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Food Prep

Belgium is changing its 60-year-old 'mayonnaise law'

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Law mandates that the mayo be 80% fat and 7.7% yolk. Today's consumers don't like that much fat. (iStock)

Mayonnaise is taken seriously in Belgium, but producers say the government's 60-year-old rules dictating how it gets made are starting to hurt. The problem is that those rules decree that the mayo be 80% fat and 7.7% yolk, and today's consumers don't like that much fat, explains deredactie.be.

They're opting instead for imports, which aren't bound by the rules. "This situation is no longer tenable," declares a food industry rep. The government now plans to convene a sort of mayonnaise summit to figure out a compromise—perhaps a special category for "traditional" mayo.

Stateside, the FDA itself has a lengthy definition for mayonnaise, which specifies ingredients both mandatory and optional (on the latter front, "a ny spice [except saffron or turmeric] or natural flavoring, provided it does not impart to the mayonnaise a color simulating the color imparted by egg yolk" may be added, for instance).

That definition matters here, too, which Bloomberg pointed out in a November article that cheekily referred to the "legal case of our time": Hellmann's maker Unilver's false advertising suit against Hampton Creek, a company whose vegan product "Just Mayo" actually contains no eggs.

The FDA definition stipulates that a product called "mayonnaise" must contain egg yolk. Unilever pulled the suit in December. (Here's why you may want to stick with vegan "mayo.")

This article originally appeared on Newser: Belgium to Tweak 'Mayonnaise Law'

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