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Jul 13, 2014 03:15 PM

Hellmans Deconstructed

Let me see if I can write this side by side:
Hellmans Original Hellmans Olive Oil
Cal/Tb 90 60
Salt, 90mg 120 mg
Total Fat 10 mg 6 mg
Ingredients as listed
Soybean oil Water
Water Soybean oil
whole eggs&egg yolk Olive oil
vinegar whole eggs& egg yolk
salt, sugar modified potato starch
lemon juice vinegar
calcium Di Sodium EDTA salt, pepper
lemon juice
sorbic acid
calcium di sodium EDTA
natural flavor
paprika oleoresin

Taste test, plain, on a spoon: better mouth feel with Original
More natural lemony taste with original

The mystery is solved. The way it got significantly fewer calories
was because water was the main ingredient in the olive oil version!

While it tasted ok direct from the jar, the new olive oil version does have a lot of minor ingredients that go to stabilizing that water to a reasonable texture. When mixed in something that stands around
a bit, like my egg salad, the water kinda oozes out, and the texture, aside from the flavor of the Original being the gold standard becomes
more noticeable in a not good way. Spread on bread, like a meat sandwich, the olive oil version was fine.

I suspect I paid more per ounce for a Hellmans 'dressing' in which
water was the main ingredient than for the Original Hellmans.

Bah, humbug. A case of messing with something that wasn't broken.
The new version wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. Original remains
the gold standard in my book, even though I truly wanted to love the new version.

(Really sorry about this: won't print out the way I typed it.
The main ingredient in the olive oil version is water)

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  1. It would have been easier to make some mayo than to type this:)

    1. Very interesting! Thank you!

      1. They also took out the sugar, didn't they? (Your list isn't clear on the break between the two.)

        That should be grams of fat, not mg.

        1. Thanks for the correction, GH: grams of fat it is, not mg.

          Here's the thing: soy bean oil and olive oil have the same amount of calories by volume; the only explanation of why the Olive oil version has a lower calorie count per tablespoon is the amount of water they used to thin it down. A third of the volume of the stuff was water, so
          the calorie count went down by a third!

          Oddly enough, there wasn't sugar in either version.
          Really sorry it didn't print out the way I typed it. The major difference between the two was the water, which was the largest ingredient in the olive oil version, which
          also had more emulsifiers and artificial stuff to keep the oil/water/egg mix together in the jar. It sure separated
          in my egg salad...

          My message to Hellmans would be: don't mess with what
          isn't broken.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bashful3

            You show sugar next to salt in your list.

            1. re: Bashful3

              Mine has sugar right after salt.

            2. Yes. I went back, and checked the Original Hellmans again. Just as I had typed, the label says there IS sugar
              in it. And, none in the Olive Oil version.

              But, here's what's truly bizarre: when food has sugar in it, the labels always say how many grams of sugar the food contains, per serving. And, there is no listing of
              sugar on the main part of the label, as opposed to the fine print of all ingredients.

              So, while the sugar content is very low probably, Hellmans does have a problem in that they are not showing the content on the label, as they are required to do. Unless it is so negligible that it doesn't even amount to 1 mg of sugar/Tablespoon?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Bashful3

                The gov't standard is that ingredients like 'sugars' are rounded. So the '0g' means less than 1/2g of sugar(s) per serving. Presumably the sugar is there to balance the acid from the vinegar (and lemon juice). Notice it is lower on the ingredients list than salt.

                Many recipes for home made mayo recommend against using straight olive oil, claiming that the flavor is too strong with straight.

                1. re: paulj

                  Odd because I thought the olive oil version was too sweet.

                  Ads now say 50% more olive oil. Still not very much.

                  I often use the canola version, I like that oil over soybean oil. Texture is a little DIFFERENT.

                  1. re: paulj

                    For me it depends on the application what oils I use, but straight olive oil is pretty intense. I remember it making a great aoli, though.

                  2. re: Bashful3

                    The label says "Not a significant source of ... sugars, ...."