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Q: I’m researching probiotics was wondering if you can comment on the kashrus issues of probiotic supplements. [Probiotics are microorganisms which are considered helpful to digestion and general health.]
A: Probiotics which are in a swallowable pill form are not edible and are therefore acceptable for use even if they are not kosher certified. Those sold in powder or liquid form must bear kosher certification for the following reason. Sometimes the probiotic itself is kosher-sensitive due to the ingredients it contains or how it is processed (spray drying or freeze drying), and other times the inactive ingredients (e.g. lactose, flavor) are what makes the overall product require kosher certification. If a consumer has a question about a specific probiotic, they should call the cRc office and someone can try to help them determine if it is suitable for kosher use.