Do Dried Fruits Need a Hechsher?

Whether eating fruits on Tu B’Shvat or year-round, learn which fruits require a hechsher and how to check for insects.

The following is a guide to the kashrus of dried fruits and nuts by Rabbi Nissan Zibell, shliach to South Orlando, Florida. Rabbi Zibell is one of two contributing experts on the ‘Kashrus: Be in the Know’ WhatsApp group that produces weekly audio clips on various Kashrus issues.

Dried Fruits and nuts

General guidelines

Added Potassium Sorbate or Sulfur Dioxide isn’t an issue.
All dried fruit from Israel and China need Reliable Hashgacha.

Freeze-dried– all freeze-dried fruits need Reliable Hashgacha. There is heat involved in the process and the equipment many times has non-Kosher things also dried on it.

Those dried fruits that need Reliable Hashgacha is because belt release agents are added to the machinery handling them so it doesn’t stick. These release agents can be non-kosher oils or the like. Some use animal stearate to prevent clumping. Since they are just processing aids and not an ingredient in the product, the companies don’t have to declare it on the label.

Apples, dried – Requires reliable Hashgacha.
Apricots, dried – without additives, do not require Reliable Hashgacha, Sulfur dioxide isn’t an issue. Some apricots have added flavors to them and need Reliable Hashgacha.
Bananas, dried – Requires reliable Hashgacha.
Blueberries, dried– Requires reliable Hashgacha.
Carob – Does not require Hashgacha, however, it requires inspection for insects; powdered carob requires reliable Hashgacha.
Cherries, dried – Requires reliable Hashgacha.
Cranberries, dried – Requires reliable Hashgacha.
Currants – Requires reliable Hashgacha.
Dates – Without additives, do not require Hashgacha. Imported or domestic, whole or pitted dates, require inspection. Slice open to check. If you check a handful in a package and there is no sign of infestation, the rest may be used without inspection.
Figs – Without additives, do not require Hashgacha. Added Potassium Sorbate isn’t an issue. However, they require inspection by turning the fig inside out and looking for noticeable webbing, wasps and worms.
Ginger, dried– Requires reliable Hashgacha.
Goji Berries, dried– Highly infested. Not recommend to use even with Hashgacha.
Mango, dried – Without any additives, does not require Hashgacha.
Mulberries, dried– Requires reliable Hashgacha.
Nectarines, dried – Without additives, do not require Hashgacha. Sulfur dioxide is not an issue.
Papaya, dried – Requires reliable Hashgacha.
Peaches, dried – Without additives, do not require Hashgacha. Sulfur dioxide is not an issue.
Pear, dried – Without additives, does not require Hashgacha. Sulfur dioxide is not an issue.
Pineapples, dried – Without additives, do not require Hashgacha. Sulfur dioxide is not an issue.
Prunes – Without additives, do not require Hashgacha. Sulfur dioxide is not an issue.
Nuts – Unflavored & unsalted raw nuts are acceptable without hashgachah, assuming there are no added kosher sensitive ingredients. Nuts which are merely blanched or pasteurized (including steam pasteurization) are considered “raw”. Any nuts which are roasted (dry or oil roasted), cooked, boiled, canned, flavored, colored, or have added kosher-sensitive ingredients, require a reliable hashgachah.
Some accept dry roasted (not oil roasted) unflavored & unsalted nuts.
Raisins – Domestic without oil, do not require Hashgacha. Imported need Reliable Hashgacha.
Tamarinds, dried– Does not require Hashgacha. But needs checking for bugs.

How to Check Fruits for Bugs

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