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What Is Chametz?

What Is Chametz?


Chametz is any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, or their derivatives, which has leavened (risen). Our sages have determined that flour from any of these five grains that comes in contact with water or moisture will leaven, unless fully baked within eighteen minutes. As we are commanded by the Torah, if a food contains even a trace of chametz, we don’t eat it, we don’t derive benefit from it, and we make sure not to have any of it in our possession for all the days of Passover.

To be certain that a product is kosher for Passover, it must have rabbinical certification. Otherwise it is possible that it contains chametz ingredients, or traces of chametz if it was processed on the same equipment as chametz products. Thus, unless a product is certified Kosher for Passover, we consider it chametz, and make sure not to have it in our possession on Passover.

Note: Matzah used all year round might be pure chametz, and not for Passover use. Only matzahs baked especially for Passover may be used on Passover.

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Discussion (39)
March 30, 2015
To Penny
Yes, they are considered chametz and should be sealed and put in a closed cabinet, storage place or other such area for the duration of the holiday and they should be sold with the rest of your chametz. You can sell it online at
Mrs. Chana Benjaminson
March 25, 2015
is food storage chametz
i have a years supply of wheat, oats, barley and flour sealed in cans. is this considered chametez? do i need to seel it? what abut the beans in buckets that are sealed, are they considered chametz? i am new to this.
Penny Smith
Glendale az
February 18, 2015
Re bulgur and quinoa
Bulgur comes from wheat so it is chametz and forbidden on Passover.
Quinoa is not a grain but there are some important considerations that one needs to keep in mind if one wishes to eat it on Passover, please see Is Quinoa Kosher for Passover? for the details Staff
February 16, 2015
Bulgur and quinoa
Is bulgur considered chametz when used as a cereal? Is quinoa considered chametz?
April 7, 2014
ReL gram flour
The problem with this product is that is is Kitnityot and therefore not used by Ashkenazic Jews. But even if you're Sephardic, it would have to be certified as Kosher for Passover by a reliable agency.
Eliezer Zalmanov
April 5, 2014
What about using gram flour - only ingredients are chana dal and yellow split peas- Chana dal is from an Indian bean
East Kilbride
February 17, 2014
To Anonymous
Yes, oats and the other grains mentioned above are considered leavened. Those who are gluten intolerant can eat oat matzahs which have been carefully prepared under supervision by rabbinical experts. Staff
February 16, 2014
steel cut oats/oatmeal
are steel cut oats cooked for less than 18 minutes for oatmeal considered leaven? Not used for bread - only for oatmeal?
thank you
April 14, 2013
Re: the leap
You are correct that they didn't choose their bread types, but we do know that it was one that would have risen had it been given the chance. This includes five types of grain:wheat, spelt, oats, rye, and barley. That's how we know that any product which the dough can rise is included in this Mitzvah of remembrance.

(Corn is not one of those grains, but is not eaten of Passover by Ashkenazic as part of the rabbinic ban on what is know as kitniyot. See:
March 27, 2013
How did we make the leap from unleavened to prohibited?
The English Haggadah says: The dough of our fathers did not have time to become leavened before the King of the kings of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself to them and redeemed them.

Yet, on Pesach, there is a long list of prohibited items under the category of Chametz; i.e any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, or their derivatives, as well as corn.

Our ancestors did not have time to pick what they should bring along on the journey out of Egypt. They grabbed what they could, including their normal bread dough, and left. The key to achieving matzah was not in the contents of the dough, but in the process: limited leavening time and baking on hot desert rocks.

Why then do we have so much discussion on what is prohibited? None of the modern-day chametz was ever mentioned in the story of Exodus. The Almighty never spoke to Moses saying,"Lead our people Israel out of Egypt, but check them for wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt"
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