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Glossary

  1. Bishul Yisrael the process of cooking certain foods that require that the beginning stages, at least including lighting the fire/heat source for cooking, be done by the mashgiach [link to definition below]. According to some opinions, it also includes the requirement that the mashgiach perform the first stages of the cooking, i.e. placing the product in contact with the heat source and stirring until it has begun to cook. 
  2. Chalav Akum/Cholov Akum - milk from a non-Jewish farmer in countries where, in the past, it was common for farmers to mix the milk of their various herds together, making it conceivable to have a farm selling a mixture of kosher and non-kosher milk. Generally not permitted.
  3. Chalav Stam/Cholov Stam the status of dairy products made without constant rabbinical supervision, but in countries with very strong government oversight of the dairy industry, assuring that these products are actually made from the milk of kosher animals (i.e. cows, sheep or goats). Such products are permitted by many, but not all, kosher certifying organizations.
  4. Chalav Yisrael/Cholov Yisroel the status of dairy products made under constant rabbinical supervision, from milking the cows through manufacturing.

  5. Chodosh literally means new and refers to any of the 5 primary grains (wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt) from plants that did not take root until after Passover. It may be consumed only after the following Passover (see 'Yoshon' {link to definition}).

  6. Chometz food products containing any of the 5 primary grains (wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt), or their derivatives, which have come into contact, or may have come into contact, with water or moisture, thereby becoming leavened or fermented. Unless such a product has been prepared specially for Passover use (such as 'matzah', or unleavened bread) it is prohibited for use during Passover.

  7. Fleishig/Basari the Yiddish and Hebrew adjectives for the status of products that consist of meat or fowl ingredients, or the status of vessels that have been used to prepare such products.

  8. Glatt Kosher glatt is Yiddish for smooth. Glatt Kosher specifically refers to beef from cattle whose lungs are free of any fibrous tissue, and that have been slaughtered in a kosher fashion. However, the term is also commonly used in reference to other types of food products to indicate a higher, or the highest possible, level of kosher standards adhered to in that product's kosher certification.

  9. Halacha literally means the path and includes all of the practices required of Jews by Jewish Law found in all Biblical and later Rabbinical sources. These include all laws of Kashrut.

  10. Hashgacha literally means supervision and is used to connote kosher supervision.

  11. Hechsher the certification given by the kosher certifying organization.

  12. Kashruth/Kashrus/Kashrut refers to something that is kosher.

  13. Kitniot/Kitnios legumes or grains other than the 5 primary grains (wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt), such as rice, corn, peas, lentils, all types of beans, as well as many types of seed oils such as soya, sunflower and canola. The prohibition of using such products for Passover is followed by many, although not all, of religiously observant kosher consumers.

  14. Kosher the Hebrew word for fit, proper or acceptable. In relation to food, it means fit for consumption according to Jewish law.

  15. Kosher for Passover the designation describing foods that meet the special requirements applied to products permissible for use during the Passover holiday.

  16. Kosherize/Kosherization/Kasher the process of making something kosher. In the basic sense this refers to the process by which meat is processed after slaughter, but in a more general sense it refers also to the procedures that make previously non-kosher vessels or manufacturing equipment suitable for kosher use.

  17. Mashgiach from the same root as hashgacha, this refers to the person who does the supervision.

  18. Matzah unleavened bread. When made according to special Passover requirements, this is the only product made from one of the 5 primary grains (wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt) that is permitted on Passover.

  19. Mehadrin the strictest level of kosher supervision.

  20. Mevushal literally means cooked in Hebrew; in kashrut terms it is used to describe wine that has been cooked.

  21. Milchig/Chalavi the Yiddish and Hebrew adjectives for dairy, they refer to products of dairy origin, as well as the status of the vessels used in the preparation, serving and eating of such foods.

  22. Orlah the Hebrew word for the Biblical prohibition of eating fruits of trees during the trees' first three years of growth after planting.

  23. Pareve/Parve - foods that contain neither meat nor dairy ingredients, and are therefore classified as neutral. They can be eaten or prepared together with either meat or dairy products, and include all fruits, vegetables, grains, spices and herbs in their natural state, eggs (from kosher fowl), and kosher fish.

  24. Passover/Pesach the English and Hebrew terms for the major Jewish festival that occurs in the spring and commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt.

  25. Pat Palter/Pas Palter bakery goods baked without the assistance or involvement of a mashgiach [link to definition above], but with kosher ingredients. While such a product can be certified kosher, numerous kosher consumers insist on using only the higher level of baked goods represented by the term Pas Yisroel.

  26. Pat Yisrael/Pas Yisroel baked goods that have been made in an oven that was lit by the mashgiach [link to definition above].

  27. Posek a rabbi who offers interpretation of Jewish law as it applies to various circumstances, including that of kosher requirements.

  28. Shechita the slaughtering of animals or fowl according to Biblical requirements.

  29. Shmitta the sabbatical or seventh year of Israels agricultural cycle, during which all the land lies fallow. Crops grown in Israel in breach of the laws of Shmitta are considered non-kosher.

  30. Shochet a person trained and licensed to perform shechita, or to slaughter kosher meat and poultry according to Jewish religious law.

  31. Talmud the texts of the collected rabbinic writings that are the basis of rabbinic law, religious and civil. These were finalized in writing between the 2nd and 5th centuries of the Common Era.

  32. Terumah and Ma'aser the tithes to be taken from agricultural produce grown in the land of Israel, which in the time of the Temple were given to the Priests, Levites and the poor. Even today these must be separated.

  33. Tevel agricultural produce of the land of Israel from which the required tithes have not been separated. Such produce is prohibited for eating.

  34. Torah originating from the Hebrew word for teaching, or instruction, this is often translated as The Law. It specifically refers to the Five Books of Moses,, or Pentateuch, - the first 5 books of the Bible - and more generally to the entirety of Judaism's founding legal and ethical religious texts.

  35. Treif/Treifah Yiddish and Hebrew terms literally meaning ripped or torn and used more generally for non-kosher food.

  36. Yoshon literally, the Hebrew word for old, this refers to any of the five basic grains (wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt) that have been harvested from plants that took root before Passover of that year. This grain is permitted for use immediately upon harvesting. Grains from plants that took root after Passover become permitted for use only after the coming Passover. (see 'Chodosh' {link to definition})





Technical Terms



  1. E numbers Number codes for food additives, usually found on food labels throughout the European Union.

  2. FEMA numbers Number codes for flavor ingredients issued by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association, a United States business association that, among other activities, evaluates the safety of flavors and extracts used in the food industry.

  3. CAS numbers (or CAS registry numbers) Unique numerical identifiers for chemical elements, compounds, polymers, biological sequences, mixtures and alloys. They are assigned to every chemical by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), a division of the American Chemical Society.

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30/11/2010 - Article about flavors
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