We would like to sell our chometz directly to a gentile and are packing up our chometz in boxes. Can you offer us some guidelines as to which items we can keep over Pesach and which items should be sold?
Any item that has a Torah or rabbinic violation of possession during Pesach must be sold or destroyed before Pesach begins.
Items that are not edible to an animal are not considered food and one is permitted to possess them. Food items that are kitniyos are also permissible to own and do not need to be sold.
Manufactured foods that are entirely chometz or are a mixture of chometz and other ingredients are forbidden to possess. Even if there is less than a kezayis (3 cc) of chometz in the product and the chometz content is more than 1/60th (1.66%) of the food product it should be sold or destroyed. If there is less than a kezayis (3 cc) of chometz in the product and the chometz content is less than 1/60th (1.66%) of the food product it still should be sold or destroyed, provided that it is an essential ingredient of the product.
The incomplete list below may offer you some direction as to how to make the correct decision when deciding what you should get out of your possession for Pesach.
A general rule of thumb is that if an item has numerous ingredients and you do not recognize all of the items and how they are made, you should consume it before Pesach, sell it, give it away or destroy it. A food item that has a hechsher for Pesach from an observant supervisor who you do not recognize, although you may wish to act cautiously and avoid eating the item, nevertheless, you do not need to sell the item. This is also true for a Sefaradic hechsher that you may not recognize. It may be kitniyos and you should not consume the item on Pesach but it is seems reasonable to rely on the supervisor with regard to possession of chometz.
Since selling chometz can be a taxing, stressful responsibility, I recommend that after Purim you should start clearing your cupboards of their chometz and avoid buying chometz products indiscriminately assuming that you will just sell everything as Pesach approaches.
A consumer may be uncertain whether certain ingredients are kitniyos, chometz or neither. If the amount of the suspected chometz, is less than a kezayis and is less than 1/60th of the entire product (and is distributed equally throughout the product) then it will be batel beshishim and not only permitted to keep during Pesach but even permitted to eat on Pesach. The only exception to this rule is when the chometz which was purposefully added is an essential ingredient to the product.
ITEMS THAT SHOULD BE SOLD
|Barley||Safek chometz, (pearled raw and packaged may not be chometz)|
|Cereal (if main ingredient is wheat, oats or barley)||Chometz Gamur|
|Chometz content more than a kezayis and can be eaten in less than four minutes||Ta’aroves Chometz
Issur Achiloh and bal yei’roeh
|Chometz content more than a kezayis that is not eaten within 4 minutes and the flavor is not spread throughout the mixture||Ta’aroves chometz
|Chometz content is less than a kezayis but greater than 1/60th of product and flavor has spread throughout mixture e.g., possibly small box of Corn Flakes||Ta’aroves chometz issur achiloh (ta’am ke’ikor) and issur shehiyoh on Pesach|
|Chicken soup mix||Safek chometz|
|Flour||Safek Chometz, not always in contact with water even if bleached|
|Herbal tea||Safek chometz|
|Ketchup||stabilizers, oil, dextrose, vinegar (possibly real chometz), flavorings|
|Mayonnaise||MSG from hydrolyzed protein (sometimes wheat, usually corn), oil, flavorings, sweeteners, vinegar (possibly chometz)|
|Oatmeal (Aveeno® skin care for bath)||Chometz Gamur|
|Soy Sauce||Safek chometz|
|Vanilla extract||Safek chometz (alcohol possibly from chometz)|
|Wheat gluten||Chometz Gamur (when unknown amount in product)|
|Wheat protein||Chometz Gamur (when unknown amount in product)|
|Whiskey||Chometz Gamur often distilled from fermented mash of grains including barley, oats, and wheat|
ITEMS THAT CAN BE KEPT
|Items that can be Kept||Halachic Status|
|BHA||Sometimes from corn (kitniyos)|
|BHT||Sometimes from corn (kitniyos)|
|Chometz: less than 1/60th of product and less than a kezayis total||Batel before Pesach and permissible to eat if not mixed purposefully and is not essential to product|
|Cosmetics||Inedible to animals and not chometz|
|Detergents||Inedible and not chometz|
|Kitniyos||Permissible to benefit from and to possess|
|Maltodexterin (carbohydrate made from corn starch)||kitniyos|
|Plain roasted peanuts||Not kitniyos unless there is a specific custom. However, generally not used by Ashkenazim in Eretz Yisroel|
|Processed food on chometz (eino ben yomo) equipment before Pesach with no chometz content||Batel before Pesach. One should not plan to cook in such a fashion.|
|Quinoa||Permissible to eat. Should not be processed on equipment used for chometz|
|Soda||May contain kitniyos|
|Soda Water||Not chometz or kitniyos, still it is advisable to eat and drink items that have a kosher for Pesach hechsher|
|Splenda®||Generally contains kitniyos|
|Sugar||Safek kitniyos, may be from corn|
|Tea (instant)||May contain kitniyos sweetener|
|Unflavored medicinal pills, vitamins and tablets (non-chewable)||Inedible. An ill person ingests such pills for medical purposes only. Unflavored vitamins are also inedible and not chometz even if the ingredients are made of chometz. They too, are ingested for the medicinal effect and not as a food. There is a prevalent chumro to avoid ingesting these items anyway and it is praiseworthy to follow lists that have ascertained there are no chometz ingredients in the pills. However, unless the medication is flavored, it is not halachically required to do so.|
 In the third line of the items that may be kept (in the chart below) I included chometz that is less than a kezayis and is one sixtieth or less (less than one 1.66%) of the mixture. In the halachic status I explained it is even permitted to eat such a mixture on Pesach, provided the mixture took place before Pesach. This may seem to contradict the sentence preceding the chart stating that it should be sold.
However, a distinction needs to be drawn between a mixture that accidentally happened to take place before Pesach and one that was purposefully done in the normal course of making the product. The Mishna Berura (447:14) and Shulchan Aruch Horav (442:6) both explain that the general principle of bitul beshishim does not apply when the chometz is an essential ingredient in the normal manufacturing of the product. Since the chometz was purposefully put in to the product and is essential, it will not become batel.
Hence, where I discuss a manufactured product I wrote that it is forbidden to eat or possess on Pesach and in the chart, I wrote that if such a mixture happened accidentally before Pesach, the product may be kept and even eaten on Pesach.
Similarly, often the minute amount of chometz put into an item is non-essential and can become batel beshishim if manufactured before Pesach. For example, Lactaid milk has a small amount of chometz in it and so does regular milk (see Pesach list that discusses vitamin A and D which are added to milk sometimes is derived from chometz). However, since they are not essential ingredients to the milk, they are batel if they have been mixed into the milk before Pesach. On Pesach, chometz is never batel.
והנה הדין שכתבתי דאם נפל בטעות לפני פסח שהוא בטל אם הוא פחות מכזית ופחות מששים הוא מבואר ופשוט אמנם מה שכתבתי דאם אינו מעיקר המוצר ג”כ בטל אינו כ”כ ברור. דיש לעיין בזה ממש”כ המ”ב סימן תמ”ז ס”ק י”ד וכ”כ הגר”ז סימן תמ”ב סק”ו דאם ערבו במזיד אע”פ שיש ששים כנגדו, לא בטל כיון שדרך תיקון המאכל ע”י חמץ הרי הוא חשוב ואינו בטל בששים. והוסיף עוד דאם לא ביערו ועבר עליו הפסח אסור בהנאה. והעיר בשער הציון סימן תמ”ז ס”ק י”א דזה חידוש גדול כיון דלא קעבר בב”י מה”ת ומ”מ נאסר בהנאה והוא יוצא מהכלל שכתב המ”ב בריש סימן תמ”ב. וא”כ אולי נימא דכיון דמערבים הוויטאמינים במזיד ע”פ חוקי המדינה הוי כדרכו בכך ולא יתבטל בששים. אמנם נראה דכוונת המ”ב וגר”ז דדוקא בדבר שצריך החמץ כדי לעשותו ובלי החמץ לא יוכל לעשות המאכל שרוצים לעשות כגון מוּרְיָס (שומן דגים) שמשימין בו לחם קלוי. ואם אין שָׂמִים בו לחם אין זה מוריס. משא”כ בנד”ד דרק משימין הוויטאמינים ע”פ חקי הממשלה או לצורך שיווק אבל גם אילו לא ישימו הוויטאמינים עדיין יהיה חלב, וע”כ נראה דאם נתערב החמץ קודם פסח בששים של חלב בטל, ולכן כתבתי דאפשר לקנות החלב לפני פסח ואז יהיה מותר לשתותו בפסח.
ועד”ז יש להתיר הרבה מוצרים בבית באכילה וכ”ש בשהייה, וא”צ למוכרם, כגון פירות וירקות קפואים או שימורים, וכן תבלינים כשיש בהם חשש חמץ באחד מהתוספות, מ”מ אינם עיקר המוצר ואינם נצרכים ובטלים בששים לפני הפסח.