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According to various opinions, Ashkenazim may eat food that comprises kitniyot on Pesach (e.g., mixtures), if it is batel b'rov (see Peninei Halacha here). For example: foods comprising kitniyot additives are almost always batel b'rov, since additives are normally only added in small amounts. From what I understand from Rav Melamed, the flavour of the kitniyot-containing food is irrelevant, as is 1/60th, which is important in other areas of kashrut. The only factor is whether the kitniyot forms a majority or not. So included in this permission to eat kitniyot-containing food would be (for example) a cake comprising 49% corn flour (kitniyot) and 51% non-kitniyot ingredients, which Ashkenazim would be allowed to eat on Pesach.

Primarily, this is allowed when the kitniyot-containing food is prepared before Pesach. There is a discussion about whether Ashkenazim observing the prohibition of kitniyot would be allowed to eat these products on Pesach if they were prepared on Pesach.

Question: What are the various opinions regarding kitniyot products where the kitniyot is batel b'rov, if it was prepared on Pesach itself? Do any opinions permit a person who observes the kitniyot prohibition to eat, or even prepare, a kitniyot containing food dish on Pesach where the kitniyot is batel b'rov? Do those opinions consider this bediavad or lechatchila?

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There's a well-known Rashba that we don't rely on bitul b'rov when the product is intentionally formulated that way.

There's plenty of discussion on whether the halacha follows the Rashba year-round, but it's fairly safe to say that among Ashkenazim who don't eat kitniyot, the minhag has become to follow that Rashba vis-a-vis kitniyot on Pesach. The notion of "bitul berov" is generally discussed vis-a-vis kitniyot as "what if something went wrong?" ... "what if something fell in by mistake." Not -- "hooray let's go eat this cool cookie where the package says the ingredients are 49% rice and 51% tapioca."

But the theory of bitul berov vis-a-vis kitniyot would apply on Pesach as well -- if somehow corn syrup leaked into your chicken soup or whatnot.

I realize there are those in Israel who are trying to chip away at kitniyot from all angles, including using the rov argument ... but I'm speaking of normative Ashkenazi practice here.

Also: this approach of telling people to go eat stuff that is 49% kitniyot only works if it has a "kosher for Pesach for Sefardim" hashgacha. If you're just reading the ingredients, there could totally be chametz in there.

But to answer the question as phrased: suppose someone ignores the Rashba and thinks they have a license to eat something that is routinely made of 49% kitniyot. What about on Pesach itself? Well you'd have to ask Rabbi Melamed (or Rabbi Leshem, who has a similar opinion). But let's reason it out:

  • To prepare such an item yourself -- pour corn flour into your recipe -- could get into the ein mevatlin issur lechat'chila territory -- do not intentionally cause a bitul situation.

  • If you're buying an item in the shop, let's assume we follow the lenient opinion that it was not intentionally mevutal for any one Jew.

  • Why is chametz not batel on Pesach? Either because it has the serious punishment of karet (which kitniyot certainly don't), or because of a davar sheyesh lo matirin (it will be edible in a few days anyhow). If we follow the latter reason, one could potentially argue it would also be prohibited. (Then again it's hard to argue that kitniyot are actully issur, as someone non-life-threateningly ill could eat them right now. The enactment/custom only included able-bodied individuals.)

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  • +1 thanks for the answer. Can you provide sources for the Rashba and/or discussion around it. It is somewhat complicated by the fact that kitniyot (at least to sephardim) is allowed i.e., its not necessarily the same application of the Rashba and bitul berov when made with kavanah (because kitniyot is muttar to many people). Parallel example: there is a discussion about whether sephardim can do the melacha that they permit on shabbat, for an Ashkenazi who prohibits it. Can point to a source that discusses this idea and the Rashba vis a vis kitniyot.
    – bondonk
    Mar 28, 2023 at 9:05

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