What Is Kosher?

What is Kosher?


The word kosher means proper or acceptable. Kosher is a set of dietary conditions mandated by Jewish law, that have their origin in the Bible and are detailed in the Talmud and the other codes and texts. They have been applied through the centuries to ever-changing situations, and these rulings, both ancient and modern, govern kosher certification. Kosher supervision agencies such as the IK, ensure that all aspects of constituent sourcing, manufacturing, and the delivery process are in accordance with these criteria.

The indicator of kosher and non-kosher depends on three variables: the source of the ingredients, the status of the production equipment, and the manner of transport. Ingredients must be from a permitted food source with special rules for preparation of meat and strict separation of meat and dairy. Equipment used for hot production of non-kosher products may not be used for kosher production without kosherization (a hot purging procedure). Kosher certification, which is the guarantee that the food meets kosher requirements, revolves around these criteria.

A common misconception is that kosher reflects the conferring of a blessing on food by Rabbi. There is no truth to this whatsoever.

Market studies repeatedly indicate that even non-Jewish consumers, when given the choice, will express a distinct preference for kosher certified products. They regard the kosher symbol as a sign of quality. More than 1/3 of the packaged products in a typical grocery supermarket are labelled as kosher.  There is hardly an industry or business, remotely related to food or food service, that does not include kosher certification by at least some of its manufacturers and producers. While only 5{89553730d3b2a967533a69743cbc885a5bf0b7eaa1f7bcc88c2bf66fb5c635aa} of the market may actually require kosher products, more than 45{89553730d3b2a967533a69743cbc885a5bf0b7eaa1f7bcc88c2bf66fb5c635aa} choose kosher because they consider it purer or more healthful than non-kosher equivalents. The absolute nature of kosher certification exceeds FDA standards in labelling for vegan, lactose intolerance, and several other health conditions.

Kosher supervision is available around the globe: from Alaska fisheries to remote villages in China and India.  Any food item or constituent that can be made kosher, wherever located, can be kosher certified.