[Avodah] OU Mini Seedless Cucumbers
micha at aishdas.org
Mon Aug 16 13:53:01 PDT 2021
On Mon, Aug 16, 2021 at 12:33:05PM +0000, Prof. L. Levine via Avodah wrote:
> However, the label also says, "No Wax Added" and "All Natural".
> Is the OU guaranteeing that that there is no wax added? And even if
> wax were added, is this a halachic problem?
I would think they are guaranteeing that nothing non-kosher were added.
Would they pull the hekhsher if the package lied, and the cucumbers were
made more attractive with a kosher wax?
As for the kashrus of those waxes, see this Star-K page (teaser below).
They say it's okay to eat waxed cucumbers, because it's okay to rely on
Micha Berger Life isn't about finding yourself.
http://www.aishdas.org/asp Life is about creating yourself.
Author: Widen Your Tent - George Bernard Shaw
Facts on Wax: Are Vegetables and Fruit Waxes Kosher?
By: Rabbi Dovid Heber
Waxes are derived from a variety of sources and are a cross combination
of natural and synthetic ingredients. The most common primary wax
ingredients are shellac, carnuba wax, or petroleum based wax. Less
frequently used and more costly wax bases include beeswax and candelia
Shellac or lac resin is a product that is imported from India and is
used in waxes for citrus fruits, apples and pears. It is a product that
is derived from the secretions of the tiny lac insect. The lac insect
secretes "lac-resin" from its glands onto a host tree. The resin is
then gathered, crushed, sieved, washed and purified into food grade
shellac. Horav Moshe Feinstein, zt'l explains in Igros Moshe Y.D. II 24
that shellac is Kosher. Rav Moshe zt'l discusses several reasons for
this conclusion - most important the analogy between shellac -a
secretion from a non-Kosher insect, and honey - a secretion from a
non-Kosher insect. Honey is obviously Kosher and so is shellac.
Carnuba wax is derived from palm trees and is used in waxes for
stonefruits, and in a variety of vegetables. It too is a product that
in and of itself presents no Kashrus concerns. However, carnuba wax
manufacturers can possibly add stearic acid, an ingredient that can be
derived from both animal or vegetable sources...
Petroleum based waxes including paraffin, mineral oil, and polyethylene
are inherently Kosher and Pareve. These waxes are commonly used on
melons, stone fruits, and tropical fruits and in a variety of
Other ingredients added to finished wax coatings include oleic acid,
emulsifiers, and proteins. Oleic acid is almost always used in wax.
This ingredient can be derived from animal and/or vegetable derivatives
and is used in proportions that are possibly not batel. All wax
manufacturers queried claim to use Kosher vegetable grade oleic acid.
Emulsifiers are an important additive that allow oil and water to
adequately mix. These, too, pose the same potential problems...
There are two types of proteins used in the wax industry, soy and
casein. Proteins are used as a thickener in lac-resin waxes and are not
necessary in the more viscous petroleum based or carnuba waxes.
Proteins present different Kashrus concerns. Soy protein is a soybean
derivative which is generally Kosher and pareve certified. However, it
is not Kosher for Pesach as it is Kitniyos. Does this present a problem
on Pesach to those who wish to eat fruit which is coated with lac resin
wax? The answer is found in the Mishna Berura (453:9) which states that
Kitniyos is permissible if it was mixed with other ingredients that
form a majority of the finished product...
Casein is a protein derived from milk and is therefore dairy. Proteins
are added at ratios as high as 1-1/2% (less than 1/60th). However, they
can not be considered batel because this is the ratio in the "whole
bowl of wax", i.e. while the wax is in a liquid state before
application. After application and evaporation of liquids, the ratio of
proportion on the wax remaining on the apple is much higher and is
quite likely not batel. One company informed the Star-K that they use
casein only on "citrus wax" i.e. wax used on fruit with peels such as
oranges or grapefruits, "Apple Wax" uses soy protein. Another company
claimed to use only soy protein and not casein protein. Nevertheless,
one company did say they use casein protein on apple wax, thereby
potentially creating concern that the wax applied would be dairy.
What is the final verdict? Of course, the best case scenario would
be to Kosher certify all wax manufacturers to assure the Kosher
consumer beyond a shadow of a doubt that every component of the
wax is 100% Kosher. Since this is not the case what should the
consumer do? After analyzing all the information, we can arrive at
the following conclusion. When one purchases waxed produce it is
extremely difficult to know which company manufactured the wax and
what raw materials were used. Yet the overwhelming evidence points
to the facts that the raw materials used, both major and minor, were
Kosher and Pareve. Although other possibilities could potentially
exist, in circumstances where it is impossible to ascertain all the
specific facts and the evidence heavily points to the Kosher arena,
Halacha instructs us to follow the majority scenario. This concept in
Jewish law is known as going after the majority . Based on current
manufacturing procedures one therefore need not be concerned with
the vegetable, petroleum, and shellac based waxes applied to fruits
Can the Kosher consumer feel comfortable relying on this rule?
Absolutely, as this rule is not new to Halacha. We go after the
majority every time we drink a cup of milk - whether it's Cholov
Yisroel or not. In order for milk to be Kosher it must come from a
Kosher animal that is not a treifa....
More information about the Avodah