Gather all the condiments in the world for a quick assessment, only a few are as enigmatic as Kewpie mayonnaise.
It ticks all the boxes for ingredients you’ll find in a regular Mayo, with no extra addition, but rather subtractions, yet this mayo from a small town in Japan somehow tastes superior to the rest.
There’s a secret to this, and we’ve unveiled that in a separate blog post.
In today’s kewpie episode however, we focus on one question that seems to be haunting kitchens and diners from Tokyo to Texas, and that is whether Kewpie mayo needs to be refrigerated before and after opening?
Do You Have To Refrigerate Kewpie Mayo?
Kewpie mayonnaise, like many other condiments out there, has specific storage requirements in order to ensure its safety and optimal taste.
Before we delve into whether Kewpie mayo needs to be refrigerated before and after opening, let’s first understand the ingredients it contains and how they affect storage requirements.
Kewpie mayo is primarily made of a combination of vegetable oils like soybean and canola oil, egg yolks, vinegar, salt and seasonings like MSG.
From mere looking at the list of ingredients, it’s easy to tell why kewpie Mayo is shelf stable to begin with. Vinegar and salt! And the fact that most of the ingredients aren’t that perishable at room temperature.
Vinegar and salt are one of the key factors that contribute to the stability and prolonged shelf life of kewpie Mayo.
Special processing techniques and ingredients (which kewpie wont share with the public), as well as the shape and design of the bottle also contribute greatly to its stability on the shelves.
The fact that the product is sealed and airtight also helps in this regard too.
Therefore, unopened bottle of Kewpie mayo does not need to be refrigerated because it is shelf stable, meaning that the acidic environment created by the vinegar (and salt) as well as the use of natural preservation techniques helps inhibit bacterial growth and keep the product fresh.
Just make sure to store it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. In this manner, kewpie Mayo would keep for up-to 1 year after the date of manufacture.
After opening, however, it is strongly recommended to refrigerate Kewpie mayonnaise for fear that it may get contaminated through exposure to air that carries bacteria and contaminated utensils.
Refrigeration slows down the growth of any bacteria that may have made it into the Mayo ensuring that the product remains fresh and safe to consume for an extended period.
How Long Does Kewpie Mayo Last In The Fridge?
Once opened and properly refrigerated, Kewpie mayonnaise generally lasts for 1 month in the fridge before it begins to rapidly deteriorate in quality.
To ensure that you reap maximum freshness and flavor, it is advisable to follow these guidelines:
- Always keep the bottle tightly sealed when not in use to minimize exposure to air that is most likely carrying potential contaminants.
- Use a clean utensil when scooping out chunks of the mayonnaise to avoid introducing bacteria or other foreign substances. Avoid using your fingers whenever you can.
- Store the Kewpie mayo in a consistently cool part of the refrigerator, preferably at temperatures between 35 – 40°F (1.7-4.4°C).
Finally, remember that sensory cues like smell, taste and appearance are reliable indicators of the product’s freshness.
If the Kewpie mayo fails on any of these tests, (read below) especially smell and taste, it may be time to discard the product and replace it with a fresh bottle.
How To Know If Kewpie Mayo Is Bad
It is very important for you to be able to determine if you know Mayo has gone bad for safety reasons. Consuming bad Mayo can lead to terrible consequences on your health.
Below are some telltale signs that your Kewpie Mayo might have spoiled:
It smells ughh
If your Kewpie mayo develops an unpleasant, sour or rancid odor, it’s typically a strong indication that the product has spoiled.
Changes in texture
Fresh Kewpie mayo should have a somewhat smooth, creamy consistency. If you notice any clumps, or curds or even separation of oil, or if the product becomes excessively watery or thick, it’s likely that the mayo has gone bad especially during refrigeration.
Spoiled mayonnaise often exhibits a sour taste that is markedly different from the original tangy and umami-packed flavor profile of fresh Kewpie mayo.
If you see any mold growth, discoloration, or even foreign substances on the surface or around the inside of your Mayo container, it’s a clear sign that the product is no longer safe for consumption.
Although kewpie Mayo doesn’t expire in the true sense of the definition, it does have a best before date, after which it could go bad easily.
If your Kewpie mayo has passed its expiration date, and then you opened and refrigerated it. Always check for signs of spoilage before consuming, it is now more likely to go bad than ever before.
Can You Freeze Kewpie Mayo?
Technically, you can freeze Kewpie mayo, but it is generally not recommended due to the changes in texture and consistency that would occur after freezing and thawing.
Kewpie mayo is an emulsion, which is basically a mixture of two immiscible liquids (in this case, oil and water) held together by an emulsifying agent, such as egg yolks.
When you freeze Kewpie mayo, the water content in the mixture turns into ice crystals, causing the emulsion to break.
Upon thawing, the oil and water will then separate, resulting in a curdled, lumpy texture instead of the smooth, creamy consistency that Kewpie mayo is known for.
The separation can also lead to a decline in the overall taste and quality of the product.
If you still decide to freeze Kewpie mayo due to a specific need, make sure to use an airtight container, leaving some space for expansion as the mayo freezes.
After thawing, you can try to whisk or blend the mayonnaise to restore some of its original texture, but the results may not be as satisfactory as fresh or properly refrigerated Kewpie mayo.