I'm trying to make homemade mayonnaise with a longer shelf life. I see all the commercial brands list calcium disodium edta as a preservative so I was wondering where I could find this ingredient.

I see it being sold as a supplement on bulksupplements.com but I get the feeling that this isn't what I'm looking for.

2 Answers 2


Calcium disodium edta is added to food items as a preservative and flavoring agent. However, don't assume that "preservative" means an ingredient keeps your food safer longer. This particular preservative is probably added to maintain color and flavor, rather than to extend shelf life. Homemade mayonnaise is a product with a fairly short shelf life...generally only a few days in the fridge, even if you are making an egg-less version. There are online recipes for lacto-fermented mayonnaise, which could extend that life for up to a month. Maybe try that route....or make less mayo more frequently.

  • If calcium disodium edta does not help to extend shelf life then what gives the commercial mayo its longer shelf life? I hate having to make a new batch of mayo every week May 4, 2022 at 16:29
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    @JohnCarter in addition to the safety hurdle of increasing acidity, and using preservatives like sodium benzoate (among others), it is also pasteurized.
    – moscafj
    May 4, 2022 at 16:37
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    @JohnCarter the preservatives are part of the reason that industrial mayo can have a longer shelf life, but not in a simplistic "sprinkle some of it and you get long shelf life" sense. They are just parts of a huge concept, which includes designing the whole recipe around long shelf life, creating an exact process for it, following that process with absolute precision (it probably includes requirements you cannot recreate at home, such as using sterile vessels for the steps between pasteurization and packaging), and microbiological tests for every batch.
    – rumtscho
    May 4, 2022 at 17:08
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    In short, whatever industry is doing, you cannot recreate it at home. If you need mayonnaise with long shelf life, you have to buy it. For homemade mayonnaise, we have a question under cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/2746/…, maybe some of the answers will work for you.
    – rumtscho
    May 4, 2022 at 17:09

Calcium Disodium EDTA in commercial mayonnaise acts as an emulsifier and most importantly prevents purification of the oil due to oxidation. It also has beneficial chelation properties that bind up any metals introduced through the manufacturing process. If you're looking towards antimicrobial benefits then you should consider another route including pasteurization, sterile techniques, and acidity as you would with canning.

  • "... most importantly prevents purification of the oil due to oxidation." Did you mean putrification ? Sep 7, 2023 at 16:10

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