Mayonnaise is a creamy, white sauce that is often used as a condiment. It has a slightly tangy taste and is added to both savory and sweet dishes. Mayonnaise can come in a variety of different flavors as it basic recipe lends itself well to the addition of herbs and spices. It is generally made from oil, egg yolk and either vinegar or lemon juice. It is thought to have originated in Spain, but the flavor and consistency of mayonnaise varies depending on the area of the world it is made. Mayonnaise was popularized by the French, with the word originating from an old French word “moyeu” meaning the yolk of an egg.
How is mayonnaise made?
Due to the simplicity of the ingredients mayonnaise can be made easily in the home kitchen using a mortar and pestle, whisk or an electric stick mixer. The first step in mayonnaise is to add vinegar, lemon juice or mustard, which is required to flavor your mayonnaise. Once that is done slowly add the oil to the egg yolks, whilst mixing the liquid to ensure that the oil disperses amongst the yolks. As the mixture is whisked the combined yolk and oil should become white, creamy and thick. If using a high speed mixer all the ingredients can be added at once, but you need to ensure that the egg yolks settle to the bottom before mixing. The reaction that occurs between the water in the egg yolks and the oil is called emulsion. The lecithin and protein in the yolks are emulsifiers which cause the liquid to thicken and stabilize
Egg yolks are trucked in to factories in large tankers. This is pasteurized egg, which has been treated to remove any harmful microorganisms. The egg yolk is transferred from the tanker into large refrigerated vats. In most cases mayonnaise manufacturers will use some type of vegetable oil such as soybean oil to create mayonnaise. This also arrives is bulk lots and is pumped into large holding tanks. Factory workers will then measure out the spices, salt and flavors that are used to make their particular brand of mayonnaise. These spices are mixed with the vinegar, which is usually a combination of white vinegar and cider vinegar. The vinegar and spice mixture is poured into large tanks water and is mix with industrial mixing wands. A computer system then extracts the exact amounts of ingredients needed from each tank (eggs, oil and vinegar mixture) and sends it to a mixing machine. High speed mixing results in mayonnaise being made within a few minutes. This is then pumped into a rotary filler, which pumps the mayonnaise into appropriate packaging such as jars and bottles for shipping.
The following video shows how mayonnaise is made commercially.