Will Jewish chocolate addicts be soon forced to give up some of the favorite ingredients of their diet?
British company Masterfoods recently announced that as of the beginning of May, 2007, it has started using animal products in some of its most popular chocolate bars, including Mars Bar, Bounty, Snickers, Twix and Milky Way, which are also sold in Israel.
The products will contain non-vegetarian whey made with animal rennet.
The change in the composition of ingredients has outraged vegetarians in the UK, who will no longer be able to enjoy the chocolate bars, but has also raised concern among kosher keepers, who are worried about the products’ kashrut.
On Monday, Rabbi Ephrain Levin of the London rabbinical court's kashrut unit published a statement assuring Jewish consumers that the new ingredient does not compromise the chocolate bars’ kashrut, and that the court does not plan to deem it non-kosher.
However, the Chief Rabbinate in Israel seems to have a different stance on the issue. “If they are using rennet, then this is a very, very serious problem,” said Rabbi Haim Lasri of the import department at the Chief Rabbinate.
“We approached rabbis abroad who are dealing with the matter, and it’s possible that kashrut will be granted in the future only if there is a change in the ingredients,” he added.
Chaim Levinson contributed to the report