How to identify halal food and products? It is a big problem these days. A lot of people are now conscious about the halal food they eat and the products they use. They want to make sure that these are halal before eating or buying them. Businesses that want to make sure their product is halal or want to promote their halal product should be concerned about the knowledge of their customers on using halal products by engaging in halal product testing in UAE. This is best done to educate and inform the end users about what makes it a halal product. The information in this article will help you know how to identify halal food products in the market.
How to identify if the food or product is not halal?
To understand halal food and products, it is important to know what the word “halal” means. Halal is an Arabic word meaning “lawful” or “permissible.” The opposite of halal is haram, which means “unlawful” or “forbidden.” Halal foods and drinks are permitted for consumption by the Qur’an.
When you’re shopping for food, look for products that have been certified by a recognized Islamic organization. Look at the packaging for a label or stamp of approval from an Islamic organization such as the Muslim Consumer Group for Food Products (MCGFP) or Islamic Food and Nutritional Council of America (IFANCA).
If you don’t see any labels on the package, check the ingredient list. There are some ingredients that are almost always not allowed in halal foods, such as gelatin made from pork products. Alcohol might also be present in many food items, even if it is not listed as an ingredient on the label. Many companies use alcohol in their production process as a flavor enhancer or preservative. For example, some brands of vanilla extract contain alcohol, but other brands do not.
Read the nutrition label.
If you’re looking for foods certified as halal in their preparation, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the ingredients list on the nutrition label and look for a “certified halal” symbol. These symbols will vary based on where you are in the world, but one of the most commonly used is a green circle with a white crescent moon and star inside.
Recognizing the Halal label
You can identify a Halal product through the Halal mark or by reading the ingredient list. It shows that the company hired laboratory testing services in Dubai to prove that the products are halal. This is a step-by-step guide to identifying Halal products:
Look for the Halal mark on the product. If it is present, you can be sure that the product is Halal certified and you may buy it.
If there is no Halal mark, look for ingredients in the product which may include animal derivatives. If any animal derived ingredients are used, check whether they are from halal sources or not. If they are from halal sources, you may buy the products as they are halal.
If there are no animal ingredients and if they are not written in plain English on the packaging label, you can assume that they are plant based and hence it is halal to consume.
If any of these rules cannot be applied to a product and there’s doubt about its origin and nature and you cannot find a replacement for the product, it is better not to purchase it.
If you do not find the halal label on the packaging itself you can always check with the seller.
Learn the names of non-halal ingredients.
In order to keep track of what is halal and what is not, it is first necessary to know the names of haram ingredients. Here are some common ingredient names that you might find on food labels:
- Alcohol (and any ingredient ending with -ol, ex: menthol, butyl alcohol)
- Animal Shortening (lard, suet)
- Carmine (red dye made from crushed bugs)
- Casein (milk protein)
- Gelatin (derived from animal bones and tissues)
- L-cysteine (commonly made from human hair or duck feathers)
Avoid food additives with E numbers.
E numbers are the unique numbers assigned to specific ingredients in food. They are used to identify and track food additives.
Food products often contain substances which do not naturally occur in food. They are therefore added to food products, most commonly as coloring agents and preservatives. There are tens of thousands of different substances that can be used as additives, but only a few hundred have E numbers assigned to them such as the code words E441 or E407 on an ingredient label that shows signs of gelatin.
The purpose of the E number system is to classify and trace the use of these substances in food. The purpose is not to control suppliers or prevent their use, but rather to ensure that consumers can make informed choices about their consumption of those substances, so that they can avoid adverse health effects when they choose not to use such ingredients in their diet.
Familiarize yourself with some other common ingredients used in processed foods that may not be halal.
- L-cysteine or cysteine. It is a common dough conditioner in bagels, rolls, and other baked goods. It is derived from duck feathers or human hair.
- It is a natural dye used to color foods like fruit filling, candy, jellies, jams, and dessert powders. It is derived from crushed cochineal insects.
- It is an enzyme used to harden cheese. Rennet can be obtained from the stomach of slaughtered animals including non-Muslims (pork).
- Vegetable glycerin may be found in toothpaste, mouthwash, and liquid soaps but can also be derived from animal fats.
- Beeswax emulsifier in candies and chewing gum may be derived from beeswax or other sources such as shellac that are not halal based on Muslim scholars’ opinions.
Look for products labeled “100% Natural”
Most companies will print this on the packaging so consumers can easily spot it. Read ingredient lists carefully. Pay particular attention to the colorings, flavorings and preservatives. If you don’t recognize something listed, avoid buying the product until you look up its ingredients online.
Look for products labeled Organic.
Organic farming is an approach to agriculture that works in harmony with natural processes, not against them. The use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals is not allowed in organic farming. Therefore these products are free of synthetic additives such as pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes, and must not be processed using industrial solvents or irradiation.
Most certified organic products will carry the Halal certification symbol, which makes it easier to identify products suitable for Muslim consumption. However, organic certification does not automatically mean halal certification. Always check the ingredients list to ensure there are no animal-derived products that you need to avoid.
This article might have some useful information that you didn’t know before. If you’re going to do some shopping at the local store for halal foods, take a look at these few tips to make sure you’re spending your money on the right products. You are encouraged to share these tips with family and friends who might find this information useful as well. If you’d want to have your products tested, contact URS food testing labs in UAE and deliver to your consumers only the best.