Halal

    Halal ( means lawful or legal) is a term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. The term is used to designate food seen as permissible according to Islamic law . The opposite of this word is haraam.

    The terms halal and haraam are applied to many facets of life; and one of the most common uses of these terms is in reference to meat products, food contact materials, and pharmaceuticals. In Islam there are many things that are clearly halal or haram. There are also items which are not as clear, and for which further information is needed. Items that are not clear are called mashbooh, which means "questionable". 'Halal' means permissible. 'Haraam' means forbidden. The term 'halal' can, therefore, also be associated with other products such as halal mortgages  which omit the use of 'interest' which is 'haraam'.

    In Islam, other forbidden items include pork and all its products; animals improperly slaughtere, alcoholic drinks, including all forms of intoxicants; carnivorous animals; birds of prey; and any food contaminated with any of these products.

    Islam has laws regarding which foods can and cannot be eaten and also on the proper method of slaughtering an animal for consumption, known as dhabihah. However if there is no other food available then a Muslim is allowed to eat non-halal food.

    If one is forced because there is no other choice, neither craving nor transgressing, there is no sin on him.

    Explicitly forbidden substancesA variety of substances are considered as harmful (haraam) for humans to consume and, therefore, forbidden as per various Quranic verses:

    Pork,Blood,Animals slaughtered in the name of anyone but Allah. All that has been dedicated or offered in sacrifice to an idolatrous altar or saint or a person considered to be "divine",Carrion (carcasses of dead animals),An animal that has been strangled, beaten (to death), killed by a fall, gored (to death), savaged by a beast of prey (except by a human),Food over which Allah's name is not pronounced (or at least not in a name other than Allah)and Alcohol and other intoxicants

    Halal food certification refers to the examination of food processes in its preparation, slaughtering, cleaning processing, handling, disinfecting, storing, transportation and management practices. The application of halal should apply to all stages of processing "from farm to table". Halal certification provides the following benefits:

1. Consumer confidence – it allows the consumers to make an informed choice of their purchase

2. Competitive advantage – manufacturers can use it as a marketing tool to secure bigger market share as halal   food is suitable for both Muslims and non-Muslims. At international level, it can enhance the marketability of the products especially in Muslim countries.

3. Quality – it indicates that the food product not only fulfils halal requirements, but also strict hygiene practices

4. For the authority – it provides a mechanism to audit and monitor halal food.

Compliance to Halal requirements

    With the certification, manufacturers are obliged to act responsibly to maintain the halal stat us of the food they produce. Manufacturers must ensure during all phases of the production, the raw materials, equipment, tools and materials used must not be najs(filthy or polluted), mixed with any najs material or has been in contact with najs materials. The product and raw materials used must also be safe and will not cause harm to the health. Ensuring a product is halal is not only limited to the materials and ingredients used. Halal requirements cover all aspects of preparation, processing, packaging,distribution and all related processes. Any equipment found to be in contact or contaminated with non halal materials must be cleansed according to the Syariah requirements. In Halal food, cleanliness and hygiene is very closely related to food safety. This is an important prerequisite halal certification and the requirement covers personal hygiene, attire, equipment and working environment.

Employees’ Understanding on Halal requirements

    All employees required to be trained to understand the halal concept, as well as their roles and responsibilities in ensuring the products are handled accordingly. Manufacturers are encouraged to establish a quality assurance unit to monitor all requirements of halal are complied with at all time, especially in critical areas such as procurement. The unit should also ensure that any non-compliance is immediately rectified.

    The halal food issue is a sensitive and serious matter to the Muslims. Halal certification will help boost the confidence of the Muslim consumers that the food and product they purchase are not only halal but also hygienic and safe.

List of common food ingredients and additives

Substance

Description

First Opinion

Second Opinion

Acetic Acid

Occurs naturally in plant juices and can be prepared synthetically and can be obtained from animal tissues.

Halal if it is made from plant sources or synthetically. If it is made from animal tissues, then it will not be Halal

Halal and Suitable for Muslim to consume. Acetic acid from animal source is not available in markets.

Adipic Acid

Occurs naturally in beets and can be prepared synthetically.

As the source is plant, it is Halal.

Halal.

Agar Agar

Naturally occurs as seaweed, used in place of gelatine

As the source is plant, it is Halal.

Halal.

Beta-apo-8- Carotenal (C30) (Apocarotenal) (E160e)

An orange/yellow colour derived from plants but may utilise gelatine or lard to dissolve in water.

If lard or gelatine made from animal (other than fish) is used then it will not be suitable for Halal use.

Products containing this additive are Halal regardless of the source of the additives

Carmine / Cochineal (E120)

A colour obtained from a dried female insect, cochineal.

It is not suitable for Halal use.

Products containing this additive are Halal.

Casein

A protein of milk used in the manufacture of cheeses. It is precipitated by acid or by animal or vegetable enzymes.

If animal enzyme is used then it will not be suitable for Halal use.

Halal

Chocolate Liquor

Syrup made from chocolate and used for chocolate flavoured products. It is not liquor or alcohol but because it is a liquid it is called liquor.

It is suitable for Halal use.

It is suitable for Halal use.

Dextrose (corn syrup)

Made from starch, used as a sweetener or colouring agent.

As the source is plant, it is suitable for Halal use.

As the source is plant, it is suitable for Halal use.

E153 – Carbon Black

A colour obtained by charring bones, meat, blood, wood, vegetable etc.

If charred from wood or vegetables then it will be suitable for Halal use.

Halal, regardless of its source.

E322 Lecithin

An emulsifier originally obtained from egg yolk but commercially prepared from Soya bean oil

It is suitable for Halal use.

It is suitable for Halal use.

 

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