So I never would have guessed that the FDA would have standards for mayonnaise that would not include healthy ingredients like extra virgin olive oil or canola oil.
Apparently this is exactly the case say both Mary K. Engle of the FTC and Marion Nestle of NYU who were both quoted in the NYTimes article, Foods With Health Benefits, or So They Say
"... the FDA has what they call "standards of identity" for certain products, like mayonnaise and ice-cream, so that a product can only be called that if it has those ingredients and not others. The two varieties of mayonnaise you refer to have additional ingredients not found in the mayonnaise standard of identity; therefore, they have to be so labeled," says Mary Engle of the FTC.
So it seems "standard" American mayonnaise is strictly soybean oil. How sad! I still think the packaging is confusing and misleading.
Here's my original posting:
Are Hellmann's Olive Oil Mayonnaise and Hellmann's Canola Oil Mayonnaise Deceptive Shams?
See how Hellmann's proudly touts With Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Canola Cholesterol Free Mayonnaise on the labels?
The labels certainly make the consumer think there actually IS Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Canola Oil in these products, don't you agree?
Product ingredients must be listed in the order of predominence according to the U.S. Food And Drug Administration. Ingredients used in the greatest amounts are listed first, followed in descending order by those used in smaller amounts.
Take a close look at these back labels:
See the *asterisk next to the Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the Hellmann's Olive Oil Mayonnaise ingredient listing? See what it says at the end of the ingredient listing? *Ingredients not in mayonnaise.
The same thing is true of the Hellmann's Canola Oil Mayonnaise: there are two **asterisks after the Canola Oil. Again, at the end of the ingredient listing it says: **Ingredient not in mayonnaise.
Sure looks like there is deceptive packaging here, no?
Is this legal? We now say Yes, but it's still confusing!