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General Kashrus Policies

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The juices of almost all fruits and vegetables are inherently kosher, with the exception of grape juice, which requires hashgachah to ensure that it is not stam yayin. However, once the juice is squeezed out of the fruit or vegetable, it will spoil within a few days unless something is done to prevent that from happening. One option is to freeze the juice, and that does not pose any kashrus concerns. [Frozen juice is commonly concentrated before freezing, and that process does not pose a kashrus concern.] Therefore, frozen juice does not require hashgachah assuming (a) it does not contain grape juice, and (b) there are no kosher-sensitive additives.

A more common way to prevent juice from spoiling is to pasteurize it, which involves heating the juice for a few seconds to neutralize pathogens. Sometimes pasteurization is strong enough that the juice is "shelf-stable" which means that it does not require refrigeration, e.g., cans of tomato juice, juice boxes, or bottles of apple juice. In other cases, a less intense pasteurization is done, and the juice must remain refrigerated to prevent spoilage. The equipment used for all types of juice pasteurization is very flexible and can also be used to pasteurize grape juice, milk, and even such diverse items as chicken soup and other liquid beverages. This means that pasteurization might compromise the kosher status of 100% juice. For this reason, all pasteurized juices require reliable kosher certification, even if they do not contain any kosher-sensitive ingredients.

One partial exception to the above rule is refrigerated orange juice (due to how and where it is pasteurized). While it is preferable that it only be purchased with hashgachah, if no certified brands are available one may purchase any brand of orange juice, as long as it is refrigerated, and it does not contain any kosher-sensitive ingredients or other juices.