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BEHIND THE

Union symbol REACHING 7,000 FOOD EXECUTIVES & OVER 8,000 PLANTS WORLDWIDE

Fall 2012

Thailand

ask the rabbi by Rabbi

Nachum Rabinowitz. Since months of preparation by manufacturers and kashrut agencies go into the Passover season, Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz answers the question, “What is kosher for Passover?”

thailand A Land of Tradition, Technology and Tuna, by Rabbi Chaim

Goldberg. The globe-trotting Rabbi Goldberg, OU Kosher’s fish expert, visits a new part of the world for him, explains how tuna is certified, and reflects on his opportunity “to experience the sights, smells, tastes and sounds of Thailand.”

new companies go kosher with ou

enzymes Understanding Enzyme Modified Cheese

Flavors, by Rabbi Gavriel Price. Rabbi Price delves into food chemistry, asking how “to unlock the flavor latent in fresh cheese without having to wait for the natural processes to perform this task on their own.” The answer is enzymes. And yes, there are kosher ramifications.

tunisia What Would Hannibal Say? Products of

beverages Rule New Trends Grow the Market. “What’s driving Americans to Drink?” asks OU Senior Writer Bayla Sheva Brenner, as she explores the booming sales of beverages, with the impetus provided by energy and health drinks, in exotic flavors, blends and sizes. “L’Chaim,” she declares.

Tunisia, an Ancient Land, Thrive Under OU Certification. Tunisia is more than just desert. Given its fertile soil and plentiful coastline, the country now manufactures olive oil and pasta products that carry the OU symbol. The OU’s Dominican-born, Israeli-educated, resident of Brooklyn, NY, Rabbi Moshe Machuca, keeps an eye on the kashrut there.

ABC’s . . . STUV’s The Two Parts of Your Kosher Program, by Rabbi Eli Gersten.It’s not exactly as easy as ABC, but with the help of Rabbi Eli Gersten, OU Kosher companies obtain insights into the two parts of a kosher program: the intricacies of producing the product, then ensuring that the product remains kosher during transit.

ABC s


Heinz and OU Kosher Decades Together and More to Come, by Janet Oesterling and Tim Gaus. In 1923, Heinz was the first major food producer to seek kosher certification from the OU, for its vegetarian beans; now decades later, the relationship is stronger than ever. Company executives Janet Oesterling and Tim Gaus look back on the past and firmly into the future of these ties, including OU certification of Heinz’ new plant in Mexico.

yachad Not Just Another Day at Camp:

My Visit to Yachad’s First Vocational Day Camp Program, by Batya Rosner.You don’t have to be a child to enjoy a day at camp, and BTUS dispatches OU Assistant Director of Public Relations Batya Rosner to a vocational day camp program operated by Yachad, the OU’s agency to involve those with disabilities in the full range of Jewish life. There she eagerly observes Yachad members staff the camp’s roster of employees.


s e g a r e Bev ! e l Ru r e n n e r B a v e h S By Bayla

New Trends Grow the Market

Y

ou’d never know the economy was ailing based on beverage sales. New beverage trends featuring energy and health drinks, in exotic flavors, blends and sizes keep streaming into the marketplace at an ever-quickening pace. And current data indicates there’s no sign of saturation in sight. People are buying more RTD (Ready to Drink) products than ever before. MarketLine, an online market research company, re-

ports that the soft drink industry is predicted to hit almost $310 billion in 2015. The United States leads the group with a near 43 percentage share in the market, generating almost $125 billion in sales. In 2015, the U.S. soft drinks market is predicted to exceed $127 billion. So, what’s driving Americans to drink? According to Rabbi Yosef Grossman, OU Kosher long-time rabbinic coordinator for numerous beverage companies, it started

with RTD bottled water back in the nineties with people on the go grabbing a bottle to sip and stay hydrated throughout their busy day. “Now it’s anything to do with water,” he says. “Add flavoring, vitamins, antioxidants, vegetables, energy boosters and you’ve got a multi-functional beverage.” Apparently, the marriage of convenience and function has done the seemingly impossible. Americans are finally “eating” their vegetables! “That’s the creative genius in this


industry’s direction,” says OU Kosher rabbinic field representative Rabbi Aharon Shapiro, who visits many beverage companies. “Let’s put it in a bottle, give it some flavor and they’ll at least drink their fruits and veggies.” In 2000, Sambazon of San Clemente, California, one of the pioneer manufacturers of healthful RTD fruit and vegetable juices, introduced the increasingly health-conscious public to the “superfruit,” acai, (pronounced ah-sigh-ee), a grape-like fruit harvested from acai palm trees, which are native to the rainforests of South America. Proponents claim that the fruit serves as a good source of antioxidants, fiber and omega fats. Bolthouse Farms in Bakersfield, California, the nation’s largest grower, harvester and processor of carrot products, jumped onto the OU certified healthful vegetable and fruit juices wagon in 2003. Keeping up with the trends, it added an antioxidant-rich acai berry juice line, incorporating exotic embellishments as pomegranate, mangosteen, and cacao three years ago and saw a 30–40 percentage beverage sales surge. “People know they need to eat healthfully; they’re looking for an alternative,” says Jim Robbins, Vice President of Quality and Food Safety. “They find that in our juices and smoothies, it’s a conve-

nient and tasty way to fill that need.” The latest addition to the beverage market mix, coconut water, has captured the interest of both established and emerging OU certified companies, including AriZona, Mona Vie, Sambazon and Zico—as well as an enthusiastic buying public.

Coffee, Kids—and a Good Night’s Sleep With this deluge of flavors, fortifiers and vitamins, even coffee and tea aren’t just coffee and tea anymore. “The concept of flavoring has pervaded the beverage industry,” says Rabbi Shapiro. “Americans won’t drink or eat plain anything anymore. If you only have one flavor, you have a limited market.” Avi Blau, flavorist turned entrepreneur, employed his expertise to launch

RealBeanz, a Brooklyn, NY-based OU certified iced coffee company, with hormone-free milk, vitamins and nutrient-enhanced flavors. With close to 80 distributors across the country, Blau recently tried coconut water instead of plain and now can’t keep up with the production. “As much as we put out gets sold,” he says. “In just over 14 months, we’ve sold over a million cases. We see it emerging as a new line on its own.” At the end of a busy, flavorful, drink-fortified day, Americans can now sip their way to a tranquil night’s sleep. Created by two former investment bankers, Dream Water, a shot glass full of GABA, melatonin, and tryptophan, helps promote a healthful state of relaxation before bedtime. “We invest billions of dollars waking ourselves up with energy drinks; you also have to sleep right,” says David Lekach, co-founder of Dream Water, which features Snoozeberry (blueberry and pomegranate flavors), Lullaby Lemon and Pineapple


PM—all OU certified. “They’re also perfect for long plane rides.” Making sure younger palates are also enjoying more healthful beverages, Hansen Beverage Company, of Corona, California, a natural beverage company since 1935, manufactures OU certified Junior Water with organic fruit flavors, as well as juice boxes packed with 17 vitamins and natural flavor. Evidently, the combination of less sugar and OU Kosher certification creates a winning blend. “A group of Canadian ladies informed me that they actually drive over the border to the States to buy our juice boxes,” says Milton Schlosberg, President of the company. “They fill up their cars with juice boxes, because their kids love it and they’re OU certified.” “Going OU was one of Sambazon’s first decisions,” says Jason Moraff, Brand Manager. “OU’s has the greatest kashrut legacy of the highest standard of kosher certification. It’s a signal that what’s in the bottle is good, you could trust it. We

need to partner with folks that are trusted by the consumers.” A trip to beverage sections of America’s major supermarket chains such as Costco, Target, Krogers, Wegmans, Safeway, Stop and Shop, Walmart, as well as Duane Reade, reveals the growing mainstream appeal of the new beverage trends. Yet all these industry newcomers don’t seem to be hurting America’s longtime carbonated thirst quencher, soda pop. Big Red, Inc., headquartered in Austin, Texas, one of the top 10 beverage companies in North America, still draws a slew of satisfied consumers. “Some of the larger and even smaller players in the industry put so many different varieties out that the consumer becomes confused about

what they are drinking,” says Scott Jackson, Vice President. “When people talk about Big Red, they know exactly what it is.” Jackson reports Big Red, an OU certified beverage, is looking into ingredients that have a health and energy benefit while at the same time not deviating from its basic formula. “From a baseflavor standpoint, the formula today is what it was back in 1937. That’s the key, not deviating from Big Red’s original great taste.” At the end of the day (and throughout the day), we drink to sustain and enhance the quality of our lives. So, while the beverage trends continue to flow with no slowdown in sight, let’s lift up our preferred bottles and enjoy every convenient, functional and flavorful sip. “L’chaim!” Bayla Sheva Brenner, a frequent contributor to BTUS, is Senior Writer in the OU Department of Communications and Marketing.

OU kosher

Rabbi Menachem Genack Rabbi Moshe Elefant

Rabbinic Administrator / CEO Executive Rabbinic Coordinator / COO Director, New Company Department

Rabbi Yaakov Luban Rabbi Moshe Zywica

Executive Rabbinic Coordinator

Executive Rabbinic Coordinator, director of operations

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz Rabbi Yosef Grossman Rabbi Yerachmiel Morrison Rabbi Abraham Juravel Rabbi Howard Katzenstein Harvey Blitz Rabbi Kenneth Auman Rabbi Emanuel Holzer

Vice President, Communications and Marketing senior rabbinic coordinator senior educational rabbinic coordinator Ingredient Approval Registry Ingredient Approval Registry Director, Business Management Chairman, Joint Kashrut Commission Chairman, Rabbinic Kashrut Commission Chairman Emeritus

Orthodox Union Dr. Simcha Katz President

Rabbi Steven Weil Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb David Olivestone

Executive Vice President Executive Vice President, emeritus senior Communications officer

B e h i n d t h e U n i o n S y m bo l

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran Stephen Steiner Batya Rosner Yocheved Lefkovits

Editor-in-Chief Editor Assistant to the editor art director


An Introduction to

OU Certification and the Kosher Marketplace:

Dear Friend,

>

A PowerPoint Presentation

Thousands of companies choose OU Kosher certification. OU Kosher is recognized as the world’s largest and most respected kosher certification agency and symbol. OU Kosher certification is a clear mark of superior quality, and OU certified companies know that having the OU Kosher symbol enhances the marketability of their products worldwide. The OU Kosher symbol opens untapped channels of distribution in new markets for OU companies, thereby increasing their revenues. The PowerPoint presentation for which you have the attached link can be used to educate and enlighten your colleagues about why OU certification is so important to your company. Share it as well with your suppliers, your customers, and others with whom you do business. It will give them a better understanding of the scope and reach of OU certification, the ever growing kosher marketplace, and the OU advantage for your company’s growth and development. They will agree that OU certification is a major contributor to your company’s success.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran Editor-in-Chief, BTUS

a


OU Company Certified for 50+ Years

+ Decades Together and More to Come Starting with H.J. Heinz’

idea of selling authentic horseradish and displaying its quality in clear glass bottles, and through the efforts to pass the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, the H.J. Heinz Company had already earned its reputation as the “Pure Food Company” from 1869 through the earliest part of the last century. Continuing this proud tradition, in 1923 Heinz was the first major food producer

By Janet Oesterling and Tim Gaus

to seek kosher certification from the Orthodox Union. The company had noted a growing demand among consumers who considered kosher foods to be of the highest quality, and so wanted to be able to use a formal designation. Vegetarian Beans were the first product from Heinz to be certified kosher, and the company worked with the OU to design the familiar “Circle U” symbol. It is said that a Heinz staff member would pick up the local Pittsburgh mashgiach, or kosher supervisor, and transport him to the North Side plant in the early morning hours to supervise the production of vegetarian beans. Eventually, he was given his own office within the facility. “Considering the time, this was remarkable,” said Daniel Butler, the grandson of Frank Butler, Heinz’ first mashigach.


The 1939 Heinz Sales Manual has a section titled “Jewish Dietary Laws and the 57.” It notes that, “The Jewish people with their rigid religious dietary laws are among our most important customers,” and lists 61 foods with the Circle U symbol, starting with vegetarian beans and continuing through condiments, pickles, baby food and vinegar. By 2008, Heinz kosher products numbered 250 items. In 1946, the company produced a 24-year Hebrew-English calendar, with a one-page advertisement for vegetarian beans, reading, “The information, contained in this booklet, was compiled in the hope that it helps to meet a vital need of the Jewish public.” In 1999, the Orthodox Union presented William R. Johnson, President and CEO of the H.J. Heinz Company, with the National Centennial Kashruth Founders Award in recognition of the company’s pioneering role in the production of the first major consumer kosher food. “It took extraordinary insight, foresight and vision on the part of both the rabbis and the Heinz leadership to see that one day the kosher symbol would mean so much, “ said Mr. Johnson. “Our 76-year-old partnership with the OU has turned into a family,” he added. And our kosher product portfolio has grown extensively since. Some of our most recent kosher certified products that have been added to the portfolio are our new Heinz Homestyle Beans and more of our Ore-Ida potato products. There are currently eleven Heinz factories that are OU certified with our most recent certification at our Guadalajara, Mexico plant. That was a challenge for our Heinz team and the OU. “For Heinz Mexico, achieving kosher certification was a truly valuable experience,” said Esteban Valdez, our Latin America Engineering Manager. “We knew from the beginning that several requirements were to be fulfilled. The OU was very helpful. This encouraged us to continue despite the challenges we faced.  One of the main challenges was the fact that we had to adapt to this strict discipline, especially on the cleaning of the line; but the team was ready to succeed and they complied with all the required and recommended actions. For Heinz, the OU

symbol means a lot, as we are committed to delivering the best quality products to all our customers and in particular to this important community.” Training plays an important part in our commitment to understanding kosher requirements. In December 2011, Rabbi Avraham Stone, Senior Rabbinic Field Representative at the OU; Rabbi Nahum Rabinowitz, Senior Rabbinic Coordinator at OU Kosher, who has served as the kosher account executive for the HJ Heinz Company for the past two decades; and Rabbi Shimon Weiss, Rabbinic Field Representative for the Pittsburgh area who started with Heinz at the old Pittsburgh factory in 1997, presented an in-depth training and informational seminar at the Heinz Innovation Center in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. The seminar was attended by over one hundred Heinz employees. According to Kurt Deibel, Vice President Quality Assurance & Food Safety for Heinz North America, “One important part of the Heinz Kosher program is continual training.  Recently, several leaders from the Orthodox Union presented an excellent seminar on kosher history and requirements at our Innovation Quality Center in Pittsburgh.  This type of reinforcement training is invaluable and reminds factory workers the importance consumers expect from kosher labeled foods, especially OU.  Kosher labeling has been part of the Heinz culture since the early days of the company and continues to be a strategic part of our continued success.” As Heinz looks to the future, we are confident that with the help and guidance from the Orthodox Union, we will continue to provide consumers with the quality kosher products that they have grown to depend upon. Janet Oesterling is Senior Technologist, Government & Regulatory Affairs, Heinz North America; Tim Gaus is Manager-Library Services, Heinz North America.


Thailand

Land of Tradition, Technology and

By Rabbi Chaim Goldberg

view of the famous floating market

Tuna


T

The OU has sent me to some beautiful and exotic locations, though until now they have kept me in the same hemisphere (be it Western or Northern). My latest assignment this past March, to review several OU factories in Thailand, brought me completely out of my comfort zone (geographically speaking). Preparing for a 12+ hour flight is complicated enough for a traveler (comfortable clothes, reading and entertainment materials, snacks, etc.): a traveling field rabbi has it even tougher. One never knows if the airline will have a kosher meal or not, which means preparing something substantial enough to hold him through to his destination that does not require heating and will not suffer too adversely without refrigeration, then not to have issues carrying the uneaten meal through customs (in case there IS a kosher meal waiting) and still be reasonably healthy! Just before midnight local time, my flight landed and the feeling of utter distance from home began to set in. Here I am in a tropical country (filled with signage in reasonably well-translated English) with a GSM phone that refuses to find reception and a cab service that overcharged me by 50 percent to get me to my hotel (due to the lateness of the hour coupled with sleep deprivation, I forgot rule number 1 of price quotes in Thailand: all prices are negotiable unless told explicitly otherwise. The airport itself was full of interesting displays and artwork, worthy of a little tour and some photography… but I opted for the quick exit and introduction to my hotel room instead! My travel arrangements were prepared by the local Bangkok Jewish community, headed by Rabbi Yosef Kantor, an Australian-born American who has run the local synagogue and outreach center since 1993. He is assisted by a team

White, Light, Flake, Chunk, Solid:

A Tuna Primer for the Budget-Conscious

Here are some interesting points about tuna which may be valuable for the budget-conscious amongst you. q The difference between “white” and “light” tuna is not just looks. “White tuna” refers exclusively to albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga), while “light” tuna can refer to any of several lower value species of fish (though typically it refers to skipjack tuna, sometimes yellowfin, bigeye or tongol). Many prefer the taste of light tuna, and the fact is that the alerts issued regarding methylmercury are for albacore and not light tuna (probably because “light” fish tend to be smaller). q “Flake” vs. “Chunk” vs. “Solid”: You might have noticed that “solid” (either white or light tuna) tends to be the most expensive of the three. This is not necessarily because it is better quality fish, but because it comes from the whole muscle and not from the parts cleaned off in the loin- making process. “Chunk” and “flake” are the pieces which are not part of the whole muscle (for complete definitions of the difference between them see Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR161.190). Practically speaking, the chunk/flake product is still perfectly good quality fish and it is easier to mash up with tuna into sandwiches, so guess which one my family enjoys! —Rabbi Chaim Goldberg

of dedicated professionals from around the world running the local business office, multiple synagogues, center for international tourists, kosher restaurant, ritual bath house and school. One could hardly imagine finding a more welcoming and vibrant Jewish community anywhere in the world, particularly one whose dedication to foreign travelers (Thailand is a well-known destination for post-college travelers from the U.S., Europe and Israel) is evident at every turn. Thailand has a wide range of kosher product manufacturing types. Most of the OU factories produce items for export which are caught or grown locally, especially the tuna manufacturing which was my focus. On this trip, I had the pleasure of visiting plants operated by these

OU certified tuna producers: Asian Alliance International, Pataya Food Industries, RS Cannery, Southeast Asian Packing and Canning, Thai Union and Unicord Public Company. If you have a can (or soft-sided pouch) of tuna in your cabinet, flip it over to see the country of origin. The Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR 60) requires that various seafood products (including OU certified canned tuna items) produced outside of the United States declare their country of origin (as well as whether they are wild caught or farm-raised). There you are likely to find that your famous name canned tuna product is currently produced in Thailand, where the cost of production and the availability of fish have brought many famous consumer and food service tuna producers. If your


favorite brand of tuna comes from Thailand, that means an OU rabbinic field representative needs to be there as well! The process of making canned tuna is actually two separate processes, that of making frozen loins and then the canning of those loins. Raw fish are caught off the more than 1,000 miles of Thailand’s coasts (though most of the fishing takes place in the Gulf of Thailand, from which it is estimated that more than 75 percent of the total Thai catch is retrieved). The fish are gutted and frozen, then shipped to the processing facility. Here, the fish are thawed overnight, precooked (usually in live steam) and then cleaned. A plurality of the workers in a tuna loin plant are those whose job it is to take a precooked gutted fish and turn it into “loins.” Workers donning uniformcolored smocks, gloves and assorted hygienic garb use various tools to remove

the red meat (often used in the production of pet food), skin and bones, then scrape away bruises and other unwanted parts of the fish, finally smoothing the rough spots of remaining quarter loin into a “bullet” shape for freezing in cryovac bags. The next stage in tuna production is that of the canning. For domestic tuna, this usually entails placing slices of the loin (or chunk or flaked tuna meat) into a can, then filling it with a water or oil broth, sealing the can and then placing it in a batch retort for a second cooking. Once cooled, the cans are usually brought to a warehouse where they will be stored until orders come in, and then they will be labeled and shipped. For the OU, there are several issues we need to monitor

above, Rabbi goldberg at the floating market. top right, The The striped flag of the country and the yellow flag of the king adorn private residences and businesses around Thailand.

constantly in order to confirm a kosher canned tuna product. First, we need to guarantee the integrity of the fish supply itself. If the original fish being prepared is not a kosher species, there is nothing that can be done to make the product kosher afterwards. This step requires vigorous reviews of receiving documents, showing that quality control personnel have proper procedures in place to guarantee only kosher approved species of tuna are accepted into the plant. We will also review the ownership of the fish (if the plant purchases fish from fishing vessels, they have no interest in what the boat catches so much as the species they purchase. If the plant owns the fishing vessels, we will need to confirm how they dispose of non-approved by-catch species to make sure they are not handled in the facility), as well as the actual warehouses where the frozen fish are stored. Actually, in this tropical country (with March temperatures over 100˚ F) a little time in the freezers was quite a welcome part of the job! Next we need to monitor the ingredients and additives used in production. Oils are typically received from local suppliers, and shipping documents must confirm that the delivery received is one from an OU approved supplier in properly washed tankers and trucks. Many facilities also manufacture pet food items or products for local markets which might use flavors or additives that are kosher sensitive. The OU must confirm that either all the ingredients are approved


for these products as well, or that where the footprint for a large trinkets), the next stop was a trip they are handled in such a way as supermarket is just not practical. in a fishing vessel to a mangrove The love that the Thai people show forest where I tossed overripe to prevent intermingling with OU certified production. Some facilities for King Bhumibol Adulyadej is bananas to the monkeys and enjoyed have dedicated lines for pet food palpable. His picture (mostly in his some delicious tropical fruits in a or other non-kosher production, younger years) appears everywhere, fishing hut. and in these plants records of including in large frames adorned A rabbinic trip to Bangkok would handling and storage procedures with flowers along the highway. not be complete without a visit to must be reviewed to guarantee no The king’s flag (which is yellow and the local kosher restaurant, where I non-kosher ingredients are used in represents Monday, the day he was got to meet tourists young and old born) can be found flying in front of who came to enjoy a delicious meal certified products. We also need to review the stores, business and private houses, combining both Thai delicacies and equipment using in cooking the as a sign of additional dedication. traditional fare. tuna (both the pre-cookers and Displays of traditional Thai shrines This was by far the most exciting, the retort systems) to make sure that only kosher products are able to be loaded into kosher retort baskets for use in kosher retorts. For plants handling a non-kosher production line, retorts must have their wheel alignments on the bussie baskets (the carts which carry cans or pouches into a batch retort) arranged in such a way as to prevent placing a kosher basket in a non-kosher retort or a non-kosher basket in a kosher retort. We also need to review the steam systems in these plants, as retort steam is often recycled as condensate is returned to the boilers. In plants with nonkosher lines, condensate must be dropped or a separate boiler system set up for non-kosher production (which means the rabbi now needs The main synagogue, with its name written in English, Hebrew and Thai. to trace the return lines on the steam system to confirm the non- can be found in front of businesses, exotic and exhausting OU review trip kosher steam can only be sent to the manufacturing plants and even my that I was ever able to take. Anyone hotel, where the doorman placed a who is able to experience the sights, non-kosher system). The factories themselves are often china cup of tea in front of the lion smells, tastes and sounds of Thailand long drives from Bangkok, which statues every morning of my stay. is encouraged to do so, particularly A Sunday trip as a traditional tour- those of you with the chance to do meant returning to the hotel often at 8 p.m. or later. It was only on ist (finally!) included some time business with any of the more than 70 Sunday, after spending the whole in the famous floating market, OU certified production facilities there. week on the run, that I actually where I successfully negotiated got to see the area somewhat. One prices for souvenirs and for a fresh Rabbi Chaim Goldberg has managed the thing that really struck me was the coconut (whose delicious water lion’s share of OU certified fish companies number of 7-Eleven convenience can be enjoyed with a straw after for 10 years, and has reviewed the OU kosher programs in fish facilities on four stores (a U.S favorite) that I noted it is cut open in front of you with a of seven continents, after declining an during our travels. It seems there machete, thus completely changing offer to visit one in Antarctica. Rabbi are roughly 8,000 of them in one’s perspective of “fresh coconut” Goldberg stores his passport in Brooklyn, the country, and that they have for life). After seeing how coconut NY in a fort held down by his wife and revolutionized shopping in areas products are made (and buying more three children.


OU Kosher

Marketing Tips

I

f you’ve got it—flaunt it. Letting your customers know that you are OU certified should be as much a part of your marketing strategy as any other significant benefit your product offers. Here are some helpful hints: 3 If you have recently attained OU certification, place the OU symbol on your packaging as soon as possible. Studies show that products with the OU symbol increase sales. 3 Be sure the OU logo is large and clearly visible in your advertising—either on the product label or elsewhere in the ad. 3 Feature OU certification and the OU symbol on your web site, and link the logo to www.oukosher.org. That way the full range of OU activities will become known to your clientele. 3 Forward your company information to be included on the www.oukosher.org Featured Companies section. 3Ask our marketing department how to best reach the kosher consumer—countless consumers contact us every day about food products they can buy, places they can shop and eat, and information about kosher in general. 3 Plan special promotions around Jewish holidays: Passover (March/April), Rosh Hashanah (September) and Chanukah (December) are the most widely observed. 3Want your products to be found on www.oukosher.org when consumbers search? Be sure the product name listed on Schedule B is something that will come up in a search engine. Instead of listing ‘Tuna’, try ‘IQF Yellow Fin Tuna Steaks’ to generate the maximum number of hits. 3 Keep a link to your current OU Kosher Letter of Certification directly on your website. 3 Forward your promotional information to be featured on Orthodox Union social media accounts. We suggest including exclusive coupons. 3 If you maintain social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, your OU certification should be posted there as well.

Follow us on Twitter!

www.twitter.com/OUKosher

Become a fan on Facebook!

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Understanding

Enzyme Modified

Cheese

Flavors ]

B y R a bb i G a v r i e l P r i c e

A

bout thirty years ago, a fast-food chain was searching for a cost-effective way to boost the flavor of the processed cheese slice complementing the hamburger patty on its signature product. Adding flavor to the cheese was not an option -- the FDA would not permit flavor substitutes in a product called “cheese” – so the ingredient would have to come from cheese itself. Blending in aged cheese, which is filled with flavor, was also not an option because it failed the costeffective criterion (aged cheese is expensive). The company commissioned Dr. N.R. Gandhi, a biochemist then at Utah State with a deep and expansive knowledge of dairy processes, to find a solution. Dr. Gandhi came up with a novel ingredient that imparted the flavor profile of aged cheese, was derived from cheese, and yet was significantly less expensive than aged cheese itself. The company proposed the ingredient, which still lacked a name, to the authorities at the FDA, who approved its usage in the processed cheese slice. It was dubbed “enzyme

modified cheese flavor” and it is cited in Code of Federal Regulations 21 139, 169, which defines the standard of identity for pasteurized processed cheese. Enzyme modified cheese flavor starts with “fresh” or “unripened” cheese – cheese which has not yet had the opportunity to age, and therefore lacks flavor. The distinctive and complex flavors we associate with cheese are the result of a broad cascade of biochemical and chemical reactions initiated by microflora naturally present in fresh cheese curd. These processes take place over time. Cheddar cheese must be aged at least two months before it assumes the identity we associate with cheddar; romano takes five; parmesan and reggiano, ten. Time, however, costs money. Storing cheese costs money, the temperature control needed to store cheese properly costs money, and so do the workers needed to oversee the process. The key question for a food chemist working with the economic constraints of contemporary food production is how to unlock the flavor latent in fresh cheese without having to wait for the natural processes to perform this task on their own.


More simply: can the process be accelerated? Dr. Gandhi drew from the burgeoning field of enzyme technology for a solution. Enzymes are biological chemicals that catalyze biochemical reactions. They are the agents of change in biological processes, including those responsible for the development of flavor in cheese. Since the mid-twentieth century, advances in understanding how enzymes work provided scientists with ways of isolating and developing enzymes that could be used for diverse industrial applications, including the food industry. In many of the applications, the industrially-produced enzymes were used simply to accelerate – by many orders of magnitude--processes that would have otherwise evolved without them. The use of enzymes in fresh cheese follows this model. As cheese ages, and is maintained under controlled conditions, the natural microflora excrete enzymes—among them lipases and proteases—that break down milk fat and milk proteins to yield chemicals like fatty acids and amino acids that form just a portion of the constituents of a cheese’s flavor profile. In the production of enzyme modified cheese flavor, industrially-made enzymes, including lipases and proteases, modify the fresh cheese they’re added to by powering the biochemical processes that would have otherwise run their course. A number of complex processing and ingredient considerations play a role in enabling enzyme modification processes to occur. The fresh curd must be grated and pasteurized, and various ingredients are added. Temperature and length of incubation, timing of addition of the enzymes, and selection of the enzymes, are just some of the factors that contribute to the development of a targeted flavor profile. When the right conditions are in place, an enzyme modified cheese flavor can be produced in one to four days, as opposed to months. The new ingredient, “enzyme modified cheese,” being derived from cheese, was within the regulatory body’s expectations for what could be included in its standard of identity for processed pasteurized cheese. It also met the cost-effective criterion the fast-food chain

Storing cheese costs money . . . and so do the workers needed to oversee the process.

had set: by accelerating the aging process, enzyme modified cheese was less expensive than aged cheese. Another advantage, an asset in large scale food production, is that the flavor profile can be standardized, and therefore is consistent and predictable. Dr. and Mrs. Gandhi later found their own specialty ingredients company, Jeneil Biotech, in Saukville, Wisconsin, which is certified by the Orthodox Union, and which boasts a diverse, kosher-certified product line of enzyme modified cheese flavors, from blue cheese to Swiss. Victoria Skebba, Manager of Regulatory, Research and Development, Production, and Purchasing, noted that the applications for enzyme modified cheese now far transcend their original use in pasteurized process cheese. “In addition to the processed cheese industry,” she said, “EMC is used in sauces, dips, frozen foods, dressings, and soups.” Spray-drying EMC’s further expands the possibilities of their uses. “A multitude of value-added products, such as snack foods and seasonings can be created,” Ms. Skebba added, “Powdered sour cream, cheddar, and butter powders are a significant contribution to the market.” About fifty miles south of Saukville, in Racine, WI, another OU company, Butter Buds (a division of Cumberland Dairy Concentrates) has also been hard at work exploring the broad possibilities provided by enzyme technology and cheese. Tom Konar, Director of Research and Development, said that his team is constantly learning how controlling different factors in the production of enzyme modified flavors yields a different product. “When we add the enzymes, how to incubate the slurry, how to spray-dry the product” are among the factors that play a role in the final product. “There’s a lot of variables you can alter to make the flavors taste different.” The science is understood well enough, he commented, that they can begin with a fresh curd of cheddar cheese but control the process in such a way that their final product will be not be enzyme modified cheddar cheese, but enzyme modified cheese—blue type. Marcia Rauwerdink, Director of Business Development at Dairiconcepts, Springfield, MO, a third OU

Another advantage . . . is that the flavor profile can be standardized.


Managing Your Account Has Never Been Sim

certified producer, observed that the enzyme manufacturers themselves have fine-tuned their product so that manufacturers of enzyme modified cheese flavors can avoid some of the issues present in the first generation of enzyme modified processed pasteurized cheese. “You may have tasted a soapy note, or a bitter note, in a cheese slice,” she said. Innovations in enzyme technology have overcome that problem, and now suppliers of EMC can target very specific, subtle notes to customize and “layer” their product for their suppliers. The same fast-food chains that were interested originally in the development of more flavorful cheese

slices “are getting more culinary, if you will,” she said. “The result is that there are more smoky processed cheese, or more smoky Swiss processed cheeses. We ask our customers, what are the characteristics in the flavor profile? Do they want it more buttery, or more cheddary?” Enzyme technology equips them to reach these goals – not just for the fast-food chains, but for the kosher market as well.

Increased Efficiency, Greater Customization, Interactive Online Access

Rabbi Gavriel Price services the transportation, ingredients and flavors industries at the Orthodox Union. A frequent contributor to BTUS, his “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adulteration—Guarding Against the Dilution of Juice,”

Your Personalized Virtual Kashrut Office

Instant Management of Your Kosher Account Quick and Easy Kashrut


T O N Just Another Day at Camp My Visit to Yachad’s First Vocational Day Camp Program

By Batya Rosner

Annette dances with the young girls wearing their special capes.

Even adults love the opportunity to spend a day at camp—it doesn’t matter if it’s sleep-away or day camp.  Imagine my excitement to change my regular daily routine, consisting of an hour-and-a-half each way commute to a brick building in Manhattan, for one day at camp. 

My recent visit at Yachad’s first-ever vocational day camp program, hosted at Moshava Ba’ir (Camp Moshava in the City) in Paramus, NJ, involved me within the world of Yachad Inclusion as a major example of how Yachad does its wonderful work: designing a full regimen of responsible staff level activities that


(known around campus as the “Voc workers”) had been hired to work alongside regular staff members in all areas of camp life, among them: office work; kitchen and cafeteria staff; running the snack counter; and assisting within specialty fields such as arts and crafts, dance, cooking and baking, and sports.  I was warmly greeted by Ariella Silver, Director of the Yachad Vocational Program.  Every morning, she arrives early to get the camp schedule, where the children in attendance range from age five through 11,   in order to customize schedules for each voc worker based upon interests and strengths. Ariella explained to me that each Voc worker determines three personal and professional goals they wish to further develop through participation in the program.  Overwhelmingly, the Voc workers at Moshava Ba’ir are high functioning individuals with disabilities which were not always obvious to the eye. Before camp began in early July, Ariella personally interviewed each participant to address these goals.  I learned that these goals could range from social skills (such as increased eye contact, increased social interaction, increased self-advocacy), to hygienic goals (such as dressing professionally and not constantly touching hair), to professional goals (such as time management, understanding and giving directions, and being “work ready”).   “Yachad does a very thoughtful job to make sure the Voc workers are gaining broad life skills,” noted Dr. Joe Goldfarb, Yachad National Director of Summer Programs. “The goal of Yachad is Inclusion, and what follows is that it is critical for our vocational workers in camps to hold jobs that have real responsibilities; that they contribute to camp functioning in a similar way to staff who do not have special needs. A person having a job makes them feel accomplished, and that they are contributing meaningfully to society.  Completing a job in a positive fashion provides Yachad participants with a sense of satisfaction and pride.” Campers take their turns pouring cups of water over Avi’s head. That in mind, Ariella emphasized that the Voc workers purposely don’t wear Yachad shirts to stand out because they are considered staff.  This includes wearthey really do get it -- they value each camper and vocational worker regardless of disability.  Like Yachad, they ing Moshava Ba’ir staff shirts, hanging out in the staff believe in the ability of every individual. That’s what In- lounge, and if they function independently, working without a job coach directly supervising in the room.   clusion is all about.” My particular visiting day found me meeting six par- Job Coaches Kayla, Atara and Mindy served to encourticipants in the vocational program, on one of the busier age these goals and assist Voc workers to achieve them. days of the week.  Twice a week, Ellen, Devorah and Ne- Rabbi Menachem Hecht, Director of Moshava Bair, chama travel from Brooklyn to work at the camp.  Three stated, “One of the core values of Moshava Ba’ir as a others from New Jersey—Avi from Englewood, An- Bnei Akiva program is connecting to community and nette from Fort Lee, and Dorit from Elizabeth—were at building community.  This makes having a Yachad camp Monday through Friday. These vocational workers vocational program at camp a natural fit. Ariella is allow individuals to develop their social, professional, and life goals.  And of course, all of this is provided within an enjoyable setting and with a full dose of Jewish pride. Moshava Ba’ir is a popular program of the Bnei Akiva Religious Zionist youth movement, one of whose major initiatives involves community building. An agency of the Orthodox Union, Yachad/The National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the opportunities of individuals with disabilities, promoting Inclusion through various integrated activities and ensuring their participation in the full spectrum of Jewish life. “Everyone who has a disability has abilities,” emphasized Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, National Director of Yachad.  “Perhaps Yachad’s greatest area of challenge is helping the community to look beyond the disability, to the person and their individual abilities.  Yachad’s growing partnership with Bnei Akiva and Moshava camps across North America is so gratifying and encouraging because


terrific, and Joe Goldfarb and Nechama Braun of Brownies” were the treat of the day.  “My favorite activity Yachad’s national office have really helped to create a is baking, because of the delicious smells,” eagerly shared smooth beginning to our partnership.” Nechama with a grin.  Across the hall I was treated to the More than acting as a structured day of work, the aromas of cooking spicy rice.  Nechama assisted the campYachad program allows the interests and personalities of ers to measure and mix ingredients; give instructions; and the Voc workers to really shine.  to set up and clean baking supplies. Despite the summer heat, I was eager to get outdoors The comraderie between the Voc workers was warm for Avi’s sports session.  From the moment the 10 five- and palpable.  The day of my visit happened to be Avi’s last year-old boys and girls saw him, their little arms wouldn’t day, as he was leaving shortly to participate on Yachad’s stop waving and their little mouths wouldn’t stop exclaiming his name: “Avi! Avi! Hi Avi!”  With his warm, friendly demeanor, it was obvious to me that Avi, 28, loved working with the campers.  After leading stretches and various games with the soccer ball, Avi served as a goalie and raised the challenge that any camper who could kick the ball past him could pour a cup of water over his head.  Oh, did I laugh at the thought! But Avi was sincere, and oh boy, were those kids serious. Overall, six cups of water were poured over his head.  Who had more fun – Avi or the bunk? I don’t know. Taking a break from the heat, I was introduced to Annette, 35, who spent her mornings in the dance classes.  I met Annette tying colorful capes for a bunk of six-year-old girls be- Voc. workers, seen here with their job coaches, are hired to work fore they “flew” to a spot to make a circle.  An- alongside regular staff members in all areas of camp life. nette, who has a Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology, shared with me that a passion of hers is Zumba five-week touring program of Israel, Yad B’Yad.  Munch(an exercise class combining various dance styles), so her ing on kosher Dunkin Donuts, I was moved as each person morning’s routines were a great fit.  “I try to encourage the took a turn sharing well wishes and pleasant memories kids to focus on the activity, which could be line dancing, with Avi.  Later in the afternoon, I fully saw the friendIsraeli folk dancing or Zumba,” she tells me.  “The girls are ships of the Voc workers in action during a free period very sweet and I help them to enjoy.”  specifically designated for team-building.  Cheering each Twice that day I joined the Voc workers as they man- other on, they were strapped up and took turns climbing aged the camp’s snack station.  Once, when the ice pops ran a rock wall—not an easy feat even for myself.  Some beout before the line of eager campers, I was so impressed as came nervous of the heights, others felt physically unable Avi -- always with a smile -- reassured everyone that they to continue all the way to the top, but they were all met were getting more.  “How do you stay so calm?” I asked.  with roaring cheers from the first step until the last, and His response? “Patience is key.” with rounds of high-fives upon reuniting with the group. As Dorit, 22, set lunch tables with water pitchers and Equipped with my camera and notebook, and a healthy cups, she told me that she looked forward to the second layer of sunscreen, my day at camp was fun and delicious.  shift of lunch because that was when she could socialize But more than the swimming and tennis, or Israeli culthe most with the kids.  While most of the Voc workers ture workshops and baking projects, or arts and crafts and coaches ate lunch together in the staff section, Ariella and dancing, my day at camp was so enjoyable thanks to was beaming to point out how Avi sits with the teen boys a team of individuals—bright, friendly, and enthusiastic— hired to do “plugah,” Hebrew for work maintenance, since who showed me the very meaning of Yachad Inclusion. he’s just one of the guys. Walking down the hallway, I couldn’t resist popping Batya Rosner is Assistant Director of Public Relations for the my nose into the baking room, where “Buried Treasure Orthodox Union.


Ask the Rabbi

Reply by Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz As autumn and the holidays of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot are observed, a food manufacturer’s thoughts turn naturally to — Passover. Passover planning takes many months, so there is no time like the present to think about this food-centered holiday, with its own set of very strict kosher rules. Passover falls in 2013 from March 26-April 2. Question: What is Kosher for Passover and how can we achieve Passover status for our products? Answer: Passover is the springtime holiday commemorating the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt. Throughout that eightday holiday, kosher laws restrict the consumption of grain products and grain derivatives, except when prepared expressly as the Passover staple – matzah. Some products are inherently Kosher for Passover and can easily be approved for Passover just as they are normally produced year-round. Other products such as bread and pizza can almost never be Kosher for Passover. Many products, however, can be Kosher for Passover when produced with specifically approved ingredients, on especially cleaned equipment and with special supervision for the holiday. Those products are then awarded the coveted OUP seal. The first step in the Passover approval process is the submission of a Kosher for Passover approval form. A review of the ingredients will determine if any raw material changes or substitutions are required. An evaluation of processing equipment will establish the cleaning procedures in preparation for the Passover campaign. Finally, the Passover campaign will be scheduled with an OU representative in attendance. For industrial products, Passover approval can open doors to institutional customers who choose to maintain their Passover status year-round. The Passover segment also shares much synergy with the gluten-free market. While the Passover holiday is little more than one week long, the six weeks preceding the holiday represent one of the major kosher food shopping periods. And these six weeks are preceded by months of planning – so it’s time to start now!


Products of Tunisia, an Ancient Land, Thrive Under OU Certification By Rabbi Moshe Machuca

What Would

Hannibal Say ?

W

When one thinks of Tunisia, the site of the 1942 North African landings of the United States military under General Eisenhower that began the long process of defeating Nazi Germany, one may think of the trackless Sahara desert and believe that food production would be very difficult there. However, the remainder of the country consists of very fertile soil and 810 miles of coastline. The people are welcoming and enjoy a rich culture. French and Arabic are the official languages. The word Tunisia is derived from Tunis, the capital of the country. In ancient times Tunisia was inhabited

by Berber tribes, and in Biblical times, Phoenicians from Lebanon settled its coasts, bringing with them a Canaanite language very similar to Hebrew. The city of Carthage was founded by Phoenicians and Cypriot settlers, and grew to great fame and power under Hannibal and other generals, before being crushed by its great rival, Rome, in the two Punic Wars. The Roman war cry, originated by Cicero, was “Cartago Delenda Est,”— “Carthage Must Be Destroyed.” And so it was. The Romans controlled the country for centuries, in the Middle Ages Arabs conquered it, and beginning in


In order to be posted, at no cost, please submit the following information to Safrane@ou.org : t Name of company or brand to be featured t JPG image 75X120 t Website link t 25-75 word description of your products / company. t Currently featured companies can be viewed at:

@ www.oukoshe r.org

>>>

w www.OUKosher.org features OU certified companies and their products on its OU FEATURED COMPANIES section. Close to 1,000 companies are already posted, on the world’s most frequented kosher web site.

http//www. oukosher.org/ index.php/consumer/ featured companies/

wheat grown in tunisia

the early 1700’s it was ruled by the Ottoman Empire. OU Kosher certifies two fine companies in Tunisia, one in Tunis and one in Sousse. Tunis is the home of Tunihuille, a raw olive oil manufacturer and exporter. Tunihuille has a state of the art facility in the outskirts of the capital and exports the highest quality bulk olive oil in the country. In Sousse the OU certifies La Rose Blanche. A leader in pasta manufacture in the Tunisian market, La Rose Blanche is situated on a prime location overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Its plant has the most modern equipment available which allows the company to manufacture a wide variety of pastas of unsurpassable quality. Olive cultivation in Tunisia dates back to the 8th Century BCE, even before the establishment of Carthage. The unique mild climate, fertile soil and plentiful sunshine result in an olive oil with a distinctive fruity aroma and rich taste. With demand growing for higher quality olive oils in the marketplace, Tunisia is now making a larger percentage of its crop available to the world’s most discriminating palates in bottles and for use at the table and in cooking.

olive groves produce high quality olives


state of the art facility near Tunish, in which Tunihuille raw olive oil is manufactured.

Tunihuille is leading the way. According to Selima Ghariani, Logistics and Export Coordinator for Tunihuille, “Kosher certification plays a very important role in increasing the sales of our company. It’s one of the most important steps we can take for growing our olive oil business. OU Kosher is the most respected kashrut certifying organization in the world and it is accepted by all of of our international clients. “Obtaining kosher certification will expand our market potential. OU Kosher offers an economical and competitive fee structure. In addition to observant Jews, many others people, including Muslims, Seventh Day Adventists, vegetarians, vegans and health conscious individuals look to kosher certification to assure the quality of the food they consume. Having OU Kosher certification is a competitive advantage in the ever-challenging business environment of the modern food industry.” La Rose Blanche, the 2007 winner of the Superior Taste Award of the International Taste and Quality Institute of

Brussels, was established in 1901. The company’s millers and pasta makers have succeeded in combining a timehonored manufacturing process with state of the art equipment. Tunisians certainly know their pasta, being the second largest consumer in the world, just behind Italy and ahead of France and Spain; when one includes couscous, Tunisians hold the first rank in worldwide cereals consumption with an average of 35 kg. per year. La Rose Blanche exports its pasta all around the world. Its products include varieties of couscous, short pasta, long pasta, soup pasta and special pasta. According to Belghith Anis of the Export Department, which was organized in 2007, “La Rose Blanche attaches great importance to its export business and is found in several markets around the world, including the United States. The American market is very competitive and so to satisfy the greatest number of consumers we needed kosher certification, which is the standard many of our customers demand. We chose the OU because of its thousands of certified companies and its superior reputation in the American market.” Rabbi Moshe Machuca serves as OU’s rabbinic field representative in Tunisia. Born in the Dominican Republic, Rabbi Machuca studied at the Yeshiva Ohr Sameach in Jerusalem. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and two children.

tunisia’s products include a large variety of pasta.


ABC’s . . . STUV’s:

By Rabbi Eli Gersten

The Two Parts Of Your Kosher Program

There are really two parts to any kosher program. The first part involves the intricacies of producing the kosher product, while the second part involves ensuring that the kosher status remains uncompromised in transit until it reaches its intended destination. The first steps we refer to as the ABC’s of kosher, and the second part we can call the STUV’s.

A B C

Refers to Schedule A

Schedule A is the list of approved ingredients and suppliers. Some ingredients are approved from any vendor while others are only approved from specific suppliers, and yet others might be only approved when bearing a lot-specific seal and/or certificate.

Schedule B is the list of products to be certified and their appropriate kosher designation [e.g. OU Dairy, OU Fish, OU Pareve, or OUP (which stands for kosher for Passover)].

Refers to Schedule B

Refers to Critical Control Points (ccp)

D E

Refers to Schedule D

Since every system will have certain inherent weaknesses, it is necessary to properly identify the critical control points (i.e., places of vulnerability) and devise controls. This might include requiring signoff sheets in the receiving department to make sure that incoming ingredients are double checked against Schedule A; or this might include installing probes to record and verify that equipment always remains below a specific temperature. Schedule D is a list of company or plant-specific conditions under which the kosher program is constructed. For example, in a plant that produces pareve, dairy and noncertified products, Schedule D would include a timetable to be followed designating when each product is to be produced, such as pareve will always be produced at the beginning of the week, followed by dairy, followed by uncertified products and a kosherization over the weekend. It would also spell out which, if any, productions require the presence of a rabbinic field representative (RFR).

Equipment must be dedicated for kosher or undergo a cleaning and kosherization, essentially making the equipment like new.

Refers to Equipment

What You Need, When You Need It


S T U V W XYZ Refers to Seals

Seals must remain intact for OU certification to remain in force. For example, if drums of glycerin were not sealed in a tamper-resistant manner, or the seals were cut without approval from the RFR, then since we can no longer vouch for the authenticity of the product, it cannot be accepted as kosher.

Bulk transportation of liquids must be sent out in a kosher approved tanker truck or railcar. Some trucking companies maintain a fleet of kosher dedicated tankers and railcars.

Refers to Transportation

Refers to Upgrade Wash

Upgrade Wash is the term used to refer to a type of truck wash that is equivalent to kosherization. The upgrade wash allows a previously uncertified tanker to haul kosher products. The OU is happy to provide a list of approved truck washes that can perform this service.

VIN # and other identifying marks can be used to identify dedicated kosher tankers, ISO containers or totes.

Refers to Vin #

Equipment must be dedicated for kosher or undergo a cleaning and kosherization, essentially making the equipment like new.

Refers to Wash Ticket

Refers to Schedule A

ReeXamining Your policieZ. Even the best policies eventually become outdated. Your rabbinic coordinator or rabbinic field representative will be happy to discuss with you how they can give your kosher transportation policies a tune-up and put you back on track. 

Rabbi Eli Gersten serves as OU rabbinic coordinator—recorder of OU policy. A frequent contributor to BTUS, his “24-Hour Downtime” appeared in the Spring, 2012 issue.

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On Your Website >> Post the OU logo—one of the world’s best-known symbols of added attention to quality—on your website. We will send you a beautiful, hi-res OU logo.


Newly Certified Companies

O, O Ozersky

Large Russian Confectionary Company Is Now Certified by the OU

T

he “Ozersky Souvenir” Confectionary Factory, one of the largest manufacturers of confectionery products in Russia, received OU Kosher certification in late 2011. The company in located in the city of Ozery, southeast of Moscow, with its perfect environment for the manufacture of fine candies. For almost 75 years, Ozersky Souvenir has been the leader in the Russian market for nuts and dried fruits under a chocolate coating. According to Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz, OU Senior Rabbinic Coordinator who worked with the company in setting up its OU certification, “This is an exciting development, the kosher certification of value added products manufactured in Russia. As Russian food imports to the West increase, we look forward to the growth of OU Kosher in Russia.” The product line combines European quality and state-of-the art equipment with the best traditions of Russian confectioners, all in an up-to-date image. Modern technology together with exotic ingredients help to create high quality products with a unique flavor. Ozersky Souvenir pays special attention to its ingredients – selective nuts and juicy dried fruits, all of which undergo thorough quality control inspections, and are purchased from reliable suppliers in the United States, Turkey, Chile and Thailand.

Products are popular both in Russia and abroad, as noted by the numerous awards and prizes they have been awarded at Russian and international exhibitions. Ozersky Souvenir candies are both delicious and healthy: each contains real dried apricot, prune, cherry, almond, hazelnut and other natural products, with their large number of nutrients and vitamins. The “Factory” manufactures more than 100 confectionary products and candies. Besides its traditional branded dried fruits and nuts in a chocolate coating, the company features other sweets popular with both Russian and foreign customers: chocolate candies; delicate cream-past candies; candies with a crispy wafer base under a milk chocolate coating; and natural marmalade with berry and fruit pieces.

Ozersky manufactures sweets under the “NUTland Treasures” trademark in which almond, hazelnut, walnut, pineapple or cherry are found under a chocolate coating. Candy connoisseurs are also familiar with the “Orehovochi” trademark line, consisting of candies and panned sweets made of nuts under various chocolate coatings, as well as “Fruktovichi” sweets – Prune Mikhailovich and Dried Apricot Petrovna and their “closest relatives, Pineapple Denisovich and Cherry Vladimirovna.” The “O’Zera” brand of “djanduja” type sweets with their intriguing flavors “happy morning,” “successful day,” “romantic evening” and “passionate night” are made of exotic cocoa-products with hazelnuts and are manufactured nowhere else in Russia. The “Fruitstory” series of milk chocolate candies with nut or fruit-andberry fillings made of oranges, almond and strawberry are also very popular. The Souvenir Confectionary Factory line is not complete without mention of “Fruttobella” candies with the taste of raspberry, strawberry, nut and coffee resulting in fruit-andberry marmalade and creamy chocolates with the trademark “Ozersky Souvenir” crispy filling. New products manufactured in Russia only by Ozersky include the “O`Zera Elite Line”—unique chocolate in the form of cubes made of rare exotic cocoa beans, growing only at plantations


of Africa, South America and Madagascar. The line includes four kinds of chocolate—a noble dark chocolate with high cocoa content; bitter chocolate with caramelized shredded hazelnut; delicate milk chocolate with almond; and original chocolate made according to the

classic recipe, the standard of quality. Ozersky confectioners have also created a product that is innovative for Russia – crispy Fruitstory panned sweets in a delicate milk and white chocolate coating in the form of funny hearts, stars and balls, highly popu-

lar among children and all those who want to pamper themselves with a candy novelty. Rabbi Kalman Scheiner serves as OU Kosher rabbinic coordinator for Ozersky.

Newly Certified Companies

OU Kosher Says “Hi” to the

The Cheese Guy

as it Receives Certification

T

he Cheese Guy, makers of high end, small batch, primarily handmade artisanal cheeses, has received certification from OU Kosher. The Cheese Guy partners with the very best familyowned dairy farms in order to produce extra creamy jacks, crumbled blues, local sharp cheddars, tangy goats and imported Italian and European specialty cheeses. “We work hard to ensure that we offer the finest cheeses, and now that we are certified by the OU, our kosher consumers can be assured that our cheeses are held to the highest kashrut standards,” said Brent Delman, Founder of The Cheese Guy.

“We are excited to be taking kosher cheeses to entirely new heights.” Some of The Cheese Guy’s cheese wheels are naturally aged and washed with organic extra virgin olive oil by Mr. Delman in the New York cheese cellar. This is done in order to give the brand’s cheese a complex flavor and sharpness usually found in European style cheeses. Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, OU Kosher Rabbinic Coordinator and Group Leader, who administers The Cheese Guy’s OU Kosher program, explained that, “Due to the uniqueness of The Cheese Guy’s cheeses -- so many of which must be cultivated and aged under special con-

ditions, or which have other distinct features uncommon to the general kosher cheese market -- the OU has tailored a special kosher program specific to the products. This experience has given us new insights into specialized cheeses, and we are proud to work with The Cheese Guy to provide full-time on-site supervision to his top-quality and often exotic products.” The adventurous spirit will love The Cheese Guy’s exotic combos like jalapeño cheddar jack and marble. Those who crave Bleu Cheese should try The Cheese Guy’s distinctive version, made by third generation Wisconsin master cheese makers. While most of The Cheese Guy cheeses are produced domestically at family owned dairy farms, some cheeses are produced abroad in Italy, made in the finest Italian tradition in small dairies that dot the Italian countryside. Mr. Delman urges consumers to try The Cheese Guy’s Pecorino Romano cheese aged over 18 months – calling it “the best of the best!” For more information, please visit www.thecheeseguy.com.


Behind the Union Symbol