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Q: A friend of mine works for a reputable hashgachah, and he told me that his certification lets companies use pure maple syrup and honey even if they aren’t kosher certified. Is that true?
A: Although your friend’s report is accurate, that leniency only applies to commercial use of maple syrup and honey where the processing of the pure material doesn’t raise any kashrus concerns. However, when those items are packaged for retail use it is somewhat common for them to be heated so as to lower their viscosity and make it easier to pump them into the containers, and this same equipment might also be used to heat non-kosher items. Therefore, food-service and retail-sized containers of maple syrup and honey require kosher certification even if there are no other ingredients used.