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    We are all familiar
    with the customs of
    kitniyos on Pesach, but
    who does it apply to,
    what is included in the
    custom, and what about
    derivates or extracts
    from kitniyos?
    The Custom
    The custom among
    Ashkenazik circles
    is not to eat kitniyos
    which includes rice, buckwheat, millet, beans
    and lentils, peas, and mustard. An Ashkenazi
    Jew should not be lenient with regard to eating
    kitniyos. The custom among the Sefardim is that
    kitniyos may be eaten. Although, some poskim
    say that even Sefardim should not eat rice.
    However, the minhag of most Sefardim is to eat
    rice on Pesach.
    The custom to refrain from eating kitniyos
    emerged after the time of the Gemorah, about the
    time of the Maharil (approx 1427). It has become
    the accepted custom. It is a custom which is a
    chumra, not according to the letter of the law.
    Nonetheless, the Aruch Ha’shulchan says “one
    who is lenient in this it is testimonial that he has
    no fear of Hashem or fear of sin, and he is not
    a expert in the ways of Torah.” In addition he
    says “this custom is followed by all of Germany,
    France, Russia, and Poland, and all of their
    descendants, which has a good reason, and a
    snake should bite one who derives from it.”
    Some say the reason to refrain from eating
    kitniyos is because it grows in fi elds that are
    adjacent to the fi elds where chometz is grown,
    and some wheat (chometz) may be mixed into
    the kitniyos. Since it is impossible to sift the
    grains, it may become chometz when the grains
    ferment. In addition, many times one grinds
    the rice into a powder which resembles fl our.
    An unlearned person may then think that this is
    wheat fl our and use regular wheat fl our as well.
    Furthermore, according to the stringent opinion
    it is not eaten because of a lo plug: just as wheat
    is forbidden so this is also not eaten. The opinion
    of the Rabbeinu M’noach is that because when
    one eats kitniyos, one does not have true simcha
    and one is supposed to have simcha on Yom Tov.
    From When?
    The custom is that those who refrain from eating
    kitniyos do so from Erev Pesach at the time
    when chometz is forbidden.
    Which Additional Items are Included
    Aside from items listed above, additional items
    are also included in the minhag to refrain from
    eating on Pesach. Beans, Bean sprouts, Black
    eye peas, Canola Oil (see below), Caraway,
    Chickpeas Corinader, Corn, Corn Syrup (see
    below), Cumin, Dextrose, Emulsifi ers, Fennel,
    Fenugreek, Flax Seeds, Green beans, Kimmel,
    Lechitin, Lentils, Licorice, Lucerne, Lupine,
    Millet, Mustard, Popcorn, Poppy Seeds, Saffron,
    Sesame Seeds, Snow Peas, Soy Oil, Soy beans,
    Soy, Starch, Stabilizers, String beans, Sunfl ower
    Seeds, Tofu. However, coffee, tea, garlic, and
    radishes, are not included in the chumra of
    Spices are not included in the chumra of kitniyos.
    Nonetheless, one should check them and other
    kitniyos (when permitted) to make sure no
    chometz grains where mixed in.

    There are some poskim who include potatoes
    in the minhag to refrain from eating kitniyos
    on Pesach, since they too, are ground into
    fl our which can be confused with grain fl our.
    However, this opinion is not accepted today.
    Horav Moshe Feinstein zt”l says that we only
    defi ne something as kitniyos if there is a custom
    to regard it as kitniyos. Since the custom of
    kitniyos dates back to the times of the Maharil
    and potatoes did not reach the shores of Europe
    until the 16th century, they were never included
    in the chumra. Also since there is a great need
    for potatoes on Pesach kept this kept hem away
    from being prohibited.
    Horav Moshe Feinstein zt”l says one who has
    the custom to refrain from eating peanuts should
    adhere to his custom. However, one who does
    not have such a custom does not have to refrain
    from eating peanuts. Peanuts and peanut oil are
    permitted on Pesach and not included in kitniyos
    because any food which was not around at the
    time of the chumra is not forbidden (see potatoes
    above). The custom of some is to be lenient
    regarding using peanut oil as well.
    Paper Towels
    One may place food directly on paper towels,
    and need not be concerned about starch. There
    is no chumra, issur, or minhag to prevent a drop
    of kitniyos from falling into food. Indeed, the
    Shulchan Aruch permits the use of a lamp fi lled
    with oil from kitniyos even though it is certain
    that some of the kitniyos will be sprayed onto
    food. In the case of the paper towels, there is
    no certainty at all of any leaching into the food.
    In the case of the paper towels, no one has ever
    confi rmed the leaching of even a molecule
    of starch from the paper towel into the food.
    The kitniyos starch is so fi rmly bonded to the
    paper towel that an iodine test won’t’ reveal its
    Derivatives from Kitniyos
    Although the Rama clearly says that oil made
    from kitniyos is not permitted on Pesach. Some
    say if it is made before Pesach it is permitted, the
    custom follows the Rama.
    Many times a company will make oil from a
    grain There is a discussion in the poskim if oil
    made from kitniyos has the same status as the
    grain itself and an Ashkenazi would not be able
    to use it on Pesach, or is it not considered from
    the grain and permitted?
    This is very common with soybean and corn
    oil. The opinion of Horav Kook zt”l was to be
    lenient. However, the accepted custom is to be
    stringent. Therefore, the custom is not to use
    soybean or vegetable oil. Some say that canola
    oil, which is actually “rapeseed oil,” belonging
    to the mustard and cabbage family, should not
    be used on Pesach as it was around at the time
    when the issue of kitniyos was accepted upon
    those who follow the custom to be stringent. Oil
    from olives, palm, coconut, and walnuts are not
    subject to the chumra of kitniyos.
    Cottonseed oil is made from extracted oil from
    the seeds of the cotton plant after the lint has
    been removed. The Minchas Yitzchok is unsure
    whether to permit its usage for Pesach. Horav
    Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l says the custom
    is to refrain from using this oil on Pesach. The
    Tzelhmer Rav zt”l was lenient. The custom in
    Eretz Yisroel is to be stringent and avoid using
    cottonseed oil, but in America cottonseed oil is

    permitted, following the custom of Horav Moshe
    Feinstein zt”l, Horav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l,
    and all the Rabbonim who came from Europe.
    Kitniyos Derivatives
    An example of kintniyos derivatives is cornstarch
    and corn syrup (including high fructose corn
    syrup): corn starch comes from the starchy part
    of the corn. To make corn syrup, enzymes are
    added to the corn starch turning it into a syrupy
    mixture of glucose, dextrose, and maltose.
    Another example of a kitniyos derivative is
    lecithin which is made from soybeans. Most
    halachic authorities agree that corn syrup has the
    same status as corn and is subject to the halachos
    of kitniyos. Most major Kashrus organizations
    do not certify products for Pesach made from
    kitniyos derivatives.
    Kitniyos Sh’nishtana
    The Mishnah Berurah says regarding “musk”
    which is a byproduct of blood that is found in the
    stomach of a deer that we can consider it changed
    since the blood is turned into a new entity. This
    is how many poskim hold. He ends off that one
    can rely on this if there musk is butel in sixty in
    the food. Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita holds that
    although the Mishnah Berurah may be lenient we
    should not certify an issur d’rabbanan which is
    nishtana, although by Pesach it is allowed since
    kitniyos is only at best a minhag. The custom
    is to permit the use of kitniyos sh’nishtana and
    there is no reason to be stringent. Those who are
    stringent are doing so because they think it is a
    chumra to do so but that is not correct.
    Horav Elyashiv Shlita is reported as not allowing
    kitniyos sh’nishtana for Pesach..
    Corn syrup which is changed into sorbitol is not
    considered a change (nishtana) and therefore is
    subject to the halachos of kitniyos. This is also
    true for dextrose. However, if the corn syrup
    is turned into ascorbic acid, it is considered
    changed and is not subject to the halachos of
    kitniyos. Citric acid is produced from, kitniyos,
    but is certifi ed for Pesach use (see below).
    In order for kitniyos to be qualifi ed as nishtana,
    the kitniyos has to go through a signifi cant
    change in taste.
    Kitniyos sh’nishtana plays an important role
    in certifying diet soda since it is made from
    aspartame which is a sweet enzyme that grows
    on derivative of kitniyos. The custom of OU and
    KOF-K is to be lenient and certify such products.
    Others are not convinced that this should be
    done. The custom of Rabbi Landau in Eretz
    Yisroel is not to certify diet soda for Pesach that
    uses aspartame.
    Sodium Erythorbate is kitniyos sh’nishtana
    which is used in Pesachdika frankfurters.
    A different kitniyos sh’nishtana goes into
    frozen gefi lte fi sh. Other kitniyos sh’nishtana
    ingredients are malto dextrin, NutraSweet,
    polysorbates, sodium citrate and xanthan gum.
    Some examples of kitniyos sh’nishtana which
    are certifi ed by the OU: citric acid, and erythoric
    acid. Enzymes fermented from kitniyos are also
    kitniyos sh’nishtana.
    Propylene Glycol
    Propylene glycol can be made in two ways.
    One is a petroleum based formula and the
    other is from glycerin which is processed from
    vegetable, rapeseed, and palm oil. The fi rst is
    not a concern of kitniyos, but the second method
    would depend on whether we consider rapeseed,
    palm or sunfl ower oil a concern of kitniyos. The
    petroleum based method is much cheaper and

    most commonly used to make propylene glycol.
    About 5% of propylene glycol is produced from
    glycerin. The custom is to treat this product as
    kosher for Pesach.
    Quinoa (“keen-wa”)
    Quinoa is a sesame sized kernel, of the beet
    family and does not resemble any of the fi ve
    grains which are chometz or kitniyos. Some say
    it may be used for Pesach. However,
    the custom is that Quinoa is not used for Pesach
    since it is used the same way as wheat.
    Benefi t
    Even according to the stringent opinion, kitniyos
    is not chometz. One is allowed to have enjoyment
    from kitniyos, something which is not allowed
    by chometz. Based on this, one is permitted to
    feed his animal a product which is kitniyos. One
    is also allowed to keep kitniyos in one’s house
    during Pesach if it has a hechsher without selling
    it to a goy. One should write on the product that
    it is kitniyos.
    One is permitted to feed kitniyos to children,
    including baby formula that contains kitniyos.
    One may give kitniyos to his children as long as
    there is a need for it, and there is no maximum
    age. Some say it is proper to keep separate dishes
    for kitniyos food. Others hold there is no reason
    for this to be done and one may use the same
    utensils. The utensils may be washed in the same
    sink as non-kitniyos items.
    Sick r”l – Pressing Situation
    One who is sick r”l (even if he is not in danger)
    may eat kitniyos on Pesach. Based on this, one
    who is sick would be able to take a pill which has
    kitniyos. When one is in a pressing situation, one
    can eat kitniyos.
    Other Halachos Regarding Kitniyos
    Some say in Eretz Yisroel the custom was to
    permit the eating of kitniyos. This is not true
    today. A person who lives in Chutz L’aretz who
    fi nds himself in a place where the custom is to
    eat kitniyos must not eat there.
    One who depends on his father for support must
    follow his father’s custom in regard to kitniyos.
    A woman from a Sefardi background, who ate
    kitniyos all her life, may not do so if she marries
    an Ashkenazi. However, if the husband agrees,
    she may follow her old custom. If an Ashkenazi
    woman gets married to a Sefardi then she may
    eat kitniyos, but some say she should be matir
    neder beforehand.
    If an Ashkenazi Jew fi nds himself in a Sefardi’s
    home on Pesach, he may eat the food that was
    cooked already in pots that cooked kitniyos.
    Kitniyos is butel in rov if it was mixed into a
    food on Pesach.
    Kitniyos is not muktzah for an Ashkenazi
    person, since one is able to give it to a Sefardi.
    In addition it can be given to a child who is need
    of it.
    The Bais Din said that in order for nishtana to be
    a heter the food may have to become nifsal from
    being eaten by a dog (nifsal m’achilas kelev),
    otherwise it does not work as a heter. However,
    this matter was left undecided since others say
    that nifsal… is not required. The Bais Din was
    not quick to permit the use of Quinoa for Pesach.