The standard for the designation “dairy” for kashrus purposes is different from the government standard. Many products approved by the government as “non-dairy” are actually dairy according to Jewish law. (See also “Non-dairy products,” page 134). A common example of this is “non-dairy creamer.” Even when this product is certified kosher, we often will find an O/UD or O/KD, as these products often contains casein, a milk derivative.
Three classes of dairy ingredients exist:
1. Dairy by nature: milk, cream, cheese, butter, etc.
2. Milk derivatives: casein, lactalbumin (see albumin), lactose, potassium caseinate, sodium caseinate, whey. (Lactic acid is pareve unless it is used in a dairy product.)
3. Dairy by contamination from equipment and utensils: many baked goods, chocolates, margarine.
Products that need to be checked carefully because they regularly contain the above ingredients are: margarine, “non-dairy” products, baked goods (cookies, pretzels, cake mixes, etc.), and breakfast cereals.
Dairy foods such as yogurt, sour cream, and whipping cream require supervision. Common problems: gelatin, emulsifiers, stabilizers, flavors, colors.
Products such as sour cream, buttermilk, cottage cheese, and others require supervision. Common problem: rennet and gelatin.