At the end of YD Siman 87 we find the dinim of "mamid". Over there it's speaking about cheese made in the skin of the kevah of a nevilah of treifah. The Rema explains that because it is an issur for itself and a "mamid" (an integral ingredient in making this cheese that without it it wouldn't come to be) is therefore not buttel even in 1000 parts.

What about if there would be mixed in some sort of ingredient that is also "issur" however is not used as a "mamid" but rather used as a preservative that would help sustain the the product that it should stay fresh longer. Would this also be considered a "mamid"? Or perhaps since it doesn't affect the main part of the food that it wouldn't have the din of a mamid (the food can be made without this preservative however it does help to extend the life of it.)

The Rema does add in over there that if there are 2 ingredients (one issur and one heter) that are both an integral part then it would be muter if there is 60 parts against the issur. However the preservatives are seemingly not an "integral" part (which it in and of itself could be the answer to the question.) Tzrich iyun.

I'm looking for a clarity in this issue so please provide sources either way.

  • Potassium metabisulfite would be a very interesting edge case. It can be used to stop the fermentation of wine when still low in alcohol, yet still containing unfermented sugars. With it it's impossible to make a low alcohol sweet wine (perhaps the wine could be boiled, but it wouldn't taste the same, and it would start to ferment as soon as it was opened). But the preservative causes no direct actual change in the wine itself.
    – Ariel
    Jan 7, 2013 at 3:33

1 Answer 1


Afraid I don't have a source off-hand, but my strong sense from how it's addressed in Shulchan Aruch is that no, that's not davar hama'amid. The examples are something like an enzyme that cause a near-instant significant change in the product. You can't pretend the non-kosher rennet isn't there when if it wasn't, this wouldn't look anything like cheese! Whereas with preservatives, well -- take two cakes, one with one without preservatives -- they look identical, just happens to be that one will go moldy faster.

(The main food preservative, as far as I know, in the times of Shulchan Aruch, would have been salt; it says salt isn't batel because it's a spice, but never mentions it in the context of davar hama'amid.)

Practically, most preservatives used in modern food processing that I can think of are usually derived from plants or minerals, not animals; and aren't edible as "food", so this question is rather moot.

  • Davar Hamaamid is never batel, not even in 60 Jan 6, 2013 at 22:14
  • Vinegar and alcohol are some other major preservatives.
    – Ariel
    Jan 7, 2013 at 3:30
  • Alcohol as was pointed out could be a possible problem (if derived from non-kosher wine, etc. many additional points involved here, I'll admit but the general idea if it would be shayach was why I was asking.) I heard this discussed by one of hechsherim here in Eretz Yisrael.
    – Yehoshua
    Jan 7, 2013 at 12:40

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