Focus on: Mayonnaise

It’s one of those versatile staples that most kitchens can’t do without: mayonnaise. The creamy condiment is essential in sandwiches, salads, dips, sauces and more. Time was when a basic mayo was sufficient for all these applications. While that’s still possible, there are now several variations within the category—each boasting its own strengths.

Real mayonnaise, the original and still top seller, works well in dressings as well as salads and sandwiches, says Steve Jilleba, corporate executive chef for Unilever Food Solutions, makers of Hellmann’s and Best Foods.

Extra Heavy mayonnaise, a foodservice-only product, is the “professional mayonnaise,” states Terence Thomas, senior associate business manager for spoonables at Kraft. “It’s a thicker product with a higher oil content and eggy flavor that’s suitable for bound salads, such as tuna, chicken and potato, and heated applications,” he says.

Light mayonnaise is all about less calories and fat. “We position our light mayonnaise as the full experience without the sacrifice…consumers say the rich taste is more like real mayonnaise. Plus, it’s made with cage-free eggs,” notes Toby Campbell, senior marketing manager at Unilever Food Solutions. Adds chef Jilleba, “Light mayonnaise does well with salad applications that have some moisture to them and is a good choice for premade sandwiches.”

Olive oil mayonnaise is the newest in Kraft’s portfolio. “It has all the performance attributes of real mayonnaise with half the calories and fat and more flavor than light,” explains Thomas. “It can enhance the nutritional profile of menu items.”

Although not technically mayonnaise, whipped salad dressing is also part of the Kraft and Hellmann’s lines. It looks and performs like mayonnaise but is sweeter with a tangy zip. It doesn’t appeal to all, but “there are huge biases for the product in certain areas of the country,” says Thomas.

When evaluating mayonnaise, “taste is most important because that affects everything it touches,” claims Jilleba. “You need mayonnaise to be well-balanced in flavor in terms of sweet, acid and seasoning.” Adds Thomas, “flavor really depends on individual preference, but in general, the egg, salt and oil should be in balance.”

Texture and appearance are also key. The mayonnaise should be thick and creamy without any oil separation. “Plus, you don’t want the product to oxidize and turn yellow when exposed to air,” Thomas advises. He also suggests seeing how it holds up in your application. If you are using the product primarily for salads or sandwiches, it shouldn’t be watery. If crab cakes are a mainstay of your menu, the mayonnaise should bind the ingredients well and not separate when heated.

Mayonnaise for foodservice comes in gallon jars or jugs, pails, cartons, pre-portioned, recipe-ready pouches and individual packets.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
alumni worker

It’s a sure sign that a school is doing something right when its students want to come back and work as adults. From the standpoint of the foodservice director, though, there is plenty to gain from retaining homegrown talent—call it the ultimate return on investment. In the wake of back-to-school season, two dining programs with a robust alumni contingent share their thoughts on hiring former customers.

Local expertise

At Georgia Southern University, about one-third of Eagle Dining Services’ 107 full-time employees are alumni. “They way we do things on our campus may be very...

Managing Your Business
business ladder climbing illustration

Recruiting talent is only half the battle for Mike Folino, associate director of nutrition services at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Once he’s attracted good employees, providing clear opportunities for advancement can help retain them—but knowing when to bring up the topic in conversation can be tricky.

Prior to hiring

Folino likes to touch on advancement during the initial interview process, but the extent to which he does so changes case by case. “I have had interviews where we knew right away that we needed to discuss our structure and...

Ideas and Innovation
woman surprise

When I joined the staff at FoodService Director in the spring of 2015, I couldn’t believe how much there was to learn about the intricacies of the industry. My past experience, from kindergarten to my college days to on-the-job meals, would lead me to believe that noncommercial dining was a kind of automated process—an amenity that’s expected, and one you only become aware of if something goes wrong.

But as with my own household chores, there are no magical elves making sure the business of feeding students, seniors and hospital patients is done, and done well. Foodservice...

Managing Your Business
hands team

In November, students at University of Missouri in Columbia began leading protests against discrimination faced by people of color on campus—including some marches through the dining halls. Julaine Kiehn, director of the school’s campus dining services, said the 2015-16 school year was a tough one, but she was proud of MU’s students for being at the forefront of a national movement.

And not only did the protests launch important conversations with students, but also with staff. Kiehn heard the protests and thought that her student workers, at least, might not feel safe and welcome...

FSD Resources