While a lot of people who prefer kosher products are Jewish, there’s a larger and expanding kosher consumer market for non-Jewish people. This is due to the fact that many people see kosher as a quality symbol. If you are a business based in the UAE and you are looking to offer Kosher food, but you are unsure how, this article is for you.
Kosher certification attests that a highly qualified person or agency with expertise in the kosher laws has supervised the food and/or the establishment throughout the entire process of the food preparation, from its original state until it reaches the consumer, ensuring that all aspects, from ingredients to food preparation, strictly comply with the kosher laws.
Hold on, let’s start at the beginning, what does ‘kosher’ mean? The Hebrew word “kosher” means fit or proper as it relates to Jewish dietary law. Kosher foods are permitted to be eaten, and can be used as ingredients in the production of additional food items. The laws also state which combinations of foods that people should avoid.
For meat & poultry to be considered kosher, a person needs to slaughter it in a specific manner, known as 'shechita'. A certified person, known as a 'shochet', should carry out the slaughter. People can only eat the forequarters of permitted animals, while they should soak the meat before eating to remove all traces of blood. This process may seem familiar if you are already halal certified. The only kosher mammals are those that are herbivores, chew their cud — known as ruminants, and have cloven hooves. For ease we only included animals whose meat is easily found in the United Arab Emirates, these include:
Kosher fish must have fins and scales, and seafood that does not meet those basic requirements is not kosher. Popular kosher fish include:
For our fresh fruit and vegetable suppliers you will be pleased to know that this is the most simple category of food to be classified ‘kosher’ as it is considered to be pareve food. Pareve (pronounced PAHR-iv) is the Yiddish term that refers to foods that contain no meat or dairy ingredients. Pareve foods have the fewest restrictions, providing the producer prepares them according to kosher rules. Examples of pareve foods are:
With the exception of fish, pareve foods are inherently vegetarian and completely dairy-free (no dairy at all in any of the processing equipment) . Therefore, many consumers with dietary restrictions who do not keep kosher for religious reasons may nevertheless seek out kosher pareve-certified products.
Okay, now you understand what kosher is, what the different kinds of kosher foods are, so now as promised, we will tell you how you can get ‘kosher certified’ in the UAE.
There are several institutions that offer the service, the Emirates Agency for Kosher Certification
( EAKC) has worked with several premier brands across the UAE, Star-K is a non-profit agency and one of the most trusted kosher certification agencies in the world, and Kosher Arabia which operates the largest kosher facility in the UAE and GCC region and caters to restaurants, the hospitality industry, including airlines and hotels.
These agencies are able to offer you a step by step guide to receiving your kosher certification, which will expand the audience of who can consume your products. Get certified today, and grow your business.