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Is Kewpie Mayo Gluten Free?

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Are you on a gluten-free diet? Are you trying to avoid this allergen; maybe it gives you a little discomfort. Perhaps it can cause serious issues. Either way, is Kewpie mayo safe to consume? Well, here is what you are going to need to know.

So, is Kewpie mayo gluten-free? Kewpie Mayo is certified gluten-free, in bottles sold in most locations – including the US. That being said, it has been known for Barley Gluten to be present in some formulations – such as the bottles sold in the UK.

The truth is, it depends where you are in the world and the particular manufacturing facility.

That’s because I’ve noticed that the ingredient list can vary somewhat.

We’ll look at that in the next section.

But first and foremost, perhaps the best thing you can do is to check the bottle directly.

If allergens are present, it should clearly state that.

Failing that, you can contact Kewpie directly, and they will be able to more accurately advise.

With this in mind, let us explore the full ingredient list of Kewpie mayo and see where the variance in the formulation is, and why it matters!

What Are The Ingredients In Kewpie Mayonnaise?

Kewpie Mayo is made from Vegetable oil(s), Egg Yolks, Vinegar, Salt, and a few other flavorings depending on the formulation.

For instance, below you can see the full ingredient list of Kewpie Mayo commonly sold in the US:

Soybean Oil, Egg Yolks, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Sugar, Mustard Flour, Red Wine Vinegar, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors

But, compare this to the product sold in the UK:

Vegetable Oil 70% (Rapeseed Oil, Soybean Oil),  Pasteurized Egg Yolk 14%,  Vinegar (Barley Gluten), Salt,  Flavour Enhancer (E621), Spice (Mustard Flour),  Spice Extract (Mustard Oil)

So as you can see, there is a difference.

And this has a big impact on whether it is gluten-free or not.

In fact, bottles sold in the US (and likely other regions worldwide), are “certified gluten-free” – according to the Kewpie website directly.

However, the popular UK supermarket Sainsburys sells a Kewpie mayo product (sold from the same brand (but manufactured by UK: Tazaki Foods Ltd) that contains Barley, and thus Barley Gluten.

Now, you may not be sensitive to the gluten in Barley.

Or, all gluten may cause problems.

That is going to come down to individual circumstances and context.

But nevertheless, it is important to be aware of.

So do check your bottle closely.

And you may wonder how this has happened?

Well, it all has to do with the vinegar used.

In the United States most distilled white vinegar is made from corn. And even when it is made from wheat, which does happen often, the distillation process removes the gluten protein. Donald Kasarda, Ph. D., a grain scientist who is now retired from the USDA and who has a specific interest in gluten free grains, said there is no scientific evidence for gluten peptides in vinegar. Further, he said he does not know of a single chemist who thinks there are gluten peptides in distilled products.

Malt vinegar however, is made from barley and more importantly is fermented and not distilled so you do have to avoid it.

Source: Gluten Free Living

So, the UK manufacturer of Kewpie mayo essentially uses a different type of vinegar.

Its an important nuance to consider.

Depending on where you are, and what products you have available to you, of course.

Other Allergens To Be Aware Of In Kewpie Mayo

The main other allergen in Kewpie Mayo is Egg. Although, the only egg used in Kewpie Mayo is egg yolk (so if you have a specific allergy to egg whites, you might be okay).

Just consider that there is a lot of egg yolk used in this sauce.

In fact, each 500g bottle contains 4 egg yolks – so do consider this if you do not react positively to eggs, or specifically their yolks.

This is what gives the sauce its creaminess; there are no dairy ingredients, for instance.

And due to the inclusion of eggs, naturally, it’s not a vegan-friendly option. Not an allergen per se, but a dietary preference to consider.


Kewpie Mayo is mostly gluten-free – even certified gluten-free according to the company directly.

That being said, it can be observed that not all Kewpie Mayo products are.

It ultimately depends on where you are reading this from and what product you have available to you.

In summary:

  • In the USA (and most global locations), this Japenese condiment should be gluten free (although its perhaps still worth checking)
  • In the UK: it will likely contain Barley Gluten, which may or may not be suitable.

Just remember, if an allergen is present in a product, it must be clearly stated on the bottle.

That’s the law, and that’s the case for both the US and the UK!

Wondering what other sauces contain gluten? Then the following guides may be for you:

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