Find out if mayonnaise is safe for a gluten-free diet and get a list of gluten-free mayonnaise brands to shop for.
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Are you a big fan of mayonnaise on your sandwiches? Or do you love macaroni or potato salad and your favorite recipe calls for mayo?
If so, you know that this ingredient is full of flavor and can provide a delicious creamy texture to anything you put it on or add it to.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, you know that every ingredient – even every condiment – matters when it comes to knowing exactly what’s in your food.
So in this post, we’re going to talk all about mayonnaise and discuss what it is, what it’s made from, and what the main ingredients are.
We’ll also go over if mayonnaise is gluten-free, some popular brands and their stance on gluten-free labeling, and finish up with a list of mayonnaise products that have gluten-free labels. These are the products that those of us on a gluten-free diet can feel good about choosing each and every time we are shopping for sandwiches, dressings, or salads.
If you’ve found yourself looking at the condiment aisle overwhelmed with wondering what’s safe for your gluten-free diet and what’s not, you’re in the right place! We’ll get you all the information you need to make an informed decision about mayonnaise and how it can fit into your everyday diet.
Read on: Gluten-free salad dressing: types & brands
What is mayonnaise?
Mayonnaise is a condiment that’s most commonly used as a sandwich spread, added to dressings, or as a sauce for salads.
You can find it in many deli salads, like macaroni or potato salad. Some people even use mayonnaise in place of butter for hot sandwiches, like grilled cheese sandwiches.
This condiment has a creamy texture and fatty flavor that lends itself well to many sandwiches, like BLT’s or other deli meat sandwiches.
Read on: Gluten and dairy-free diet: 17 condiments to stock your kitchen
Read on: Is potato salad gluten-free?
What is mayonnaise made from?
Mayonnaise is made with oil, egg yolks, lemon juice, dijon mustard, vinegar, and seasonings. These are the basic ingredients you’d expect to find in homemade mayonnaise recipes.
Ingredients lists on store-bought mayonnaise products may also have much longer ingredients lists, with thickeners and preservatives.
What are the ingredients in mayonnaise?
The main ingredients in a homemade mayonnaise are eggs or egg yolks, lemon juice, dijon mustard, oil (usually a neutral-flavored oil, like canola or safflower), and salt.
In store bought mayonnaise, you might find other ingredients in addition to these basic ones. Here’s what a popular brand of mayonnaise, Best Foods, lists as the ingredients in their “Real Mayonnaise” product.
“Soybean oil, water, whole eggs, egg yolks, distilled vinegar, salt, sugar, lemon juice concentrate, calcium disodium EDTA (used to protect quality), natural flavors.”
Read on: Is soybean oil gluten-free?
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. If you purchase wheat bread, there will be gluten in it, because wheat by nature has gluten.
Many processed foods have hidden gluten in them in the form of gluten or wheat derivatives. These are also in the form of flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.
Read on: What is gluten?
Is mayonnaise gluten-free?
For the most part, mayonnaise is a gluten-free food and most ingredients that are included in a mayonnaise recipe are gluten-free.
That said, there may be some cross contamination if the mayo is processed in the same facility as other gluten-containing products.
As with anything when you’re dealing with a food intolerance, cross contamination and reactivity to small amounts of gluten is variable from person to person.
If you are extremely sensitive to gluten and cannot tolerate any form of trace amounts in your food, it’s important to look for a “gluten-free” label on the product’s packaging.
Is store bought mayonnaise gluten-free?
Most mayonnaise brands that you’ll find at grocery stores don’t contain any gluten-containing ingredients.
These brands may or may not label their products as gluten-free, but after reviewing the ingredients lists, you can decide whether or not each product feels like an okay fit for your diet.
It’s important to note that even if a product doesn’t have any gluten-containing ingredients, it may or may not have gluten due to cross contamination.
If a brand doesn’t specifically label a product as “gluten-free,” either a) they know their product is processed in a facility with shared equipment and there is a possibility for cross contamination, or b) they don’t test for gluten and therefore don’t report on it being present or not present in their products.
Use your best judgement about what you know about your body and how it reacts to gluten to determine if you will purchase and use a product without a gluten-free label.
Are my favorite mayonnaise brands gluten-free?
There are so many mayonnaise brands out there, so let’s talk about some of the most popular ones and if they are considered to be gluten-free.
Is Best Foods mayonnaise gluten-free?
According to the Best Foods website, this product is considered gluten-free.
Is Hellman’s mayonnaise gluten-free?
According to the Hellman’s Frequently Asked Questions area of their website:
“Yes. Hellmann’s products are made with ingredients that naturally do not contain gluten.
Look for a gluten-free label on many of our products, including our Real Mayonnaise, as well as Hellmann’s Vegan and Organic. Hellmann’s products with this label are made with ingredients that do not contain gluten and have not come in contact with gluten during processing.”
Read on: Is Hellman’s mayo gluten-free?
Is Heinz mayonnaise gluten-free?
The ingredients in Heinz Real Mayonnaise according to their website are as follows:
“Soybean oil, eggs (whole eggs and egg yolks), distilled white vinegar, water, salt, saugar, natural flavor (contains mustard), lemon juice concentrate, calcium disodium EDTA (to protect freshness).”
Heinz doesn’t make any gluten-free statements on their mayonnaise, but there are no gluten-containing ingredients in the ingredients list. Make your decision based on what you know about your body and if it can handle trace amounts of gluten.
Is Kraft Real mayonnaise gluten-free?
Kraft Real Mayo does not provide a gluten-free label on their product, however there are no gluten-containing ingredients either. Here are the ingredients listed on their packaging:
“Soybean oil, water, vinegar, egg, contains less than 2% of sugar, salt, egg yolk, natural flavor (contains mustard), lemon juice concentrate, dried garlic, dried onion, paprika, calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor).”
Make the decision for yourself whether or not to include this on your gluten-free diet and how you feel about gluten-free labels needing to be provided.
Is Kraft avocado mayonnaise gluten-free?
This type of Kraft mayonnaise does not contain any gluten-containing ingredients, but also does not have a gluten-free label on their packaging.
These are the ingredients listed on their Kraft Mayo with Avocado Oil for you to review yourself:
“Water, avocado oil, canola oil, soybean oil, vinegar, egg, modified food starch, egg yolk, contains less than 2% of salt, sugar, mustard flour, natural flavor, phosphoric acid, potassium sorbate and calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor).”
They have a note that modified food starch is not an ingredient normally found in mayonnaise. Modified food starch is generally considered to be a gluten-free ingredient as it’s made from corn or potatoes usually in the US, but sometimes modified food starch can contain wheat.
That said, the Kraft brand is very good about labeling their products with any top 8 allergens. This product only lists eggs, so I would not be concerned about gluten being present in the modified food starch in this product.
Read on: Is modified food starch gluten-free?
Is Miracle Whip mayonnaise gluten-free?
Miracle Whip does not contain any gluten-containing ingredients, so it is assumed safe to enjoy on a gluten-free diet.
Kraft Heinz, the company that makes Miracle Whip, is great about disclosing ingredients that contain gluten and other allergens. It is not listed with a clear indication of gluten being included in the ingredients list.
It should be noted that although it doesn’t have any gluten-containing ingredients, it does not have a gluten-free label. This means it hasn’t been verified to be gluten-free, and may have some potential for cross contamination in their facilities and on their processing lines.
Keep this in mind if you are extremely sensitive to gluten and even the smallest amount from cross contact can cause issues for you.
Read on: Is Miracle Whip gluten-free?
Gluten-free mayonnaise brands
To help you make an informed decision next time you’re shopping for mayonnaise at the grocery store, here are some brands of mayonnaise that do offer a gluten-free label.
With that label, we can be sure that these brands actually test for the presence of gluten and that there is no more than 20ppm of gluten in the product.
- Best Foods
- Chosen Foods
- Follow Your Heart Vegenaise (vegan mayo)
- Primal Kitchen
- Sir Kensington’s
- Thrive Market
- Walden Farms
Is mayonnaise dairy-free?
Since mayonnaise is made without milk or milk products, mayo is generally safe for a dairy-free diet.
That said, the only way to ensure that the mayonnaise that you purchase and use is dairy-free is to read ingredient lists, look for hidden sources of dairy, and avoid any products that contain dairy.
As with any packaged product you buy at the store when you have a food intolerance or food allergy, research is key.
Read on: Does mayo have dairy?
If you love adding mayonnaise to your sandwiches or favorite pasta or macaroni salad, I hope this post has given you some information to think about next time you’re shopping for condiments or sandwich supplies.
Many mayonnaise brands contain no gluten ingredients, but they don’t all offer gluten-free labels. Choose from the gluten-free mayonnaise brands list in this post or do your own research when at the store by reviewing ingredients lists before you buy.
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