Mayo, a creamy yellowish-white condiment, is usually served cold with sandwiches or used as a base for salad dressings and sauces.
Because it’s so commonly used around the world, you may wonder whether it’s safe to eat on a gluten-free diet.
This article provides an overview of the ingredients used to make mayo and explains whether people on gluten-free diets can eat it.
Mayo is a blended emulsion of:
- egg yolks or whole eggs
- an acid (typically vinegar or lemon juice)
Blended, these three simple ingredients alone create a basic mayo.
Additional spices and flavoring may be added. Some of those commonly used include sea salt, sugar, Dijon mustard, white pepper, celery seed, and mustard seed.
The type of oil used to make mayo can also vary. Many manufacturers use a neutral-flavored oil, such as canola, avocado, grape seed, or safflower. A stronger-flavored olive oil could overwhelm the flavor of the mayo.
Mayo is a blended emulsion of egg yolks, oil, and an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar.
Gluten is a group of proteins found in wheat and other grains like barley and rye.
Some types of wheat are used to process food products like bread, cereal, pasta, and baked goods, as well as even soups, sauces, and salad dressings (1).
People with celiac disease need to follow a strict gluten-free diet, which involves avoiding wheat, barley, rye, and other foods containing gluten. Eating gluten can cause symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, constipation, stomach pains, weight loss, and loss of appetite (
Those with gluten sensitivity, which is different than celiac disease, can find relief by avoiding gluten as well.
None of the traditional ingredients used in mayo — eggs, oil, nor acids — contain gluten. Therefore, a true mayo should, in most cases, be safe for people who follow a gluten-free diet.
However, it’s possible that some of the additional ingredients could contain gluten, or that the oil and vinegar used in the recipe were derived from gluten-containing products.
Still, there are some best practices for ensuring a mayo is gluten-free.
The ingredients traditionally used to make mayo are naturally gluten-free, but it’s still best to use caution since cross-contamination or added ingredients could result in the presence of gluten in mayo.
When shopping at the store, the best way to be sure you’re buying a gluten-free mayo is to look closely at the label.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), any foods that contain one of the following claims on the packaging must contain fewer than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten — a safe number for people who follow a gluten-free diet (
- “no gluten”
- “free of gluten”
- “without gluten”
If you see one of these claims on a jar of mayo, you can rest assured that the product is gluten-free.
Many food manufacturers choose to include these labels on their gluten-free products voluntarily, but they’re not legally required to do so. Thus, some gluten-free mayos may not state this on the label even if the product is gluten-free.
You can also check the ingredient list to look for ingredients that could contain a form of wheat or gluten. When you’re at a restaurant, check with a server or manager to find out whether their mayo is gluten-free.
The following mayo brands are known to sell gluten-free options:
- Blue Plate
- Primal Kitchen
- Sir Kensington’s
- Trader Joe’s
Some of these brands sell multiple types of mayo — some containing gluten and some not — so it’s still best to look for gluten-free indications on the label when purchasing these brands of mayo.
Many mayos sold at grocery stores contain a label on the package indicating that the product is gluten-free, or you can check with a server or manager at a restaurant if you’re unsure.
If you want to be sure your mayo is gluten-free, you can make your own at home.
For homemade gluten-free mayo, you need the following ingredients:
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (236 mL) of mild-flavored oil, such as canola, avocado, grape seed, or safflower
- 1 Tablespoon (15 mL) of vinegar (e.g., white, red wine, apple cider)
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- additional spices like black or white pepper, Dijon mustard, mustard seed, celery seed, or a pinch of sugar (optional)
To make the mayo:
- In a small food processor, blend the egg for about 30 seconds.
- Next, add the vinegar and salt and blend for another 30 seconds.
- Slowly blend in the oil a few drops at a time. If you add too much oil too quickly, your mayo may not thicken properly.
- Stir in the lemon juice and any additional spices you would like to add.
Although it’s fine to experiment with different types of oils and vinegars in your homemade mayo, be sure to avoid using rice or malt vinegar, as they may contain gluten or have become cross-contaminated.
Since the eggs used in this recipe are left raw, it may be best to use pasteurized eggs to limit any risk of food poisoning.
To prevent your homemade mayo from spoiling, store it in the refrigerator at 40°F (4.5°C) or below.
Most homemade mayo stored in the refrigerator can be used safely for up to 14 days. However, if you notice a rancid smell, mold, or a sudden change in the color of the mayo, it’s best to throw it out.
You can make a gluten-free mayo at home with a food processor and just a few simple ingredients.
People following a gluten-free diet need to avoid wheat, barley, rye, and other foods that contain gluten.
Traditional mayo is made from just a few naturally gluten-free ingredients.
Still, sometimes added spices or cross-contamination could make a mayo unsuitable for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Checking for a gluten-free label on the package or making your own mayo at home are two ways to ensure you choose a safe gluten-free option.
Yes, in most cases mayonnaise is gluten-free. Mayonnaise or “mayo” is typically made from naturally gluten-free ingredients: eggs, oil, vinegar, lemon and sometimes mustard/mustard seed or other spices.Can celiacs eat Hellmann's mayonnaise? ›
Yes. Hellmann's products are made with ingredients that naturally do not contain gluten. Look for a gluten-free label on many of our products, including our Real Mayonnaise, as well as Hellmann's Vegan and Organic.Which mayonnaise is not gluten-free? ›
Like Hain Pure Foods' mayonnaise products, Hollywood products are not considered gluten-free.
Also, be careful and always check the label, especially for flavored varieties. Watch for gluten ingredients, and choose carefully. All Hellman's and Best Foods Mayonnaise are made without gluten ingredients, including: Best Foods Real Mayonnaise.Does ketchup have gluten? ›
Ketchup doesn't contain wheat, barley, or rye. As such, it's a naturally gluten-free product. However, some brands may use wheat-derived vinegar or produce their ketchup in a facility that manufactures other gluten-containing foods, which may contaminate it.Does Kraft Real mayo have gluten? ›
Kraft does a good job stating if their products contain a gluten ingredient and Kraft Mayonnaise does not have any of those ingredients, so it is gluten-free.Does Miracle Whip have gluten in it? ›
Miracle whip was created as a cheaper alternative to mayonnaise so that it could be used in the same manner. Fortunately, Kraft's Miracle Whip is also gluten-free. Other brands are likely gluten-free as well, but always check the label for further information.Does ranch dressing have gluten? ›
The beloved creamy dressing is typically available gluten-free, but be careful. Hidden Valley makes both Original Ranch Homestyle and Original Ranch Light gluten-free, but Organic Ranch is not GF. It's tricky, so always check the label!
cream cheese and other brands of cream cheese are gluten free. As of now, most brands do not have issues with cross-contamination. The only ingredients in cream cheese are fresh milk, cream cheese cultures, carob bean gum, and salt. Which are all naturally gluten free ingredients.Is sour cream OK for celiac? ›
Yes, most brands of sour cream are naturally gluten-free. As previously mentioned, the main three ingredients of sour cream are free from gluten. This makes the tangy condiment safe to eat for those with Celiac disease or gluten allergies.
Regular canned tuna is gluten-free. The only thing you need to be careful about when eating prepackaged tuna products is if it is a “flavored” or a “meal kit” type of product. and all Starkist tuna products are gluten-free except for: Tuna Creations® Herb & Garlic contains wheat and barley.Can celiacs eat coleslaw? ›
Cole slaw does not usually contain any gluten ingredients but the largest issue you need to watch out for is cross-contamination. In a deli, it is very likely the coleslaw is NOT gluten-free as The mayonnaise they use may have been contaminated with crumbs from sandwiches etc.Does mustard have gluten? ›
Mustard seeds are naturally gluten-free, but sometimes the other ingredients in mustard aren't gluten-free. The main red flag ingredient that could cause issues is vinegar. Many types of vinegar are gluten-free, but some mustard brands may use malt vinegar, an ingredient with gluten.Is Heinz ketchup gluten-free? ›
Yes, ketchup is made from naturally gluten-free ingredients, so it is generally considered to be gluten-free. Even some of the most popular ketchup brands, such as Heinz, are labeled gluten-free. This means that they have met the FDA regulation of testing at less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.Does ice cream have gluten? ›
Milk and cream are the basic ingredients of ice cream and are naturally gluten free. However, the flavour of the ice cream and the environment it is made in can make it unsuitable for coeliacs. Sources of gluten in ice cream can include thickeners, colourings and flavourings such as barley malt syrup.What not to eat if you go gluten-free? ›
Avoid foods that list gluten-containing ingredients such as ale, barley, beer, bleached flour, bran, bread flour, brewer's yeast, brown flour, brown rice syrup (unless the food is labeled gluten free), bulgur, couscous, dextrin (unless the source is gluten-free), durum, farina, farro, hydrolyzed vegetable (wheat) ...What condiment is gluten-free? ›
Balsamic Vinegar. Tamari soy sauce (as long as it's labelled 'gluten free') Cranberry sauce. Horseradish.