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When is a "by-product" no longer a "by-product"?

Rabbi Elchanan Lewis18 Cheshvan 5766
386
Question
Shalom! I saw a recent news item that a company has developed a machine to turn the waste parts left from animal slaughter into "food-grade" proteins, flavorings, colorings, etc. I know that this is the very thing the kashering organizations are to guard against, but I was disturbed to hear that some rabbinic opinions hold that this "waste" undergoes such an amount of processing that it becomes parve. Do the major organizations (i.e. OU, Circle K, Triangle K, Star-K in the US) hold this opinion or does the material remain trafe?
Answer
I don't know exactly what you are talking about but it sounds very much like the Gelatin case. Gelatin is made of non kosher animals' bones etc. and yet can be Kosher. Derivatives of animals which are uneatable under specific circumstances can be kosher as it is not classified as meat from a non-kosher animal. There are endless Responses over this issue and more than one opinion can be found. The Kashrut authorities follow the different Halachic authorities and will treat Gelatin and similar by products accordingly. (Rambam Maachalot Asurot 4, 18; Rema YD 87, 10; Har Tzvi YD 83; Minchat Yitzchak 5, 5; Tzitz Eliezer 4 introduction, and many more)
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