Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause serious health issues like intestinal damage, malnutrition, and chronic inflammation. That’s why these individuals need to follow a strict gluten-free diet and avoid any products containing gluten.
Mayonnaise is a popular condiment made with oil, egg yolks, vinegar or lemon juice, and seasonings. But when it comes to store-bought brands like Foods mayo, gluten-sensitive consumers need to be cautious. In this article, we’ll explore whether Foods mayo contains gluten and provide tips for safely using mayo on a gluten-free diet.
Does Foods Mayo Contain Gluten?
The answer is maybe. Foods mayo lists “natural flavors” in its ingredient list. The term “natural flavors” is vague and could potentially indicate ingredients derived from gluten-containing grains. When a product contains natural flavors, there is no way to know for sure if the product is gluten-free or not.
Foods mayo does not make any claims of being gluten-free on its packaging. The company’s website and customer service line do not provide definitive information on whether their mayo products are gluten-free either.
So while Foods mayo may be fine for most people to consume, those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should exercise caution and avoid this product if following a strict gluten-free diet. The unknown natural flavors present too much risk.
Risk of Cross-Contamination
Even if Foods mayo does not contain gluten-based ingredients, there is still the risk of cross-contamination occurring during production and packaging. Trace amounts of gluten could make their way into Foods mayo through:
- Shared equipment, storage facilities, or utensils
- Airborne flour particles in a shared production environment
- Improper sanitation procedures
For extremely sensitive individuals, even tiny amounts of cross-contamination can trigger symptoms and intestinal damage. Foods mayo is not processed in a certified gluten-free facility, so cross-contamination remains a possibility.
Gluten-Free Mayo Options
While conventional brands like Foods mayo might not be the best choice for gluten-free diets, there are several explicitly labeled gluten-free mayo options available:
1. Hellmann’s Gluten Free Mayo
Hellmann’s gluten-free mayo contains expeller-pressed canola oil, egg yolks, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, sugar, natural flavors, and calcium disodium EDTA. It is produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility to prevent cross-contamination. The label clearly states the product is gluten-free.
2. Kraft Real Mayo
Kraft Real Mayo made with olive oil lists gluten-free on its packaging. It is produced in facilities that handle gluten but have procedures in place to avoid cross-contact. The ingredients include soybean oil, water, egg yolks, distilled and cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, sugar, lemon juice, calcium disodium EDTA, and natural flavors.
3. Primal Kitchen Mayo
Primal Kitchen avocado oil mayo is certified gluten-free. It is made with avocado oil, cage-free eggs, organic vinegar, sea salt, organic rosemary and lemon extracts. Primal Kitchen adheres to strict practices for avoiding cross-contamination and uses the certified gluten-free label.
4. Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise
Sir Kensington’s mayo is clearly labeled as gluten-free on the product packaging. It contains non-GMO expeller-pressed canola oil, cage-free eggs, water, organic lemon juice, champagne vinegar, salt, sugar, and natural flavors. Their facility has protocols in place to prevent cross-contamination.
Tips for Safely Using Mayo on a Gluten-Free Diet
If you need to avoid gluten, here are some tips for safely incorporating mayo into your diet:
- Check the label and only use brands that state “gluten-free” in writing.
- Look for brands processed in dedicated gluten-free facilities.
- Contact the manufacturer if you have any doubts or cannot find a gluten-free statement.
- Opt for oil-based and freshly made mayo from gluten-free restaurants.
- Avoid pre-made sandwiches, tuna salad, chicken salad, etc. that might use non-GF mayo.
- Consider making your own homemade mayo so you control all the ingredients.
Following these precautions will help you reduce the risk of gluten exposure from mayonnaise. Be sure to check all condiments, dressings, sauces, and packaged foods carefully for gluten-containing ingredients. It’s important to read labels every time since formulas can change unexpectedly. When in doubt, reach out to the manufacturer directly for clarification.
Homemade Gluten-Free Mayo
Making your own mayo at home ensures you can avoid potential sources of gluten and customize the ingredients. Here is a simple recipe to try:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp mustard
- 3/4 cup mild-tasting oil
- In a wide bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice or vinegar, salt, and mustard until smooth.
- Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking constantly. Add the oil very slowly at first until the mayo begins to thicken.
- Keep whisking and gradually add the remaining oil in a slow, steady stream until all oil is incorporated and the mayo is thick and creamy.
- Taste and adjust any seasoning as desired. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week.
You can customize this basic recipe by using different oils, add herbs or spices, or experiment with different vinegars and extracts. Just ensure all ingredients used are certified gluten-free.
The Bottom Line
While conventional mayonnaise brands often contain ambiguous “natural flavors”, there are several clearly labeled gluten-free options available for purchase. Brands like Hellmann’s, Kraft, Primal Kitchen, and Sir Kensington’s all offer mayo varieties confirmed as gluten-free.
When it comes to Foods mayo, the product contains questionable “natural flavors” and is produced without proper protocols to prevent cross-contamination. So gluten-sensitive individuals should avoid this brand. For maximum safety, making your own homemade mayo is the best approach since you control every ingredient that goes into it.
- Foods mayo lists vague “natural flavors” and does not confirm the product is gluten-free.
- There is a risk of cross-contamination during production and packaging.
- People with celiac disease or gluten intolerance should avoid Foods mayo to be safe.
- Shop for mayo brands with a clear “gluten-free” label like Hellmann’s, Kraft, Primal Kitchen, and Sir Kensington’s.
- Making your own gluten-free mayo at home gives you total control over ingredients.
When shopping for mayo, double-check labels carefully and contact manufacturers directly with any questions. Following a gluten-free diet requires vigilance, but there are still plenty of safe, delicious options out there – including for condiments like mayonnaise.