Mayonnaise, colloquially referred to as “mayo”, is a thick, cold, and creamy sauce or dressing commonly used on sandwiches, hamburgers, composed salads, and French fries. It also forms the base for various other sauces, such as tartar sauce, fry sauce, remoulade, salsa golf, and rouille.
Mayonnaise is an emulsion of oil, egg yolk, and an acid, either vinegar or lemon juice; many variants are using additional flavorings. The color varies from near-white to pale yellow, and its texture is from a light cream to a thick gel.
A typical formulation for commercially made mayonnaise (not low fat) can contain as much as 80% vegetable oil, usually soybean but sometimes olive oil. Water makes up about 7% to 8% and egg yolks about 6%. Some formulas use whole eggs instead of just yolks. The remaining ingredients include vinegar (4%), salt (1%), and sugar (1%). Low-fat formulas will typically decrease oil content to just 50% and increase water content to about 35%. Egg content is reduced to 4% and vinegar to 3%. Sugar is increased to 1.5% and salt is lowered to 0.7%. Gums or thickeners (4%) are added to increase viscosity, improve texture, and ensure a stable emulsion. Mayonnaise is prepared using several methods, but on average it contains around 700 kilocalories (2,900 kJ) per 100 grams or 94 kilocalories (Cal) per tablespoon. This makes mayonnaise a calorically dense food.