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Why “Pink Mayo” Could Be a Healthier Alternative


Researchers in Scotland have found that beetroot used in mayonnaise can help to keep the mayonnaise fresh without the use of artificial preservatives. But the question is, will people eat pink mayonnaise? Would you eat pink mayonnaise?

Makers of mayonnaise often use synthetic antioxidant ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) to keep mayonnaise fresh. It’s cheap to use EDTA, but now consumers are looking for a safer way to keep mayonnaise fresh without harming humans or the environment.

The experts at Is It Bad For You (IIBFY) give EDTA the grade of “F,” mainly because it contains:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Cyanide sodium
  • Ethylene diamine

Not only is the thought of having poison in your mayonnaise a big concern, but it can build up in your body and cause cancer and kidney damage, according to IIBFY. Artificial preservatives have also been linked to poor digestion, asthma and other ailments.

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Environmentalists also have concerns about EDTA because though much of the toxins remain in the body after mayonnaise is consumed, the rest is excreted into the environment, where it is difficult to break down. Mayonnaise with EDTA is polluting the environment. Wrap your head around that.

It’s important to read labels, because other foods likely to have EDTA added include:

  • Sodas
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Non-nutritive sweeteners
  • Condiments (like mayonnaise)
  • Salad dressings

Back to the researchers. To make the pink mayonnaise, the researchers removed the leaves and most of the stalk from the beetroot then washed and dried them. They made three samples of beetroot by cooking it three different ways: by microwave, in the oven and by boiling it. Then, they freeze-dried the samples and ground them into powder for use in the mayo.

It turns out that beetroot can protect mayonnaise from going bad for 28 days, just as effectively as EDTA, the study found. And, beetroot doesn’t change the texture of the mayonnaise and it is cheap for manufacturers to use. It does, however, make mayonnaise pink.

So, don’t be surprised to find pink mayonnaise on the shelf one of these days. But in the meantime, limit your exposure to EDTA by eating fresh foods, says IIBFY. Make your own salad dressings and sauces — they will probably test better, anyway. Not to mention, they will be toxin-free.

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