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The definition of Kitniyos:
Cooked legumes versus raw or roasted: All cooked dishes of legumes are forbidden to be eaten due to Kitniyos. Likewise, all legumes that have come into contact with water, are forbidden to be eaten. [However, dry Kitniyos which has never gotten wet, such as roasted Kitniyos [i.e. pop corn], may be eaten. Other Poskim however, rule that all Kitniyos is forbidden, whether dry, roasted or cooked. Practically, the custom today is to be stringent with all forms of Kitniyos, even raw, dry or roasted.]
Seeds: Only legumes are forbidden due to the custom, however, seeds are not forbidden according to the custom. This, however, is with exception to mustard, being that it grows in stalks similar to legumes, and with exception to cumin which its kernels are similar to wheat. However, cumin kernels which is not similar to wheat, there is no custom to forbid. [Practically, many seeds today are avoided due to Kitniyos.] Those seeds which are not similar to wheat and are thus permitted, nevertheless must be checked very well to make sure that they do not contain any grain kernels in them. For this reason, one who is stringent to avoid eating cumin and sheaves will be blessed as it is very difficult to sift them from grains.
Vegetables: All types of vegetables may be eaten on Pesach, as they are not similar to grains.
General Q&A on definition of Kitniyos
Kitniyos Shenishtana: The status of Kitniyos derivatives
Some learn from the prohibition of Kitniyos oil that all Kitniyos derivatives are forbidden in consumption on Pesach, and so is followed by the Mehadrin Hashgachas such as Rav Landau, and the Eida Hachariedis. This severely limits the amount of foods that can be Kosher for Pesach for Ashkenazim, as there are literally hundreds of corn derivative trace ingredients added to products, as listed below. However, others learn that all Kitniyos that have gone through a change and hence no longer retain their original form are permitted in consumption. Accordingly, Kitniyos derivatives are permitted in consumption, and so is followed by non-Mehadrin Hashgacha’s such as the OU. A case example of this difference can be found in diet soda which includes a corn derivative named Aspartame which is used as a sweetener. The OU, in accordance to their policy, labels diet Cola as Kosher for Pesach while Rav Landau, following his policy, removes his Hashgacha over the product for Pesach.
A trace ingredient-Nullification in majority/60x:
Kitniyos that is intentionally added to a food, whether on Pesach or before Pesach, is not nullified, as explained in F. Thus, foods that contain trace Kitniyos derivative ingredients are not to be eaten on Pesach, according to those who invalidate Kitniyos derivatives.
Are forms of Kitniyos that were never known to be avoided forbidden to be eaten?
Some Poskim rule that only foods that are known to be avoided due to Kitniyos are forbidden to be eaten. However, all products which are not known to be avoided according to tradition, may be eaten even if they carry similar characteristics to other Kitniyos. Thus, new seeds/grains that have never been marketed before, may be eaten on Pesach, as they do not have a tradition to prohibit. Practically, however, the custom is to be stringent in this matter.
Q&A on types of Kitniyos
Is pumpkin Kitniyos?
Pumpkin is not Kitniyos, and neither are its seeds. Nonetheless, we do not eat pumpkin seeds sold in stores unless it has been properly supervised for Pesach.
Are peanuts Kitniyos and may they be eaten?
Peanuts are not forbidden due to Kitniyos and so is the custom of some to eat peanuts and peanut derivatives on Pesach. Nonetheless, all peanut products, such as peanut butter and peanut oil, may only be eaten if produced under proper supervision for Pesach. Practically, many are accustomed not to eat peanuts on Pesach, and those who have this custom are to abide by it. If there is no established custom in one’s family or community, one may be lenient.
Is coffee and cocoa Kitniyos and may they be eaten?
Coffee and cocoa grow on a tree and is hence not considered Kitniyos and is allowed to be consumed on Pesach. However, some are stringent not to eat it, in order to prevent confusion of others who may think that Kitniyos is also permitted to be eaten. Others are particular to roast the coffee beans before Pesach, and to check them for grain and legumes prior to roasting. [One may certainly purchase ground coffee with a Kosher for Pesach Hashgacha on the packet. Instant coffee needs a Mehadrin Hashgacha both for Pesach and during the year.]
The Chabad custom: The Chabad custom is not to use processed foods, or unpeelable products over Pesach. Nevertheless, seemingly coffee would follow the same accustomed ruling regarding sugar, of which the Rebbe stated that if one knows for certain that it does not contain Chametz then there is no reason to prohibit it. Accordingly, one may use Turkish coffee with a good Hashgacha over Pesach. Those who are stringent can boil the coffee in water before Pesach. Rav Eli Landau Shlita related that he makes his own coffee for Pesach. He purchases the fresh green coffee beans in an area that does not sell Chametz products, and then roasts them and grinds them at home.
Is a potato or potato flour considered Kitniyos and may they be eaten?
Some Poskim rule that potatoes are Kitniyos and are hence forbidden to be eaten. The majority of Poskim, however, rule potatoes are not Kitniyos, and there is no need to be stringent in this matter. Practically, the custom is to allow eating both potato and potato flower products on Pesach. However, some communities are stringent not to eat potato flour, although actual potatoes are eaten.
Is Quinoa seeds Kitniyos and may it be eaten?
Some rule quinoa is not Kitniyos and may be eaten over Pesach. Others are accustomed to be stringent as is accustomed by all other foods that look similar to grains upon being cooked.
May mushrooms be eaten?
Mushrooms are not considered Kitniyos, although many mushrooms grown off rye and wheat and thus may not be eaten unless under special Pesach supervision.
Q&A on oils
Is Canola [rapeseed] oil Kitniyos?
Is hemp oil Kitniyos?
Yes. [However, see Poskim regarding cottonseed oil.]
Is sesame oil Kitniyos?
Is cottonseed oil Kitniyos and may it be eaten?
Some Poskim rule cottonseed oil may be eaten on Pesach, so long as they were carefully checked prior to production. However, other Poskim rule that one is not to eat cottonseed oil, or any oil produced from seeds, being that it is difficult to clean them from grains. Practically, many are accustomed to avoid cottonseed oil, especially in Israel. However, in the USA, cottonseed oil is accustomed to be eaten. Rav Yaakov Landau permitted using cottonseed oil on Pesach. Likewise, the Rebbe instructed that Anash eat Natala fat on Pesach, which was margarine made from cottonseed oil.
Is flaxseed oil Kitniyos?
This seemingly follows the same law as sesame oil.
List of oils permitted according to all with proper Pesach supervision:
· Coconut oil
· Olive oil
· Palm oil
· Hazelnut oil
The following foods are not considered a species of grain at all, but are rather considered a legume, of which from the letter of the law is permitted to be eaten on Pesach, although the custom is to be stringent. The Shulchan Aruch lists only a few examples of foods considered Kitniyos. This list will mention foods accustomed to be abstained from today due to Kitniyos. In some cases, as can be seen, the product is not in truth a legume, but a seed, although nonetheless the custom has become to avoid eating it as well. In other cases, the matter is under dispute, and was more thoroughly discussed in the Q&A section above.
- Anise; Ascorbic acid; Aspartame [see Q&A regarding Kitniyos Shenishtana].
- Beans [all types, including soy]; Buckwheat
- Calcium ascorbate, canola (rapeseed) oil [see Q&A], caraway, cardamom; chickpeas, coriander; corn [including corn oil, corn syrup, and the hundreds of corn derivatives brought in next list]; cumin; citric acid [at times derives from Chametz]
- Fennel; fenugreek; flax seeds
- Glucose; green beans; guar gum,
- Hemp seeds
- Lecithin; lentils; licorice; linseed; lucerne; lupine
- Millet; mustard; maltodextrin (sometimes Chametz); some forms of MSG,
- Peas, poppy seeds, peanuts [see Q&A], polysorbates (sometimes Chametz), popcorn, poppy seeds
- Quinoa [See Q&A]
- Sesame seeds; sun flour seeds, string beans, saffron, sesame seeds, snow peas, sodium citrate, sodium erythorbate, sorbitan, sorbitol (could be Chametz unless manufactured in the U.S.A), soybeans and soy oil, stabilizers, starch (possibly Chametz), string beans, sunflower seeds,
- Vitamin C (could be Chametz),
- Xanthan gum (may be Chametz).
List of products that may be derived from corn, as listed by the IRT corn allergen list:
*Most of these products fall under the dispute of Kitniyos Shenishtana, as explained in the Q&A!
- Acetic acid • Alcohol • Alpha tocopherol • Artificial flavorings • Artificial sweeteners • Ascorbates • Ascorbic acid • Aspartame • Astaxanthin • Baking powder • Bleached flour • Blended sugar (sugaridextrose) • Calcium citrate • Calcium fumarate • Calcium gluconate • Calcium lactate • Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) • Calcium stearate • Calcium stearoyl lactylate • Caramel and caramel color • Carbon methylcellulose sodium • Cellulose microcrystalline • Cellulose, methyl • Cellulose, powdered • Cetearyl glucoside • Choline chloride • Citric acid • Citrus cloud emulsion (CCS) • Coco glycerides (cocoglycerides) • Confectioners’ sugar • Croscarmellose sodium • Crystalline dextrose • Crystalline fructose • Cyclodextrin • DATUM (a dough conditioner) • Decyl glucoside • Decyl polyglucose • Dextrin • Dextrose (also found in IV solutions) • Dextrose anything (such as monohydrate or anhydrous) d-Gluconic acid • Distilled white vinegar • Drying agent • Erythorbic acid • Erythritol • Ethanol • Ethocel 20 • Ethyl cellulose • Ethylene • Ethyl acetate • Ethyl alcohol • Ethyl lactate • Ethyl maltol • Fibersol-2 • Flavorings • Food starch • Fructose • Fruit juice concentrate • Fumaric acid • Germ/germ meal • Gluconate • Gluconic acid • Glucono delta-lactone • Gluconolactone • Glucosamine • Glucose • Glucose syrup (also found in IV solutions) Glutamate • Gluten • Glycerides • Glycerin • Glycerol • Golden syrup • High fructose corn syrup • Honey (Corn may extend its reach to honey either directly by being added to the end result, as an unlabeled ingredient in the form of HFCS, or because HFCS is sometimes fed directly to honey bees.) • Hydrolyzed corn • Hydrolyzed corn protein • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein • Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose • Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose pthalate (HPMCP) Inositol • Invert syrup or sugar • Iodized salt • Lactate • Lactic acid • Lauryl glucoside • Lecithin • Linoleic acid • Lysine • Magnesium citrate • Magnesium fumarate • Magnesium stearate • Maize • Malic acid • Malonic acid • Malt syrup from corn • Malt, malt extract • Maltitol • Maltodextrin • Maltol • Maltose • Mannitol • Methyl gluceth • Methyl glucose • Methyl glucoside • Methylcellulose • Microcrystalline cellulose • Modified cellulose gum • Modified food starch • Molasses (corn syrup may be present; know your product) • Mono- and di- glycerides • Monosodium glutamate • MSG • Natural flavorings • Olestra/Olean • Polenta • Polydextrose • Polylactic acid (PLA) • Polysorbates (e.g. Polysorbate 80) • Polyvinyl acetate • Potassium citrate • Potassium fumarate • Potassium gluconate • Powdered sugar • Pregelatinized starch • Prop ionic acid • Propylene glycol • Propylene glycol monostearate • Saccharin • Salt (iodized salt) • Semolina (unless from wheat) • Simethicone • Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose • Sodium citrate • Sodium erythorbate • Sodium fumarate • Sodium lactate • Sodium starch glycolate • Sodium stearoyl fumarate • Sorbate • Sorbic acid • Sorbitan • Sorbitol • Splenda • Starch (any kind that is not specified) • Stearic acid • Stearoyls • Sucralose • Sucrose • Sugar (not identified as cane or beet) • Sweet’N Low • Threonine • Tocopherol (vitamin E) • Treacle (aka golden syrup) • Triethyl citrate • Unmodified starch • Vanilla, natural flavoring • Vanilla, pure or extract • Vanillin • Vegetable anything that’s not specific • Vinegar, distilled white • Vinyl acetate • Vitamin C and Vitamin E • Vitamins • Xanthan gum • Xylitol • Yeast • Zea mays • Zein (used in time-release medications)
 Admur 453:4
 Admur 453:3 and 4
 Admur 453:5
The reason: As they are similar to grains which upon coming into contact with water become Chametz. [Admur ibid]
 Implication of Admur 453:5; Chayeh Adam 127:1; Maharsham 1:183; Beir Yitzchak 11; Marcheses 3; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 453:3
 Mamar Mordechai 32; Forbidden according to alternative reasons for why Kitniyos is forbidden, as explained in A; See Avnei Nezer 373 and 533; Sdei Chemed 6:1-2; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid
 Admur 453:4
 The reason: Based on the reason mentioned above, only legumes are forbidden due to the custom, being that they are similar when cooked, to the cooking of the 5 grains. However, seeds are not forbidden according to the custom, being that they are not similar to grains. [Admur ibid]
 Admur 453:6
 Implication of Admur 453:5; Tzemach Tzedek O.C. 56; Terumos Hadeshen 113
Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is permitted to eat Kitniyos oils. [Maharsham 1:183; Orach Mishpat O.C. 109]
 Admur ibid in parentheses
 See Maharsham and Orach Mishpat ibid regarding oil; Furthermore, one can compare this to musk [blood of the male dusk deer] of which many Rishonim and Poskim rule that it is permitted to be eaten due to “Panim Chadashos.” [See Admur in Seder Birchas Hanehenin 11:5 who records a dispute in this matter and concludes one is to be stringent by a Biblical prohibition; See Torah or Mamar Chayav Inish]
 Igros Moshe O.C. 3:73
 Igros Moshe 3:63 [writes that from the letter of the law peanuts are permitted to be eaten, although in places that the custom is to be stringent one may not permit them to eat it.]; Rav Yaakov Landau OBM, as heard from his son Rav Eli Landau, ruled that peanuts are not Kitniyos and may be eaten;
 Rav Landau used to give a Hashgacha for Pesach on cookies made with peanuts. [Heard from Rav Eli Landau]; See Mikraeiy Kodesh 2:60 and Chelkas Yaakov 1:96 who permit peanut derivatives, such as peanut oil
 Milameid Lehoil 88; Mikraeiy Kodesh 2:60; Chelkas Yaakov 1:96; Igros Moshe ibid; Nitei Gavriel 38:4
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 453:5
 Shaareiy Teshuvah 453:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos 453:7
 Shaareiy Teshuvah 453:1 “In these areas the widespread custom is to eat coffee”; Madrich of Eida Hachareidis
 Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid in name of Tov Ayin of Chida “A certain Gadol wanted to prohibit coffee”
 Chida ibid that one who does so avoids any similarity to Kitniyos; Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid “This is a Chumra of Pesach, and one who does so is blessed”
 Madrich of Eida Hachariedis, as instant coffee is cooked/steamed, and at times is done in the same factory and machinery as non-Kosher animal products.
 Heard from Rav Eli Landau who stated that even instant coffee under a good Hashgacha is possibly ok to be used; This is similar to sugar of which the Rebbe writes that it may be used with a good Hashgacha.
 Chayeh Adam in Nishmas Adam Pesach 20
 The reason: As their flour looks similar to grain flour and an ignoramus may come to permit even flour of grains if it were to be allowed. [ibid]
 P”M 453 M”Z 1 with exception to areas who have accepted upon themselves to not eat it; Sheilas Yaavetz 2:147; Aruch Hashulchan 453:5; Divrei Malkiel 2:112; Orchos Chaim 467:5; Igros Moshe O.C. 3:63 that the custom was never to be stringent; Piskeiy Teshuvos 453:8
 Custom of some communities, brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 453:8
 Rav Blumenkrantz writes that it is not considered Kitniyos, as would follow according to Igros Moshe regarding all products that do not have a prior tradition to prohibit; In addition, quinoa is a seed and not a legume.
 Rabbi Blumenkrants
 See Avnei Nezer 373 and 533; Maharsham 1:183; OU Kashrus; Heard from Rav Eli Landau;
 Terumos Hadeshen 113
 Terumos Hadeshen 113; Beis Shlomo Y.D. 177; Minchas Elazar 4:34; See however Maharsham 1:183; Orach Mishpat O.C. 109
 Mikraeiy Kodesh 2:60 in name of Rav Chaim Ozer; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 453:6
 Minchas Yitzchak 3:138-2; 4:114-3; Cheshev Haeifod 2:18; Implication of Terumos Hadeshen ibid regarding sesame oil and hemp oil
 Nitei Gavriel 38:5
 Heard from his son Rav Eli Landau, and that it was used in their home over Pesach.
 Igros Kodesh 21:96; See Shulchan Menachem 2:223
 Admur 453:3
 Admur 453:3; See P”M 453 A”A 1 that Turkish wheat is not a grain and cannot become Chametz. Some translate this to refer to corn, which mainly cultivated in Turkey; Aruch Hashulchan 453
 Admur 453:4
 All commercially produced lecithin is made from soy
 Admur 453:3
 Admur 453:3
 Admur 453:4
 Admur 453:3; See Chok Yaakov 453:5
 Admur 453:3