Taste and Health Can Coexist: Particle Size Analysis of Mayonnaise

The determination of particle size in food is a key factor for creating tastier products for the consumers. In the specific case of mayonnaise, the size of fat droplets has an impact on the consistency of the sauce and the mouth feel, therefore, also on the quality of the final product. Measurements were performed in liquid mode to compare mayonnaise samples with different fat content. The mayonnaise sample with a higher fat content returned larger particles than the low-fat mayonnaise, indicating that the formation of emulsion droplets differs depending on the fat content.


Mayonnaise, besides ketchup or mustard, is one of the most popular sauces in the world. It is prepared by stirring oil in egg yolk. Depending on the formulation, various amounts of egg yolk as well as salt, pepper, vinegar or lemon juice are added. From a chemical point of view, mayonnaise is an oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion, containing at least 65 % of oil from plant origin. To obtain a stable emulsion, the surface tension needs to be lowered, which is achieved by lecithin in the egg yolk. Due to its hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) value, lecithin favors water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions. With such high oil content, one would expect that after mixing the ingredients, a W/O emulsion is created. In fact, the oil is added drop by drop, preventing phase reversal, and in the end, an O/W emulsion is created, which gives mayonnaise its creaminess and consistency. Consumers like to enjoy a creamy, particle-free and smooth mouth feel, but at the same time the product should be inexpensive. Healthy alternatives with lower fat content, but same consistency, are also preferred by some consumers.

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