5

I am specifically referring to Coconut Oil. I know that my question is similar to this one: Is Extra virgin olive oil kosher by default? but My question is also about non-olive oils. Due to the huge olive oil industry there is a large profit to be made in manufacturing fraudulent products which is part of the analysis as to whether or not to permit (extra virgin) olive oil without a hechsher. In addition the product I have says: Free of: Milk, eggs, peanuts, shellfish, fish, soy, gluten, titanium dioxide. The specific product I am referring to can be seen here: http://www.vitacost.com/vitacost-extra-virgin-certified-organic-coconut-oil-54-fl-oz-10

7

Per the CRC-Chicago it requires a Hechsher.

Q: Does extra virgin coconut oil require hashgacha?

A: Extra virgin coconut oil does require a hechsher.

Rabbi Abe Sharp responded to my e-mail sent to the CRC-Chicago why a Hashgacha is necessary for extra virgin coconut oil.

It may be due to equipment issues and cross-contamination with non-kosher productions.

  • 1
    Yeyasher kochacha on the research effort. – Isaac Moses Jul 31 '13 at 19:03
5

Based on the OK article I mentioned in this answer, coconut oil would need a hechsher.

According to the Wikipedia article on coconut oil, all the different methods of creating coconut oil involve cooking or baking the coconut, and some of the methods involve additives.

The OK article discusses the concerns involved in oil production, and how Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the exception, since it is a cold press with no further processing.

  • The product I referred to says that this extra virgin coconut oil is cold pressed and %100 unrefined. Does that mean, according to the OK article, that it would not need a hechsher? – Gavriel Aug 1 '13 at 18:12
  • @Gabi: As always, for practical advice, CYLOR. I don't know what goes into cold pressing extra virgin coconut oil, but see the process explained here: wildernessfamilynaturals.com/category/… . Even though it is cold-pressed, they dehydrate the coconut first. Contrast this with extra virgin olive oil, where they just press the olive. – Menachem Aug 1 '13 at 18:25
  • See evolvingwellness.com/essay/…: Coconut oil is processed normally using expeller-pressed or cold-pressed technology. Expeller pressing is a chemical-free mechanical process that extracts oil from seeds and nuts. The temperature reached during pressing depends on the hardness of the nut or seed. The harder the nut or seed, the more pressure required to extract the oil, which in turn creates more friction and higher heat... – Menachem Aug 1 '13 at 18:31
  • ...Oils that are cold pressed are expeller pressed in a heat-controlled environment to keep temperatures below 49ºC or 120ºF degrees. -- Note that that temperature may be Yad Soledet, according to some opinions: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/9239/603 – Menachem Aug 1 '13 at 18:32
  • Heat caused by friction doesn't necessarily cause a Kashrus problem. – Yishai Nov 4 '15 at 17:25
-1

Per Rabbi Yitzchak Abadi the coconut oil is fine without a hecsher. (Same with sesame seed oil, which is not just his opinion but the opinion of the Rema.)

If you were to ask Rabbi Abadi why kashrut agencies would tell you it needs a hecsher for fear that it might get contaminated with other products, I assume he would tell you that its part of the ways in which hechaher companies try to make money by keeping people ignorant of the halacha. He would then encourage you to read the shulchan arukh to find out what the halacha is, rather than listen to the guidelines designed by the hecsher companies that are far beyond what the halacha requires.

Source for the coconut oil: http://kashrut.org/forum/viewpost.asp?mid=53596&highlight=coconut oil

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    "for fear that it might get contaminated with other products" it is common in the manufacturing world for equipment to be used for lots of different food items. it is rare factory lines are only making 1 product. This is not unfounded. Also not all ingredients need to be listed on the label as long as they are below a certain 5 even when they are essential to making the product per civil law. This answer is full of holes and clearly wrong – Laser123 Dec 13 '17 at 17:20
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    @Laser123 What is a certain 5? And why wouldn't the rules of eino ben yomo apply? – Aaron Dec 13 '17 at 17:49
  • first of all the rule of eino ben yomo is a 24 hour period. how would you know how long in between each run is the equipment not used? second of all there are factors you are ignoring which makes just eino ben yomo by itself insufficient. – Laser123 Dec 18 '17 at 14:52
  • @Laser123 We assume eino been yomo with keilim of non Jews. etzion.org.il/en/… – Aaron Dec 19 '17 at 12:18
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    @Aaron the 5 in the first comment should be read as % - below a certain % food manufacturers don't need to disclose ingredients. Example is that tuna in oil can have a certain percentage of animal oil instead of only vegetable oil. Another example of "things you wouldn't know if an OU mashgiach hadn't told you" is that green beans are sometimes manufactured next to "beans & pork" and that the same hot water is used to heat both pots rendering the green beans unkosher. Modern manufacturing creates lots of new kashrut issues beyond what the SA knew – mbloch Dec 22 '17 at 4:37

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