Whenever I go out to eat where I’m picking up a meal to take home, somewhere in the bag will often be a few packets of mustard, ketchup and mayo! I use the mustard and ketchup without thought as to calories. However, one day while I was busy depositing a couple of packets worth of mayonnaise onto a deli sandwich, I had pause. I wondered exactly how many calories were in each packet?
If you’ve ever taken the time to even look closely at a condiment packet, you might have wondered at the utter lack of nutritional information. I’ve also noticed that there is no indication of product amount or any expiration date! Hmm, I thought. I decided then and there to see what I could find out about the mayo – it was the only item that I suspected had a measurable number of calories. Enough at any rate, to affect the spreadsheets I maintained as to nutritional impacts. I needed to know what my total caloric input was as part of a diet I was on!
Assuming that the mayonnaise was the same product I’d find in any jar of the stuff in the grocery market – I took that information off a label and then precisely measured the amount in a sample packet. I found that the picture packet contained just about 8 grams of product. And since a tablespoon which equals 13.8 grams has 94 calories, I was surprised to see that the average packet has 55 calories. That was a lot more than I had figured!
As to the lack of other information, I discovered that it can usually be found on the master carton that contained the original batch of hundreds. That’s how they are shipped to restaurants and the like. In general the expiration date is about one year. Above right is a list of other commonly used condiments for comparison.