There are so many tasty uses for mayonnaise. But what, exactly, is it made of? Is it dariy-free? Read on to find out.
Mayonnaise makes a tasty spread for sandwiches and burgers, and it’s an essential element in coleslaw, potato salad, and many salad dressings. But if you’re lactose intolerant, you may be wondering: Does mayo contain dairy?
SHORT ANSWER: Mayo is Dairy-Free!
No, mayo does not contain dairy… usually! The primary ingredients in mayonnaise are eggs, oil, and vinegar. Most store-bought mayonnaise does not contain any milk or milk products, so it is considered dairy-free. Of course, check labels to make sure!
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Does Mayo Have Dairy?
White, creamy mayonnaise may look like a dairy product, but the major mayo brands do not contain animal milk or any other ingredients made from milk. Thus, mayo does not contain the milk sugar lactose that is difficult for people with lactose intolerance to digest.
Mayo does include eggs as one of its main ingredients, so regular mayo is not vegan, but it is usually free from dairy. Of course, make sure to check the nutrition information to make sure that milk products are not added to your particular brand of mayonnaise.
What Is Mayonnaise Made Of?
Mayonnaise is a permanent emulsion (it does not separate) made primarily from eggs, oil (i.e., vegetable oil, olive oil, or avocado oil), and vinegar. These ingredients give mayo its trademark creamy texture. Other ingredients are added to enhance flavor and preserve. For example, Hellman’s original mayonnaise contains the following ingredients:
- Soybean oil
- Whole eggs
- Egg yolks
- Distilled vinegar
- Lemon juice concentrate
- Calcium disodium EDTA
- Natural flavors
While it is feasible for a brand to add milk or cream to their mayonnaise recipe, most store-bought mayo will not contain dairy ingredients.
Are Eggs Dairy?
Eggs are not considered dairy, because they do not contain milk or lactose (milk sugar). Eggs are safe to consume if you are lactose intolerant or if you have a dairy allergy.
Is All Mayo Dairy-Free?
Most mayonnaise is dairy-free; it is made primarily from eggs, oil, and vinegar. Mayo does not contain animal milk or milk products. However, individual manufacturers may choose to add milk or cream to their mayonnaise. For this reason, it’s important to check labels and make sure that the mayonnaise you’re buying is dairy-free.
Is Mayo Dairy and Gluten Free?
Mayo is almost always dairy-free (containing no milk ingredients) and gluten-free (containing less than 20 parts per million of gluten, as per the FDA). Most mayo is made from naturally gluten-free ingredients such as oil, eggs, and vinegar.
On the other hand, it’s important to check labels and make sure! A certified gluten-free label will verify that there is no cross-contamination with gluten at the manufacturing facility. Commercial brands of mayo that carry this certification will be safe to eat for someone with celiac disease.
You also might like to use mayo in this coleslaw recipe.
No, neither Hellman’s original mayonnaise nor Hellman’s light mayonnaise contain any dairy. Hellman’s original mayo is made from soybean oil, water, whole eggs, egg yolks, distilled vinegar, salt, sugar, lemon juice concentrate, calcium disodium EDTA, and natural flavors.
Yes, Duke’s mayo is dairy-free! Duke’s mayo is made from soybean oil, eggs, water, distilled and apple cider vinegar, salt, oleoresin paprika, natural flavors, and calcium disodium EDTA. It is safe to consume as part of a dairy-free diet.
Yes, traditional mayonnaise is usually safe to eat if you have a dairy allergy, because it does not normally contain any milk or ingredients derived from milk. However, check the label to make sure! Individual companies could choose to add milk or cream to their mayonnaise recipe.
No, Miracle Whip dressing does not have dairy! This popular condiment, known for its creamy texture and tangy flavor, contains water, soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, vinegar, modified cornstarch, eggs, salt, natural flavor, mustard flour, potassium sorbate (a preservative), paprika, spice, and dried garlic. Miracle Whip is fine to eat if you have a milk allergy or lactose intolerance.
No, someone following a vegan diet cannot eat traditional mayonnaise because it contains egg, which is, of course, an animal product. However, there are several eggless mayonnaise options available. Look for Hellman’s Vegan Dressing, Sir Kensington’s Classic Vegan Mayo, Follow Your Heart Vegenaise, or Primal Kitchen Vegan Mayo, among others.
The Bottom Line
Mayo does not typically contain dairy. It does usually contain eggs, which are not dairy. Mayonnaise works for a dairy-free diet, but always be sure to check the label. If you’re looking for vegan mayo that doesn’t contain eggs there are many brands available.