Is it Kosher? Yes, it is covered by an organization in the USA.
Another Question- Is it Kosher for Pesach? Scroll to the bottom for the answer. It’s lengthy…
So- is it Kosher?
Anderson’s Maple Syrup is covered by United Mehedrin Kosher (UMKosher) under the supervision of Rabbi Asher Zeilingold who is based in Minnesota. The Rabbinute of Israel has him on their list of approved Rabbis.
This is the updated kosher certificate:
Is this good enough? For most people, yes.
The next question:
Is it Kosher for Pesach? Yes and No.
The process used to turn maple sap into maple syrup involves boiling it- 40 gallons of sap get boiled down to 1 gallon of syrup.
During this process, the sap creates a lot of foam. Foam can ruin the process (and the syrup) so “de-foamers” are added to control the foam. These are a few drops of enzyme (usually some form of vegetable oil) that bring the foam under control.
- In Anderson’s Non-Organic Maple Syrup, about one drop of de-foamer is added per gallon of sap which works out to be roughly 1 part per 378,000. The de-foamer is kosher and is a man-made enzyme which is chametz free.
- In Anderson’s Organic Syrup, a few drops of Organic Sunflower oil (which is Kitniyot) or Safflower oil (which is kosher for passover) are added to control the foam. The ratio for the organic syrup is about 1 part per 20,000-40,000 depending on which oil is used.
This means that the syrup is fine for Pesach from the halachic standpoint (the non-organic is kfp, the organic is either kfp or is kfp “kitniyot”)
Anderson’s doesn’t pay for the extra (pesach) inspection. They don’t see the value of paying for this given that the kosher for passover segment of the population buying their product is so small, and the relevant time period is only one week. Therefore it is not certified kosher for passover.
So what does that all mean?
- The syrup is not CERTIFIED kosher for Passover. 🙁
- The Beit Din here in Israel told us NOT to sell our inventory a there is no chametz. 🙂
- If you have an open bottle, you should probably put it away for Pesach.
- If you have a brand new bottle, you’ll have to make a decision 🙂
What do I do with my open bottle of syrup?
If the bottle is already opened, seal it to make it as air-tight as possible (unscrew the lid, then take a piece of cellophane or plastic wrap and put this over the open lid, then screw the plastic cap back onto the bottle- this makes a good, air-tight seal) and you can now store the syrup. A cool dark place would be best, but one week won’t have much of an impact on the syrup.
- The main problem is that it will dry out and turn into sugar crystals. If it is sealed well, you will not see much of this happening. If it is not sealed well, you may see a lot of white film on the surface- or even see actual crystals forming in the bottle. If it’s white- you are ok. Use it in your tea or coffee 😉
- The secondary problem is if you have allowed contaminants into the bottle (airborne particles or sticky kid’s fingers) in which case you CAN get mold. Mold can be green or black. If you get mold, you can remove the mold and hope for the best or toss the bottle in the trash. Tragic, but the logical end result. Israel has more airborne mold and mildew spores than you can shake a stick at, and leaving the bottle out and open in our lovely Israeli climate (read: Hot and Humid as heck) makes for an excellent culture growing environment. Don’t leave it out and open, put it in the fridge or freezer and you can reduce your chances of having your syrup ruined by mold.
As always, when in doubt, check with your local Rabbinical Authority.