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Mayonnaise/Why does the jarred stuff last


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Homemade mayo does not have a great shelf life...or fridge life. We checked the ingredients on the jar in the fridge (Trader Joe's) and it was oil, eggs, egg yolks, spice, vinegar and lemon juice. They make a point of pride in saying there are no preservatives, sugar, etc.

So, why is our homemade mayo not going to be appealing, let alone safe, for a month in the fridge? Do they irradiate this stuff?

Please, Sir, I want to know.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Semi-educated guesses:

1) They probably use more acid. Vinegar and mayo? What do you use? I don't use both. I don't think. I haven't made mayo in a while...on to firmer ground...

2) Processing temperatures have significant effects on the ability of acids to neutralize bacteria. I bet you refrigerate your mayo as soon as is practical, because you're afraid of killing somebody. But a 30- to 60-minute rest at room temperature allows the acid to do its job better. It's counter-intuitive, but it's true. Acids work better at elevated temperatures.

3) They can bottle the stuff in more sanitary conditions than you possibly could. Do you check the chemical and biological purity of each ingredient before processing? Do you have air filters on your HVAC that trap anything larger than a few microns? Do you sterilize your containers right before filling them? Do you pull a vacuum before putting on the lid? :huh:

4) Pasteurized eggs.

5) Pure thoughts and wholesome living. :unsure:

I'm sure some other smug bastard has other or better or more accurate ideas. But just because we often think of food processors as the enemy doesn't mean they don't know what they're doing. And it doesn't mean you don't either. I'll bet your mayo is much better than their's. :smile:

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Isn't there a whole chapter explaining this in The Curious Cook? Or am I imagining it?

Damn, you're good!

...sometime during the late 1920s, the mayonnaise manufacturers recognized that frozen egg yolks were quite adequate, perhaps even preferable to fresh, for making mayonnaise.  Apart from price, their advantage was a simple one: their thickness. ... Frozen-thawed yolks thus smoothed the manufacturing process and reduced the proportion of yolks required to stiffen a given volume of sauce.  

Ever since, most commercial mayonnaise has been made with frozen yolks, about one-third yolk per cup of sauce.

Page 123.
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Homemade mayo does not have a great shelf life...or fridge life.  We checked the ingredients on the jar in the fridge (Trader Joe's) and it was oil, eggs, egg yolks, spice, vinegar and lemon juice.  They make a point of pride in saying there are no preservatives, sugar, etc.

So, why is our homemade mayo not going to be appealing, let alone safe, for a month in the fridge?  Do they irradiate this stuff?

Please, Sir, I want to know.

I have always wondered what they do differently.

I have the same questions for Lemon Curd....

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After all this very informed info by the eGullet folks I admire the tops, I agree with Dave. Still don't know.

And Suvir, amazing you brought up lemon curd. That too has been a real puzzlement to us. What do these food processors do with eggs, oil and acid?

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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After all this very informed info by the eGullet folks I admire the tops, I agree with Dave.  Still don't know.

And Suvir, amazing you brought up lemon curd.  That too has been a real puzzlement to us.  What do these food processors do with eggs, oil and acid?

I wonder...and thus I never bother with store bought versions of these easy to make classics.

And frankly, those that eat home made mayo or lemon curd, are always mighty impressed even with the dishes where one would use these two in very small amounts. A good home made version of each of them is FAR Superior to any of the brands that a supermarket may carry pre-packaged.

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I certainly agree with that.

Although I have on occasion resorted to a big jar of Hellman's when making vast quantities of potato salad.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Ah, yes, it is "a versatile chelating agent." It does seem to have an anti-spoilage property. Maybe that's part of the trick. It's in Hellman's; is it in all others?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Delouis Fils Fresh Mayonnaise is very close in flavor and texture to homemade but, despite using no preservatives or stabilizers (unlike Helman’s), keeps for a lot longer. From the sell-by date it has a shelf life of months and after opening it seems to keep reasonably fresh for several weeks in the fridge. I recall reading that finer, industrial emulsification helps preserve it, but it doesn’t seem a very convincing explanation unless the process is so violent it denatures the enzymes responsible for spoiling.

I don’t know whether there’s any explanation on their website which my horrible French prevents me reading.

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Okay, I just sent an e-mail to Hellman's. Maybe somebody also wants to do this:

"If you need immediate assistance or would like to speak with a Unilever Bestfoods Representative call 1-800-338-8831, Monday - Friday, 8:30a.m. - 6:00p.m. EST."

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I don’t know whether there’s any explanation on their website which my horrible French prevents me reading.

They say they were the first to make fresh shelf-stable mayo without any additives, just sunflower oil, egg yolks, wine vinegar, preservative-less mustard, fresh lemon, and salt.

"Thanks to an extremely refined emulsion using a carefully considered technique, our mayonnaise can be kept fresh many months, the container unsealed or not, but always tightly closed."

Then they talk about the "insurmountable barrier" they have in place against bacterial contamination, and how before shipping everything is tested for [a whole list of organisms, including E. coli, staphyloccus, and salmonella].

That's it, though. I guess how they REALLY do it is a trade secret. :wink:

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I certainly agree with that.

Although I have on occasion resorted to a big jar of Hellman's when making vast quantities of potato salad.

I have had to resort to Hellman's once when catering for a group of 225. Embarassed as I was to do that, I felt it was the best I could do.

So, here... I have come clean. :shock:

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What does calcium disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate dihydrate do?

It does things that we will not know for a long time... and then.. sometime, someday.. some scientist will prove its connection to some disease.. And then decades after that, another will come along to disprove the previous theory...

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...

Although I have on occasion resorted to a big jar of Hellman's when making vast quantities of potato salad.

I have had to resort to Hellman's once when catering for a group of 225. Embarassed as I was to do that, I felt it was the best I could do.

So, here... I have come clean. :shock:

You mean you're both human? :shock: Aw, shucks.

It really helps to have a 30-quart mixer available when you need to make that much mayo. I think that's the size we used at Le Bernardin when I was there. Every few days. :blink: But since then I can do it in my sleep.

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I agree, Svir. The rich and lustrous colour of freshly made mayonnaise is a beautiful thing. Bottled stuff looks like it's been bleached. :sad:

A further confession: I keep a bottle of Kewpie mayonnaise handy for when I just need a dot here or there. :shock:

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Jin -- do you have Hellman's-in-a-squeeze-bottle up there? (Plain and/or flavored) If so, what do you think of it? For that matter, what does ANYBODY think of it? Apart from it being a rip-off, pricewise? :angry: I doubt the "Garlic Paradise" version will ever replace real aioli for me -- but maybe it will for people who eat in chain restaurants? :rolleyes::biggrin:

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