Although להלכה, any chometz may be sold before Pesach, there are pious individuals who do not sell “real” chometz, but rather give it away, burn it, or eat it before Pesach. How does one define “real” chometz? A food for which there is an issur of בל יראה ובל ימצא דאורייתא (there is a Torah prohibition of ownership on Pesach) is “real” chometz. This includes all items that are רומג ץמח, real chometz (bread, cake, pretzels, pasta, etc.).
However, תערובת חמץ where the חיוב ביעור (obligation to burn) is only מדרבנן(rabbinic), or at least according to some opinions only מדרבנן, is not חמץ גמור. In addition, ספק חמץ medications and non-edible items, as well as products processed on chometz equipment, are not considered to be חמץ גמור. These products are sold before Pesach even by individuals who are stringent not to sell חמץ גמור. Many individuals who do not sell חמץ גמור will sell alcoholic beverages before Pesach. Each family should follow their custom.
The following chart offers guidelines as to which products are considered “real” chometz. חמץ גמור means it is “real” chometz. Pious individuals customarily do not sell these products before Pesach. Rather, they either consume it, burn it, or give it away as a gift to a gentile before Pesach. Not חמץ גמור indicates the product is not “real” chometz. Even pious individuals will generally sell such products to a gentile before Pesach. (Where indicated, some products may even remain in one’s possession during Pesach, and a sale is not required.)
For a discussion regarding Chometz after Pesach see:
Guide To Purchasing Chometz After Pesach
1. Some individuals sell this chometz, others do not. One should follow his family custom.
2. K’dai achilas pras is the amount of time it takes to eat the volume of buttered bread equaling 3-4 eggs (approximately 2-4 minutes). For example, if one eats a bowl of Froot Loops cereal, he will eat a k’zayis of chometz within 2-4 minutes. However, if one eats Cap ‘N Crunch cereal, he will not eat a k’zayis of chometz fast enough since the amount of chometz in Cap ‘N Crunch cereal is relatively minimal.
3. These products are not chometz. One may even retain possession on Pesach. Sale is not necessary (מותר בהנאה בפסח). The product may not be eaten on Pesach.
4. These products are not chometz. One may even retain possession on Pesach. Sale is not necessary (מותר בהנאה בפסח).
5. One may retain possesion of these products on Pesach. Sale is not necessary. They may not be eaten on Pesach.
6. This applies to flour that is not an ingredient in a product (e.g., flour sold in bags). However, as an ingredient in a product it is usually חמץ גמור.