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According to the OU and other kashrus agencies (https://oukosher.org/passover/articles/chametz-when-to-peddle-when-to-purge/) cookies and even licorice are considered chametz gamur which one may not own on Pesach. However, is not the halacha that מי פירות אין מחמיצין, and therefore anything which does not contain water should not be considered chametz? (Even though Ashkenazim do not eat such things on Pesach.) See Be'er Heitev 242:2 who says ושכר המדי: וכולם על ידי תערובת מים דאל"כ מי פירות אינן מחמיצין. Why then would one not be allowed to keep such things on Pesach?

  • You answered your own question: וכולם על ידי תערובת מים דאל"כ מי פירות אינן מחמיצין. – רבות מחשבות Apr 18 '18 at 4:01
  • Does licorice contain water? I have no idea – Double AA Apr 18 '18 at 4:07
  • @DoubleAA I should have added, licorice and cookies generally contain no water – wfb Apr 18 '18 at 4:35
  • from wikipedia: "Whereas butter is made from the butterfat of milk, modern margarine is made mainly of refined vegetable oil and water" – Loewian Apr 18 '18 at 4:49
  • @Loewian ok then what about licorice (or cookies made with butter)? – wfb Apr 18 '18 at 5:00
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The OU itself (in this linked chart) specifically states that:

Flour as an ingredient in processed food is typically exposed to some form of moisture and should be assumed to be Chametz.

As an example of this, per Wikipedia here, licorice ingredients are dissolved in water and heated during production, so they would certainly be Chametz.


However, even if the products you mentioned contain no actual water (as if they contained even a little bit, it would be chametz, as you note) and do not come into contact with any water, in most cases, the flour itself is considered Chametz according to many authorities. See DoubleAA's wonderful answer here for the full discussion on what might make flour Chametz Gamur or Safek Chametz Gamur (in fact, many opinions prohibit selling it).

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    My understanding from the OU is that flour is itself only treated as safek chametz as a chumra, but in reality is not chametz at all – wfb Apr 18 '18 at 4:40
  • @wfb that could be, but the OU clearly says that they consider flour in any processed food to be Chametz Gamur, so I think the burden of proof would be on anyone who disagrees. – רבות מחשבות Apr 18 '18 at 4:48
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    I guess that's the question - why should flour in processed foods be different than flour? – wfb Apr 18 '18 at 5:00
  • @wfb Apparently because during the processing, some amount of water comes in contact with it. – רבות מחשבות Apr 18 '18 at 5:14
  • I see. So homemade goods should be fine – wfb Apr 18 '18 at 5:25

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