There was once a time when the kashrus status of candy was very sim-ple and could be determined very quickly. All one had to do was ask the person who made it in their home, usually one’s grandmother. After investigating this-close-to-home source, they most probably would find that it was made by melting cane sugar together with some berry or other natural fruit flavor. In those days life was simple. Today, we are faced with a candy industry that is the ninth largest food producer in the U.S. Instead of producing a limited number of old fashioned candy varieties, over 1,200 modern-day candy companies produce nearly 2,000 varieties of confections. Considering the fact that to produce this much candy, over 73 million pounds of eggs and an incredible array of flavorings are used, it behooves the kosher consumer to learn the facts about the candies on the market today.
Some of the Problems
In order to extend the shelf life of candies, ingredients such as hydrogenated shortenings, emul- sifiers and anti-oxidants are added, which commonly include mono- and di-glycerides (sometimes processed from animal fat), propylene glycol, egg yolk (sometimes ova– unlaid eggs from non-kosher chickens) and gelatin. Some specific problems with candies are:
Gelatin (there is very little gelatin made from kosher slaughtered animals available anywhere in the world today).
Oils, flavorings (can be a grape derivative, among other problems).
Glycerin (to retain moisture).
Monostearate (often animal derivative, used as a bloom inhibitor) emulsifiers, shortenings, oil.
Flavorings, gelatin, anti-oxidants
Whipped Candies, Nougats, Frappes:
Albumen (sometimes from non-kosher eggs); gelatin.
In conclusion, while we have greatly benefited over the years from many additional types of candies, we are likewise faced with many additional problems in eating them. However, with so many companies vying for a larger share of the market, many companies have sought and obtained reliable kosher certification for their products.