• Just Mayo

Just Mayo (Photo : YouTube)

Real mayonnaise is defined by eggs rather than its white color, thick texture, or bland flavor, based on the standard classification of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Earlier this month it issued a formal warning to the producer of "Just Mayo" that its vegan condiment lacks the key ingredient of the genuine version.

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The letter was addressed to the startup company Hampton Creek Foods, which was founded in 2011, according to The Market Business. It was received on August 12, and released to the public on August 25, Tuesday.

Just Mayo is a mayo substitute that includes ingredients such as pea protein and canola oil. Ironically the image of an egg is on the front of the bottle, although it also mentions that the condiment is "egg-free."

Just Mayo is sold in big chain stores including Walmart, Target, Safeway, and Whole Foods. The company's other vegan products include Just Cookies.

The FDA letter stated that the egg image on the label might confuse consumers into thinking that the product is traditional mayo. That food's ingredients must include eggs.

John Tetrick is Hampton Creek's CEO. He said that the company has no plans of renaming the product.

The food startup is willing to negotiate with the FDA and find a solution to the problem, and Tetrick promised to provide the federal agency with an honest response. However, this is not the first time Hampton Creek has been called out for how it used the term "mayo."  

Unilever filed a lawsuit against the company in October 2014. The producer of Hellmann's and Best Foods mayonnaise sued Hampton Creek for false advertising, but then dropped the case a couple months later and promised it would report the issue to regulatory authorities.

The FDA cited other violations of Just Mayo. They included the ingredients of beta-carotene and food starch, which cannot be included in real mayonnaise, according to Click Orlando. In addition, its high fat content refutes its product being a healthy "cholesterol free" product.  

Mayonnaise was likely invented by a French chef in the 1700s whose olive oil and egg creation celebrated a Duke's victory over the British at Port Mahon. He called it "Mahonnaise."