Mayonnaise is taken seriously in Belgium, but producers say the government's 60-year-old rules dictating how it gets made are starting to hurt. The problem is that those rules decree that the mayo be 80% fat and 7.7% yolk, and today's consumers don't like that much fat, explains deredactie.be. They're opting instead for imports, which aren't bound by the rules. "This situation is no longer tenable," declares a food industry rep. The government now plans to convene a sort of mayonnaise summit to figure out a compromise—perhaps a special category for "traditional" mayo.
Stateside, the FDA itself has a lengthy definition for mayonnaise, which specifies ingredients both mandatory and optional (on the latter front, "any spice [except saffron or turmeric] or natural flavoring, provided it does not impart to the mayonnaise a color simulating the color imparted by egg yolk" may be added, for instance). That definition matters here, too, which Bloomberg pointed out in a November article that cheekily referred to the "legal case of our time": Hellmann's maker Unilever's false advertising suit against Hampton Creek, a company whose vegan product "Just Mayo" actually contains no eggs. The FDA definition stipulates that a product called "mayonnaise" must contain egg yolk. Unilever pulled the suit in December. (Here's why you may want to stick with vegan "mayo.")