What is in Vegan Mayo?

Have you noticed that vegan mayo is always marketed as “mayo” and not “mayonnaise” or “real mayonnaise”?Maybe it is because of labeling restrictions. We have never seen a mayonnaise without eggs.

Anything claimed as “mayo,” vegan mayo, dressing, or sandwich spread can be different from the real formulation. Therefore, in this article, we’ll be analyzing what vegan mayo is composed of.

So, what exactly is in vegan mayo? The vegan mayo is often a combination of plant oils, vinegar, emulsifiers, sugar, brown rice syrup, salt, lemon juice, plant protein, preservatives.

We will analyze those popular ingredients of a 100% plant-based mayo.

Common Ingredients in Vegan Mayo

Plant Oils

This is the only ingredient in both vegan and non-vegan mayo, which is responsible for the flavor and mouthfeel of vegan mayo even without eggs.

When people think of mayonnaise, eggs come to their minds. But, take any mainstream mayonnaise, and you’ll see that eggs are never listed first. Ideally, ingredients are mentioned in the order of the quantity used. If an element is listed first, it means that it is used in the maximum amount.

Most vegan mayo is quite excellent in flavor, and with some of the brands, it’s just impossible to find the difference.

Not all the vegan mayo taste like the original. The varieties that diverge from regular mayonnaise the maximum in terms of taste are often advertised as sandwich spreads or dressings or as Miracle Whip replacements.

If you need a vegan mayo that indeed resembles regular mayonnaise, there should be a minimum of 90-100 calories per 1 Tbsp of serving. Anything lower than that resembles Miracle Whip or low-fat mayonnaise, and they don’t taste like real mayonnaise.

The plant-based oils used are neutral oils like canola and soybean. Olive and avocado oils are also conventional, but they’re mainly sold as olive oil mayo or avocado mayo.

Some products use the whole avocado. E.g.Avonaise contains avocado, avocado oil, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, organic lemon juice, and water.

Vinegar and Lemon Juice

These are two more ingredients that are commonly used in regular mayonnaise.

Some vegan mayor may have both of these ingredients. E.g., Whole Foods 365 Vegan Mayo contains organic expeller pressed canola oil, organic brown rice syrup, filtered water, organic apple cider vinegar, natural soy protein isolate, organic lemon juice concentrate, salt, and organic mustard flour.

So, why do they use vinegar and lemon juice? Both of them add to the distinctive flavor of mayonnaise, but they are also used for stabilizing the emulsion.

Mayo is an emulsion, so it will require some help to keep water and oil mixed when they will tend to remain separate.

Common emulsifiers in food production are soy lecithin, egg yolks, proteins, monoglycerides and diglycerides, sorbitan monostearate, and polysorbates.

Lipoproteins are the most critical emulsifying agents in mayonnaise, and their power to emulsify is boosted by the acidic environment of lemon juice and vinegar.

Vegan mayo makes more extensive use of vinegar as compared to the real mayonnaise. It’s also mixed with more sugar.

That is the problem with mayo because it has a Miracle flavor but is heavy on the vinegar.

It depends on your preference that you may like it or not.

Plant Proteins

Legume proteins are perhaps the most common ingredient in vegan mayo.

Follow Your Heart vegan mayo contains expeller-pressed canola oil, filtered water, apple cider vinegar, brown rice syrup, soy protein, mustard flour, sea salt, and lemon juice concentrate.

JUST Mayo contains expeller-pressed canola oil, distilled white vinegar, water, sugar, spices, salt, modified food starch, pea protein, fruit and vegetable juice (for color), lemon juice concentrate, and calcium disodium EDTA.

Vegan mayo contains oils like regular mayo, but not the eggs. In regular mayonnaise, eggs are used as emulsifiers, including lipoproteins and phospholipids. The latter are “amphiphilic” so they lower surface tension.

Amphililic is just a particular term for saying that the molecules both attract and repel water.

Isolated soy protein emulsifies fat and keeps water and hence used in ground meat.

Lipoproteins from plant sources can also emulsify oil, and vegan mayo can be prepared with such proteins, but the label “real mayonnaise” is for mayo using eggs as emulsifiers.


All vegan mayo does not contain chemicals, but they’re ubiquitous.

Calcium disodium EDTA is used most and protects freshness.

EDTA or ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid is an additive that’s used in many foods like dressings, mayo, sodas, alcoholic beverages, canned vegetables, pickles, margarine, and sausage.

It helps as an antioxidant allows it to act as a preservative. It also helps in slowing color-loss and prevents the formation of crystals.

It is safe for vegans to consume as it is not derived from animals.

Sugar and salt are also popular. They add to flavor and freshness because they bind water preventing microbial growth.

Other Notes

Another big difference between vegan and real mayo is its texture. E.g., We have a jar of Follow Your Heart in the refrigerator. It has a high consistency when it is fresh and new, but after some time, it appears like sauce or dressing and just pours out of the container.

It depends upon your preference if it is good or not. Some people like it is thicker and more comfortable to work with.

Why did it lose its consistency? May be due to the homogenization speed responsible for the characteristic gelatinous texture that regular mayo is known for.

Some mayo is more viscous than others. Take Blue Bonnet. If you scoop out a dollop, it will hold its form.

In terms of texture, Whole Foods 365 Mayo is the closest in terms of touch and taste.

That was the fact file of Vegan Mayo. Thanks for reading.

You should also check the following related articles:


  1. Follow Your Heart Vegan Mayo. https://followyourheart.com/products/original/
  2. JUST Mayo, Non-GMO, 12 oz. https://www.walmart.com/ip/JUST-Mayo-Non-GMO-12-oz/42124204
  3. AVONAISE-LIST-OF-INGREDIENTS. https://www.avonaise.com/home-2/attachment/avonaise-list-of-ingredients-3/
  4. 365 Vegan Mayo, 16 Fl Oz. https://www.instacart.com/products/49406-365-vegan-mayo-16-fl-oz?utm_campaign=taurus&utm_content=retailer_product&utm_medium=web&utm_source=instacart_seo
  5. Cookbook: Mayonnaise. https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Mayonnaise
  6. Vegan Peace, Ingredients. http://www.veganpeace.com/ingredients/ingredients.htm#Calcium_Disodium_EDTA
  7. The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG), Ingredients. https://www.vrg.org/ingredients/


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