Terumos and Ma’asros

Eretz Yisroel has the unique privilege of being the recipient of the Ribono Shel Olam’s brochos throughout the year. Its agricultural industry continues to grow and flourish. Some consumer products imported from Eretz Yisroel, such as Jaffa oranges and grapefruits, are very well known to the American marketplace while other products including clementines, carrots, red peppers, jams, jellies, tomatoes, olives, and pickled products are not as familiar. Finally, there are a host of industrial products like orange oil, lemon oil and parsley that provide a steady supply of raw materials.

Besides all the general consumer kashrus concerns regarding ingredients, processing and certification, there are additional kashrus requirements that apply to foods grown and produced in Eretz Yisroel. For instance, one must be sure that terumos and ma’asros have been properly separated before consumption. Furthermore, one needs to ensure that the fruits do not come from trees that violate the conditions […]

Dried Fruit: Nature’s Way of Wrinkling Gracefully

Published Fall 2015

It has been called nature’s candy and is a sweet source of nutrition whose popularity is on the rise.  Commensurate with its growing popularity is its demand.  In today’s global economy, the dried fruit trade literally spans the entire globe – apples from China, prunes from Bulgaria, figs from the Middle East, dates from Tunisia, raisins from South America, and of course apples, peaches, plums, raisins, figs, and dates from the good old U.S.A.  Naturally, this growth presents a whole new set of challenges to kashrus agencies.  How do they send a mashgiach to supervise date productions in Pakistan, raisin productions in Iran, or plum productions in Bulgaria?  Let’s learn about this popular healthy snack alternative.


The Process

Fruit is dried through a process known as dehydrating, which removes enough moisture from the fruit to retard the growth of bacteria and mold while retaining the great taste and nutrients of […]

Terumos and Ma’asros

Published Spring 2002 | Updated June 2016

As a result of the State of Israel’s blossoming agricultural advances and innovative marketing strategies, Israeli food exports to foreign markets in all sectors continue to grow and flourish. Some consumer products are very well known to the American marketplace, such as Jaffa oranges, grapefruits, pomelos, clementines and parsley, Carmel tomatoes, Arava peppers, and candies, jams, jellies, canned tomatoes, olives, and pickled products. Other industrial products used for manufacturing are tomato sauce, tomato paste, orange oil and spices. New marketing avenues include private label manufacturing, the purchase of American companies by Israeli companies, and the use of Israeli components in the manufacturing of American labeled products.

Facts on Wax: Are Vegetables and Fruit Waxes Kosher?

August 2013 | Updated May 2024

You may notice at your favorite supermarket the following statement next to the prominent “Summer Fruits from California” banner: “Coated with food grade vegetable, petroleum, and/or shellac-based wax or resin to maintain freshness” on their favorite fruits and vegetables. What are waxes? Are there any kashrus concerns? Let us examine some of the kosher facts on wax.

Waxes are not a new phenomenon, as they have been used domestically for over sixty years on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables (see list below). Waxes are derived from a variety of sources and are a cross combination of natural and synthetic ingredients. The most common primary wax ingredients are shellac, carnauba wax or petroleum-based wax. Less frequently used and more costly wax bases include beeswax and candelilla wax.

Shellac (Lac Resin)

Shellac or lac resin is a product that is imported from India and used in waxes for citrus […]


The AeroGarden is a unique hydroponic system, enabling home-growing of vegetables. ( Note: STAR-K no longer certifies The Aerogarden) The entrance of this system into the marketplace presents an opportunity to discuss the history and halachos of hydroponics.

All Washed Up

In the health conscious world of the new millennium, healthful fine dining and garden fresh vegetables have taken an honorable position of prominence. Salad bars are in vogue. A colorful salad helps dress up the bland dinner plate. Fresh vegetables are healthy and wholesome. Unfortunately, it also causes havoc with the G-d fearing housewife, or the caterer’s mashgiach, who want to make sure that the vegetables served are not only clean and fresh, but insect-free, as well. Oftentimes, this task is tedious, time consuming, and frustrating. This is particularly true when dealing with large quantities of exotic, leafy vegetables that have to be inspected in a relatively short amount of time. What is the answer?

The Sweetest Fruit of Them All

Unbelievable but true.

Overheard conversation between Mother and a precocious seven year old at a typical supper table…

“Now dear you must eat your fruits and vegetables!”

“I just finished a delicious double portion.”

“Great what did you eat?”

“A yummy chocolate bar.”