What is the proper bracha for Pringles and other such foods that are primarily made from potato flakes and potato flour?
Rav Belsky, Shlita said (see accompanying Teshuva), that originally Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l held that on potato flakes one should say Shehakol. When potatoes are turned into powder, they lose their status as a vegetable; therefore even after they are reconstituted they remain Shehakol. Rema (O.C. 202:7) explains that if a fruit or vegetable is pulverized to the point that it is no longer distinguishable, then it loses its bracha. Therefore, Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 208:8) says that the proper bracha to be said on corn or bean bread is Shehakol. Based on this psak the Daf HaKashrus (Vol. 22, No. 5, p.32) printed that the bracha on Pringles is Shehakol.
However, Rav Belsky more recently clarified, that in later years Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l reversed his position, and said that since reconstituted potato flakes are a common equivalent substitute for mashed potatoes, it is not considered as though they have lost their shape and form, and the bracha on reconstituted potato flakes remains Ha’adamah. Rav Elimelech Bluth,
Shlita and Rav Reuven Feinstein, Shlita confirmed hearing this change of psak from Rav Moshe zt”l as well. Therefore, Pringles
though they are made from reconstituted potatoes, would be the same as though they were made from fresh mashed potatoes, and the proper bracha would be Ha’adamah.
However, it is worth noting that potato starch does not reconstitute back into a potato, and therefore products that are made from potato starch are Shehakol.
by Rabbi Eli Gersten, RC Recorder of OU Psak and Policy