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The Jewish faith has strict dietary laws concerning every type of food that may be eaten. For a food item to receive kosher certification, it must meet certain standards provided within these kosher dietary laws. Kosher candy and sweets must meet the same standards as other kosher products to be considered kosher, or proper, for consumption by individuals who practice the Jewish faith. The certification of kosher candy is usually provided by an organization that includes rabbinical scholars and religious leaders of the Jewish faith to ensure full compliance with kosher dietary laws. While it is not essential that a rabbi or religious leader preside over the production of kosher candy, the strict religious guidelines of the kosher dietary law must be adhered to.
There is a variety of kosher candy available on the market today, including some kinds of chocolate, lollipops, some kinds of licorice and other candies. Kosher foods, including candy, are usually clearly marked on the label with their kosher certification or with the letters, K, U or P inside a circle. For those who live in remote areas and intend to fully comply with kosher dietary laws while satisfying their sweet tooth, online shopping for kosher certified foods can make the task easier.
To satisfy the Jewish dietary restrictions, kosher candy must be made using specially prepared kosher products, including any milk, eggs or other animal products. If non-kosher products, such as lard made from pork is used, the whole product becomes non-kosher. Even grape juice or wine is considered non-kosher for the Jewish diet if the product does not originate from a Jewish source and would be excluded from use in the making of kosher candy.
According to the Jewish dietary laws, certain animals are considered unclean, or non-kosher. These non-kosher animals include swine, horses and insects, so all of the animal products used in making kosher candy must be thoroughly evaluated to ensure the final product is kosher. While this statement may seem out of place in regard to candy making, because many candy recipes call for animal by-products, such as coloring (often made with insect parts) lard (made from rendered fats of swine or other animals) or gelatin (often made from horses hooves), the prohibition becomes more relevant.
In addition to restrictions regarding the food products used in kosher candy, Jewish tradition also states that certain religious customs must also be upheld during the candy-making process. When cooking kosher candy or other kosher sweets, the candy maker must be careful to follow the applicable Jewish traditions for food production, such as ensuring that ingredients which require tithing have been properly tithed by their manufacturer. In addition, Jewish dietary customs also require that the equipment used in the kosher candy making process remain kosher as well. If a piece of equipment is used in the process of making non-kosher products or comes into contact with a non-kosher item, it is considered to be unclean, or treyf, and therefore non-kosher. This strict dietary law often necessitates that kosher food producers specialize in kosher products only to avoid accidental contamination by non-kosher food products or equipment.