impact of the above-mentioned ingredients on the quality of the product and the health of people who consume it, nutritionist Marszałkowska-Jakubik replies that “if we are able to avoid these ingredients, it would be good to avoid them.” – These are not ingredients that will be very harmful to us, but it is something that is simply unnecessary. The more of these ingredients, the worse it is.

Mayonnaise – comparison of the most popular brands

According to the list published by the Wiadomoscihandlowe.pl portal, last year Poles most willingly bought “Winiary Decorative Mayonnaise”. The second place went to “Kielecki Mayonnaise”. Vegan mayonnaises, in particular those of the Develey and Roleski brands, were also growing in popularity. Which one to choose?

In terms of ingredients, “Kielecki Mayonnaise” produced by WSP “Społem” stands out from the competition. It does not contain preservatives, flavor enhancers, thickeners or stabilizers. As indicated on the manufacturer’s website, it consists of: refined rapeseed oil, mustard, water and chicken egg yolks. 100 grams of the product contains 631 kcal, which is a relatively low amount for this type of sauce.

“Winiary Decorative Mayonnaise” fares a bit worse. The following ingredients are used in its production: rapeseed oil, egg yolks, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, spices, antioxidant (E385) and acidity regulator (citric acid). A portion of 100 grams of Winiary mayonnaise provides 704 kilocalories.

SEE ALSO: Shopping before Easter. Some of the chains have changed the opening hours of stores

As indicated by the money.pl portal, among the mayonnaises popular on Polish tables, products of the Hellmann’s, Pudliszki and Roleski brands should also be mentioned.

Hellmann’s is based on rapeseed oil, water, vinegar, sugar, egg yolks, mustard, salt, aromas, antioxidant, E385 and dyes (carotenes). It provides 671 kcal in 100 grams.

“Pudliszki Mayonnaise” uses a mixture of rapeseed oil, egg yolks, water, spirit vinegar, sugar, mustard, E385 and turmeric. It has a fairly high calorific value – as much as 736 kcal per 100 grams.

“Roleski Premium Mayonnaise” includes: sunflower oil, water, egg yolk, honey, mustard, white wine vinegar, Himalayan salt, concentrated lemon juice, natural flavor, flavors, E385.

Vegan mayonnaise – composition comparison

Vegan mayonnaises have also gained popularity in recent years. In the home version, they are most often prepared on the basis of soy milk, oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and sugar. These products are usually characterized by a lower caloric value than their animal counterparts – 100 grams of vegan mayonnaise contains from about 250 to even 650 kilocalories.

When asked to evaluate their compositions, nutritionist Marszałkowska-Jakubik points out that “these products often have very good compositions, but they usually contain more fat than classic mayonnaise.” – So it’s hard to say whether they are better or worse than traditional mayonnaises. This choice should be considered individually. If we look at the composition and it does not raise our concern, i.e. it is simply a product that contains only flavor or color additives instead of eggs, we can safely reach for it – added the expert. – The principle of reading labels in this case is the same as in the case of classic mayonnaises: we avoid synthetic flavors, the antioxidant EDTA and preservatives – she clarified.

According to the data of the Wiadomoscihandlowe.pl portal, in the case of store-bought vegan mayonnaises, consumers most often reach for the Develey brand product. It is produced on the basis of vegetable oils, water, spirit vinegar, modified corn starch, mustard, salt, lemon juice from concentrated lemon juice, natural flavors and E385. In 100 grams, it contains 633 kilocalories and 68 grams of fat.

SEE ALSO: Easter with inflation. The largest bank in Poland shows the data

The second place of the list was occupied by “Premium Vegan Vegan Mayonnaise” by Roleski, which includes: water, sunflower oil, mustard, modified starches, white wine vinegar, cane sugar, Himalayan salt, lemon juice concentrate, xanthan gum, aromas and E385. A 100 gram serving provides 25 grams of fat and only 269 kilocalories.

Wiadomoscihandlowe.pl, www.wijhars.olsztyn.pl, tvn24.pl

Main photo source: Lukas Gojda/Shutterstock



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