California was a dry state for Passover, at least for those observers hoping to enjoy a bit of kosher for Pesach Coca-Cola. The soft drink brand was unable to meet new dietary standards put forward by the state’s government, leaving the Jewish community without a kosher option for its seder table.
State law on toxic chemicals mandated new restrictions on the amount of 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI, permitted in soft drinks. Last year, Coke restructured its formula to lower its use of the chemical, which California has deemed a carcinogen, but the company was unable to fill the order prior to the Passover holiday.
Coca-Cola was forced to announce it would not sell kosher for Passover products in the state during the 2012 observance, but did promise to have the product on shelves before the start of the 2013 holiday.
Kosher for Passover Coke uses sugar instead of the typical corn syrup, as corn products are not permitted during the seven-day period. While some homes were left to go thirsty, several California stores were able to sell kosher Coke imported from out of state.