What Products Are Yoshon?
Some are inherently yoshon if they contain purely winter wheat, spelt and rye at least in the USA and Canada. For other items, people stock up to prepare for keeping yoshon. Read the labels carefully when stocking up after Pesach. Unfortunately, there are some products that one might not think about that could contain chodosh. Nowadays with so many people having gluten allergies, it is easy to see when wheat is used in a product. For a complete list of generally yoshon items, harmless, yet scary-sounding ingredients, and potentially problematic products, see "Buying Products".
What Can Be Possible Chodosh?
- "Spring wheat" is the main culprit, and makes all wheat and commercial baked goods problematic after July.
- Rye in itself is always yoshon, but rye products such as crackers and bread are generally made with other types of flour as well, making them susceptible to being chodosh.
- Malt, made from barley is a very common ingredient that becomes chodosh later in the season. It is often a nearly unnoticed ingredient in wheat flour. This having been said, some Poskim hold that the amount of Malt in some products is so insignificant that it is "Botul" or nullified in items such as flour. If it is used as a flavoring, it may not be Botul in cases such as rice cereals. For those who hold the stricter opinion and do not hold it Botul, we list the Malt Date.
A Quick Guide to the 5 Grains:
Wheat: This most common grain has two seasons. Winter Wheat is yoshon, and Spring Wheat is chodosh. Some US flour may be Winter Wheat and is yoshon year-round if no spring wheat has been added. It may contain Barley Malt as well and must be checked. Most matzah and matzo meals are yoshon. Wheat starts to be chodosh around late July to mid-August.
Products to Stock Up On: Baby foods, bagels and bagel chips, bread, bread crumbs, buns, burritos & wraps, cakes, cereals, chow mein noodles, cookies, crackers, croutons, doughnuts, egg rolls, flour tortillas, frozen doughs and crusts, granola bars, noodles, pasta, pastries, pies, pita bread and pita chips, pizza, pretzels, rice & stuffing mixes, vital wheat gluten, wheat flour, and processed vegan products (most contain wheat gluten).
Barley: The second crop to become chodosh, around early to mid-August. It must be bought early in the season. Although often thought of as something you find in soup or cholent, it can be hidden in a variety of other items in the forms of "barley malt", "malt", or "malt flavoring". Barley Malt generally becomes chodosh in mid-December.
Products to Stock Up On: Barley water drinks, beer, cholent mix, malted milk balls, malted milk shakes, multi-grain breads or cereals, pearled barley, prepared soups and soup mixes.
Items Possibly Containing Malt: Alcoholic beverages, liquors, baby food, corn flakes, rice cereals. Flours can have malt added. However, some poskim hold that the amount may not be significant enough to worry about.
Oats: This is always the first crop to become chodosh, therefore one must stock up on Oat items earlier than other foods. Oats generally start to become chodosh in July.
Products to Stock Up On: Cereals, granola bars, multi-grain breads, oat flour, oatmeal, oatmeal cookies, rolled oats.
Items with Possible Added Chodosh Ingredients: Some kosher vitamin supplements can have Oat additives.
Spelt: This is generally not Chodosh when from the US. If it is imported from any other country (other than Israel), it has to be checked out.
Spelt is a type of Wheat often eaten by people who are somewhat intolerant to Spring and Winter Wheat. It is said to be easier to digest, and is made into specialty products like Spelt flake cereal, Spelt bread, crackers and matzos. Due to other possible additives, one should check the "Guide to Chodosh" by Rabbi Y. Herman for Spelt products.
Products to Stock Up On: Bread, cereals, and crackers. Due to the general Yoshon status of Spelt, there is not a lot to stock up on, unless a product is made with other grains as well.
Rye: This is generally not chodosh when from the US. If it is imported from any other country (other than Israel), it has to be checked out.
The US Rye crop in itself is always yoshon, but Rye products such as crackers and bread are generally made with other types of flour as well as Rye, making them susceptible to being chodosh.
Products to Stock Up On: Bagels and bagel chips, bread, buns, crackers, frozen rye bread doughs, pretzels.