Monday, March 23, 2009

// // 7 comments

Kashrus Alert - "Chalav" Sugar?

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

The food industry today is not the simple thing of past generations. Rather, food science is indeed rocket science. Even seemingly simple products are processed, stabilized, colored, consistency adjusted, etc. The result is even the most straight foward product may not be.

People wonder why there is kosher supervision on something that a generation ago was simple - coffee, sugar, salt, juice.

This type of situation explains it.


Forwarded to me by Neshama of HaBayitah, from here...

For decades, some basic foodstuffs like coffee, tea, sugar and salt were not required to have kashrus supervision, and a Jew could buy a cup of coffee in a disposable cup anywhere.

But a new development in China may change all that.

A large manufacturing plant in China which markets sugar to Israel under a mehadrin hechsher was discovered to have bleached its sugar with lactose, a milk derivative, which makes it cholov akum.

The discovery was made by Rav Avraham Rubin, the head of the Rechovot Mehadrin kashrus organization. He traveled a month ago to the sugar manufacturing plant and discovered the cholov akum ingredient. The plant owners, suspecting nothing wrong, hadn't even attempted to conceal the problematic ingredient on the list.

Rechovot Mehadrin Kashrus Agency representative, R' Yaakov Zeibald, said, "Rav Rubin himself travels to inspect every plant which manufactures the ingredients for the products he supervises. He happened to be inspecting this plant, because he supervises a different factory which manufactures preserves with sugar produced here. After discovering that lactose was used to bleach the sugar, he gave strict instructions that the only sugar which our products may use is the one produced in India which contains no dairy ingredients.

"Sugar has always been considered a raw material that doesn't require special supervision throughout the year. The sugar used in Israel comes from dozens of different plants and no kashrus agency bothers to check its source. For all we know, we may have all consumed this dairy sugar without being aware of it."

7 comments:

Shorty said...

Ingredient listings for processed foods change all the time. I was vegetarian for a long time (although not following Kashrut at the time), and soups that were full vegetarian one month, contained "beef extracts" the next. They were still called vegetable soup. Only now there was a new ingredient.

This is why one must read the labels every time you buy something.

and why, Baruch Hashem, we have wonderful Rabbis who ensure Kashrut laws are being followed all the time. They have their work cut out for them!

Shiloh said...

As long as you had not boiled the sugar, along with a kid in its mothers milk, offered it to a pagan god, then you have not transgressed the Torah. And you wonder why soooo many Jews throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Akiva said...

Sorry Shiloh, no karite positions will be accepted here - and will normally be deleted.

If you want to make such statements, please preface them with "according to my non-rabbinic non-mainstream literal reading of the written Torah according to a 2,200 year old tradition that failed and died out".

I also disagree with your premise "that's why so many Jews throw out the baby with the bathwater". You don't see Jews walking away from orthodoxy going over to a karite interpretation. Rather, you see them drop 'action' mitzvot and sticking only with 'belief' mitzvot - which then tend to fade over time.

josh said...

Other issues in the past that otherwise would be overlooked:

- in France, Lemon Diet Coke was found to have a wine-based ingredient in it. Warning sent to local community a few years ago, not aware of situation now or in Israel.

- in England, the company making Mars bars was going to switch an ingredient with a animal-based one two years ago. A vegetarian lobby successful stopped the plan.

Shiloh said...

Akiva, it has nothing to do with the Kariates. I simply quoted history and the reason haShem had given that prohabition. Why such a problem. Many Jews simply have a problem with the fences. I am not in the getto Akiva and do talk to many Jews who certainly have a problem with the additions to the Torah. In the Yiddishkeit world, the opposite is true for them. Have a wonderful week.

josh said...

also today on the subject of kashrut issues:

http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2009/03/no-joke-when-kosher-restaurant-serves.html

ytba said...

YIPES!

How do I know whether the sugar I use has a problem? Check if it comes from China?

Thanks!

yonason

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