Does Kewpie Mayo Expire?

Kewpie Mayonnaise has long been a staple in kitchens around Japan, and is slowly taking up spots of many brands here in the United States. 

The best part is, Kewpie actually didn’t cast a spell on food lovers just because of its inimitable name, but rather, for its matchless taste, impressive versatility as well as elegant look from cover to content. 

Yet, for anyone who basks in its enchanting taste, day in and day out, week in and week out, they’re always the question of its longevity lingering somewhere in the mind.

Does Kewpie Mayo have an expiration date? 

In this article, we’ll explore the shelf life of Kewpie mayo as well as how to properly store it when opened or unopened.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Kewpie Mayo?

Before we move on to discuss the shelf life of Kewpie Mayonnaise, it’s a good idea to clear the air regarding the distinction between “expiry date” and “best before date” as it relates to products like mayonnaise.

As you might have already seen from the bottle of your kewpie mayo (or in fact, all mayonnaise bottles), they typically have a “best before” date printed on them instead of an “expiry date”, and that is actually for a reason. 

The best before date acts as a guideline for gauging when the product is at optimal quality rather than as an indicator of when the product becomes unsafe to consume. 

For expiry date, it’s more appropriate to use it on items that are sensitive to storage such as drugs and baby foods. 

These items when consumed past the expiry date could pose harm to the body (probably) through the development of harmful chemicals and toxins, and thus, an expiry date, which exaggerates the actual expiry of the product is most befitting. 

Having cleared that out of the way, let’s now discuss the shelf life of kewpie mayonnaise.

Generally, an unopened bottle of Kewpie mayo can last roughly 12 months from the date of manufacture when stored in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight. It would last many more but you generally would not want a taste of that on your salad! 

Once opened, it’s shelf life is now relatively shorter (a couple months only) and must be stored properly in order to prevent spoilage. 

Kewpie mayonnaise is able to have this impressive shelf life because of its formulations as well as the packaging

For the formulation, it uses acidic ingredients, such as vinegar and salt to act as a natural preservative for the rest of the ingredients. 

For the bottle, there’s a more complex affair going on from cap to bottle. 

The bottle has key design elements that play a crucial role in maintaining the quality and extending the shelf lofe of the dollop inside.

Some of the key design elements include:

  • Use of multi-layers for the actual bottle to block oxygen from getting access to the dollop inside. 
  • Use of aluminium sealant at the top of the bottle to keep oxygen out. 
  • Replacing the oxygen at the head space with nitrogen to ensure flavor is kept intact even in the first squeeze of the bottle
  • Use of a “special recipe” according to Kewpie that shuts out even the last remaining oxygen in the oils used for the formulation.
  • Use of vacuum mixer to stop oxygen from getting into the recipe as it is manufactured. 

What Is The Kewpie Mayo Expiration Date Format?

The Kewpie Mayo sold in Japan uses the “year” first date format on its packaging to indicate the “best before” date.

This format goes something like this: 

YYYY/MM/DD; where the first four digits represent the year, the next two digits represent the month, and the last two digits represent the day. For example, if the best before date is April 1, 2023, the format would be 2023/04/01.

However, products marketed for other regions can have a much different format used.

The American version of Kewpie Mayo for instance uses the “month” first format to indicate the best before date.

This format looks something like this:

MM/DD/YYYY where the first two digits represent the month, the next two digits represent the day, and the last four digits represent the year. For example, if the best before date is April 1, 2023, the format would be 04/01/2023 or even April,01,23.

In some other places, the format can also take this form: DD/MM/YYYY. 

Can You Eat Expired Kewpie Mayo?

The term “expired” as we have mentioned above, can be misleading when referring to the “best before” date on mayonnaise, as this date is a guideline for optimal quality rather than an indication of when the product becomes unsafe to consume. 

Regardless, it is still essential to be cautious when consuming food past its best before date including mayo

Here’s what to consider for both unopened and opened Kewpie mayo:

Unopened Kewpie mayo

If stored properly in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, unopened Kewpie mayo may still be safe to consume for 2 to 3 months past it’s best before date. 

However, expect the quality of the product to degrade mostly because of the aging of the ingredients. 

Make sure to always inspect the mayonnaise for any signs of spoilage such as unusual smells, texture or color and if you notice any of these signs, discard the product.

Opened Kewpie mayo

Once opened, Kewpie mayo degrades fast due to the introduction of oxygen as well as contaminants through serving utensils, and so should be consumed within a couple of months for optimal quality following proper storage. 

Does Kewpie Mayo Need To Be Refrigerated Before And After Opening?

Kewpie mayo should be stored differently before and after opening:

Before opening

Kewpie mayo does not need to be refrigerated before opening as it is already shelf stable in that state. And this also include the packets. It only needs a cool dry place and shade from direct sunlight, and it’ll keep fresh for upto 12 months. 

The best place to probably store a Kewpie Mayonnaise is in the pantry or kitchen cupboard.

After opening 

Once opened, Kewpie mayo should be refrigerated in order to maintain its quality, flavor and safety. Refrigerating Kewpie mayo after opening helps slow down the growth of spoilage bacteria and other microorganisms which leads to its prolonged shelf life as well as safety. 

To refrigerate Kewpie mayo after opening, simply close the bottle or jar tightly with its original cap, making sure that it is properly sealed to prevent the introduction of bacteria. Then place the mayo in the refrigerator (at the main compartment of the fridge, rather than the door), ideally at a temperature between 35°F and 40°F (2°C and 4°C).

In the fridge, it is recommended to use opened Kewpie mayo within a couple of months for optimal quality. And always make sure to inspect the mayonnaise for any signs of spoilage before consuming.

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