Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to talk to Ryan Hanan, chief operating officer, Hanan Products Company, about how the business "Kosherizes" for Passover. 

For 75 years, Hanan Products Company has been delivering whipped toppings, both dairy-based and vegan. For the past 30 years, however, they’ve been doing a one-of-a-kind event: shutting down their normal production for two and a half weeks in January to "Kosherize" their plant, switching to 100 percent kosher products and having rabbis come in to Kosherize the facility to prepare for Passover. 


Liz Parker: What’s involved in the process to “Kosherize” your plant?

Ryan Hanan: The Kosherization process involves a deep cleaning and boiling of the cooking equipment (manufacturing equipment) up to pasteurization temperatures to ensure no previous residue from non-Passover ingredients. This includes all equipment such as large vats, holding tanks and pipes, as well as the smallest items like utensils or anything else that comes in contact with product. It also involves removing any non-Passover ingredients from the production area. Most notably corn (high fructose corn syrup), wheat and soy, as well as any other non-Passover approved ingredients. The decision to approve ingredients is decided by each individual Rabbinical certifying body. For our standard Passover production, Hanan Products uses 4 Rabbinical certifying bodies.


LP: Why is this process important?

RH: The manufacturing plant is looked at the same way as a household kitchen. Therefore, the process to Kosherize the manufacturing plant is the same process that every Jewish household would need to undergo before Passover, just on a much larger scale. This process allows Hanan Products to comply with the set of Passover rules set in place by the Rabbinical certifying bodies.


LP: What made Hanan Products originally decide to start "Kosherizing" thirty years ago?

RH: Thirty years ago, multiple Jewish customers asked Hanan Products founder Stuart if the company could make whipped topping and a non-dairy coffee whitener acceptable for Passover use. After a great deal of research and development, Stuart along with his son Frank, developed a whipped topping and coffee whitener surpassing their customers’ expectations. But simply developing the product and formulation was not enough to comply with Kosher for Passover standards. It was also necessary to undergo the Kosherization process in the manufacturing plant. Today, Hanan Products manufactures Passover products for numerous private label customers as well as in their own name for commercial use. Hanan Products' high standards to abide by Kosher dietary laws while maintaining excellence in quality has increased the demand for Passover whipped topping and coffee whitener year after year.