As Tu B’shevat approaches, Rabbi Nissan Zibell of Kashrus: Be in the Know presents a clear guide to kashrus concerns and issues when purchasing dried fruits.
Tu B’shvat Guide
Compiled by Rabbi Nissan Zibell
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, but needs checking for bugs. 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.
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.
Kashrus: Be In The Know is an organization that has been helping to educate consumers for over a year now.
The best way to keep kosher at home is by learning the halachos that one needs to know. And then there is shopping in the supermarket…
Kashrus: Be In The Know was created with the intention to increase Kashrus awareness and provide consumers with a knowledge of basic halacha, as well as important information regarding how foods are made and processed. With this information, it is their hope to help people in making educated choices when buying products.
Although the classes are given by Rabbis who both work in reputable hashgachos, and have a depth of knowledge in Halacha as well as the food industry, it does not in any way replace asking questions to a Rav. Rather, it presents the awareness to even know what to ask.
To date, there are over 1,400 people receiving weekly and informative classes on their WhatsApp and Signal groups!
To join a weekly group, click on the links below. You can also visit their website for past classes at Kashrusbeintheknow.com
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