Many (perhaps all?) fruits and vegetables grown these days contain various "other stuff" such as pesticides and protective coatings.

I suppose that fruits whose peels are removed do not pose a problem, but what about the others? Is it possible to have a problem with the Kashrus of fruits and vegetables due to their additives?

  • Are you referring to kashrus during the year only, or do you mean to include in your question chametz issues also? – msh210 Jun 24 '11 at 4:25
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    @msh210 No, specifically from a year-round perspective. – yydl Jun 24 '11 at 4:27
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    @yydl It appears you are asking specifically about the "additives", or the chemicals that are sprayed onto the produce. Can you change your title to reflect that, rather than focusing on the Kashruth status of the produce itself? I was preparing to research an answer regarding Terumah and Ma'aser in Israel and whether or not minority opinions require those Mitzvoth outside of Israel (and whether or not this would be considered a Kashruth problem or a separate problem). – Seth J Jun 24 '11 at 13:09
  • @SethJ How would you change the title? I understand your confusion, but in the original title I'm trying to capture the essence of the word "kosher" - as in ingredients that change it's kosher status (not as in "okay to eat"). If you have a better way to express it, please post it here and I'll change it. – yydl Jun 24 '11 at 20:17
  • @yydl Anything along the following lines, if I'm interpreting your question correctly, should suffice: "Is there a Kashrut problem with pesticides and protective coatings applied to produce?" – Seth J Jun 24 '11 at 20:31

Fruits from a tree are forbidden to eat for the first three years. This is called Orlah.

And, although I can't find a link now, the OU requires baby carrots have a hechsher, since the manufacturers use a color lock to keep the nice orange color.

The color lock is an edible spray that is sprayed on the carrot before it is put in the bags.

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    Why is the spray not Batel? – RCW Jun 24 '11 at 5:30
  • Note that Orlah applies only in Israel. And, as long as you're on that, there are other requirements, such as ma'aser... but these don't make the fruits be not kosher. – AviD Jun 24 '11 at 6:57
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    @AviD: from the article: "The prohibition of eating the fruit of the first three years applies no matter where the fruit was grown. There are however, a few Halachic differences between the fruits of these years grown in Israel, and those grown outside of Israel." – Menachem Jun 24 '11 at 16:12
  • @AviD: Alos, Orlah is just as not-kosher as pork. – Menachem Jun 24 '11 at 22:27

What I'd heard about the baby-cut carrots was a wheat-based enzyme used to keep them nice and bright orange (not a coloring per se), which posed a problem for Passover, but not the rest of the year.

There are the problems with fruit grown in the first 3/4 years, as well as all sorts of special rules for produce grown in Israel.

Also, there's some discussion about the direct product of a forbidden hybridization, especially if it was done by Jews; but this tends not to be an issue today.

Some produce can occasionally be coated with a shellac-based glaze, which can be derived from secretions of the lac bug. The late Rabbi Abraham Blumenkranz treated this as a serious year-round issue in his yearly Passover book; the question also comes up with regards to some confectioner's glazes (such as may be found on chocolate-covered raisins). Shulchan Aruch writes "secretions of bugs, other than bee-honey, are permitted; though some prohibit." Some of the commentaries wondered why this would ever be practical, but here we are today. In fact, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein permitted the glaze, while Rabbi Aharon Soloveichik prohibited it (and would not allow the dairy diner in Washington Heights under his supervision to sell chocolate-covered raisins).

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  • The Seattle Vaad quotes the OU as saying: Baby Carrots under the OU are fine to use for Passover without special Passover certification.seattlevaad.org/Pesach_Alerts.html – Menachem Jun 24 '11 at 16:14
  • @Menachem, I'd heard it had been an issue some time in the past. It's possible it's been resolved, or at least resolved for anything with an OU on it. – Shalom Jun 24 '11 at 16:29

Israeli produce is subject to tithing and prohibited without it. Details are found in newer kitzur shulchan aruchs.

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    Please edit your answer to use standard capitalization. – Isaac Moses Jun 24 '11 at 6:06
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    I don't think a downvote was in order. But Chaim, please follow Isaac's advice with regard to formatting your text, and also please try to provide sources along with your answers. Look around the site a bit and get to know how the community works, and welcome! – Seth J Jun 24 '11 at 20:33

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