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Chemistry of Mayonaise

Seems I recall someone asking how to keep mayonaise from seperating and I tried to search for the post but couldn't find it.  Anyhow this question intrigued me and I put it on my list of things to find out.  

Anyhow, I was reading Alton Brown's book and found something that might help with this problem.  According to the book lecithin is a phospholipid which attracts water and oil at each pole which allows it to remain stable.  Lecithin constitutes approximately 25% of the 33% fat of an egg but this content decreases as the egg gets older so he suggests making mayo out of the freshest eggs possible.

With that in mind, I was thinking that if the mayo was seperating with  then would it not have something to do with it not having enough lecithin in the mix due to the type or age of the eggs.

To remedy this problem I wondered if you couldn't just add a little extra  lecithin to the emulsion.  Does this sound reasonable?

Thanks Butterbean- it was me that asked the original question.  i don't think I could use fresher eggs as when I make mayonnaise I litterally use that mornings lay - sometimes still warm from the chickens bottom I did wonder if the eggs were TOO fresh - for instance when poashing or boiling they are better at three days old than new laid.  I have managed to stabilise the mayonnaise slightly by not refrigerating and it now keep for a couple of days max.  Any idea what Lecithin is or where I could get it?

With many many thanks for your research

debbie x

Or you can add an emulsification agent.

Like evap milk.

From what I read, lecithin is an emulsifying agent.  Lecithin can be found in the health food section of your pharmacy or grocer.  Its a common remedy here for hangovers.  Worked good for me back before my wife tamed me.  If I remember right its a liquid in a gel capsule.  I saw a bottle of 200 125 mg capsules for $7.00 so they are inexpensive.  I don't think it would take but a drop or two to do the trick.  

A few drops of lecithin in a batch might be worth a try.

I shall try both methods I think - one batch mayonnaise divided into four a few drops of evap milk in two and a few of lecithin (if I can get it) in the other two.  I'll then keep one of each in the fridge for 48 hours and the other two at room temp for 48 hours and see what happens.  I would far rather be able to refidgerate mayonnaise if I can.  All I need to do now is see if I can find some lecithin

Are you saying that you make it & all looks normal & then on storage it separates?  Thats odd if so. I dont think I have ever had that happen & mayo making was a job I did 2 or 3 times per week for a long time while I was in catering. Mind that was in 5 gallon batches. I think if it started bad we would add a full tin of evap so a few drops should do a house sized mix.

PS they both want to go in at the start of the mixing before any oil is added.

I don't know but I'm wondering if the eggs themselves have less fat in the yolks than average due to feed, breed or whatever.  In Brown's book he mentions that they average a certain amount but you know how averages work.

Not trying to say I know anything about any of this its just that puzzles like this interest me and I'd definitely like to know why.

As for lecithin, here is a link if you can't get any locally.

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