Newsletter #1 Ramadan 2015
The word Halal is a Arabic word. It means lawful or legal. The source of Halal ingredients are vegetable, plant, fish, meat, fat or gelatin from a halal animal which means that an animal that was slaughtered according to Sharia rules.
1. The word " Vegetable" is mentioned before fat based ingredients statement of a food product; for example vegetable Mono and Diglyceride.
2. If a Halal symbol such as "H" or "M" in a triangle or Kosher symbols such as
U, UD, V, CRC, KMH, COR, K or KD appear on a package (without wine,
alcohol, all types of gelatin and L_Cysteine from human hair), it means
that the fat based ingredient is obtained from vegetable fat.
3. Inquiry with the food manufacturer is another way of identifying
them. The purpose is to verify that the ingredients are Halal or Kosher
certified and also to inquire about any haram processing aid ingredients which are not mentioned in the ingredients list. Sometimes a manufacturer may use Halal or Kosher certified ingredients without the finished product being Halal or Kosher certified. Breads and buns are the best example. Some companies manufacture Halal or Kosher products but prefer not to have it certified Halal or Kosher because it can be very costly.
Haram is opposite of Halal and it means unlawful. Muslims are prohibited to consume food products made from Haram ingredients. The base being Quran & Sunnah.
* Haram ingredients from alcohol beverages: Beer, Beer flavor, Rum
Flavor, Hard Cider, Beer Batter, Soy Sauce (Naturally brewed), Teriyaki Sauce (contains wine) and Wine
* Pure Alcohol as a Natural Flavor, Vanilla Extract containing alcohol.
* Haram ingredients from Human body: L_Cysteine from human hair.
* Haram ingredients from Pig: Bacon, Ham, Gelatin, Enzymes, Marshmallow (made with pig gelatin), Vitamins.
* Grain/plant based ingredients with pig based carrier: Beta carotene (pig Gelatin) and BHA/BHT (pig based carrier).
* Dairy ingredients made from pork enzymes and culture media: Caseinates, Lactose, Whey.
* Ingredients made from pork fat: Lard, Mono & diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, DATEM, Polysorbate 60 or 80.
Mushbooh is an Arabic word for doubtful things. Muslims are required
to stay away from doubtful things. Food products and food ingredients
whose sources are not known whether they are made from Halal or Haram
source fall under this category.
* Yeast Extract from brewer's yeast (some Islamic scholars consider it Halal but to some others think it is a Mushbooh ingredient).
* Cochineal/Carmine color (Islamic scholars in UK and South Africa considers it Haram)
WHAT MAKE SOY SAUCE HARAM?
Naturally Brewed Soy sauce is Haram because it is made just
like wine which means that after it is brewed it produces 2-3% alcohol. The ingredients list contains Wheat, Soy and other ingredients. Food companies do not mention Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce under the ingredients statement. They just mention soy sauce but within parenthesis they may say Wheat and Soy. This is the only way to find a Haram Soy Sauce.
WHAT MAKES SOY SAUCE HALAL?
All purpose soy sauce or non naturally brewed soy sauce is the Halal soy sauce. It is made from water, salt, hydrolyzed soy protein, corn syrup and sodium benzoate.
Approval and clarification granted by: MCG
Look out for more helpful information to help you make halal choices and eat healthy.
Coming: Alcohol in our foods explained
Glycerin is a fat based ingredients used in foods and non food
products. Since it is a fat based ingredient, it is either obtained
from animal fat such as pork or beef or it is obtained from vegetable
fat. Only vegetable fat based Glycerin is Halal or it is Halal if there is a Kosher symbol on the food package containing glycerin which means the glycerin is obtained from vegetable fat.
FOOD COLORS SUCH AS YELLOW N0. 5, RED NO. 40 AND THEIR HALAL STATUS:
Food colorants which act as food additives are either Natural or
synthetic derived. FDA categories the colorants in use as GRAS
(Generally Recognized AS Safe).
3. Beet root juice and betanin
4. Beta-carotene (Halal only if Fish gelatin or Zabiha gelatin or Vegetable oil is used as a carrier)
7. Cochineal and carminic acid (They are not considered as Halal because all insects are Haram according to Hanifa madhab)
8. Paprika powder and paprika oleoresin
9. Turmeric and turmeric oleoresin
They are Halal only if used in pure powder or granules forms. They
are not Halal if they are extracted with ethyl alcohol. Please call the
manufacturer to confirm that no alcohol is used as an extracting
SYNTHETIC COLORS SUCH AS YELLOW NO. 5 OR RED NO. 40:
* Synthetic Colorants are FD&C (Food and Cosmetic) Dyes and
Aluminum Lakes which are available in powder, granular and liquid forms.
* A dye is a pure chemical which exhibits coloring power when it
dissolved in only water because it will not mix with oil. So pure dye
color as a powder or granule or dissolved only in water is Halal.
* A Lake pigment is an insoluble chemical which colors by dispersion.
All the synthetic colorants are certified by FDA and FDA allows only the following solvents for dispersion and carrying agents:
* Glycerin (Haram, if it is from pork fat)
* Propylene Glycol (Halal)
* Dextrose (Halal)
* Sucrose (Halal)
* Vegetable Oil (Halal)
* Water (Halal)
The above solvents and carrier are used only in liquid synthetic
colors because dry synthetic colors cannot be use in a liquid food.
These solvents do not appear on the ingredients list because they
consider as processing aid ingredient or hidden ingredient.
HOW TO KNOW THE HALAL STATUS SYNTHETIC COLORS SUCH AS YELLOW NO. 5 OR RED NO.40:
There are three ways to find the Halal status of synthetic color such as yellow no. 5 in a food product.
1. The manufacturer of the food products containing synthetic colors are only one who know in what form the synthetic colors are added to a food product. MCG does not recommend this approach if the said food product is not under Halal/Kosher certification because the manufacturer can change the form of color from powder to liquid.
2. If the product is Halal or kosher certified with a Halal or kosher symbol on the food package then the carriers used to obtain the liquid color are Halal or Kosher.
3. If a kosher symbol such as U or UD, Circle K, Triangle K, CRC,
COR, V, kuf K appears on the food product containing FD&C Yellow No. 5 or FD &C Red NO. 40 or any synthetic color. This kosher symbol on the package indicates no pork glycerin was used as carrier in the synthetic colors.
The cherries are artificially colored and also it is colored with
carmine (carmine color is obtained from insects/beetles and this color
is not considered Halal). If the cherries are colored with artificial
FD&C then there is a chance FD&C might contain pork glycerin as a solvent. So colored cherries have to be Halal or Kosher certified.
Colored cherries are added in fruit cocktails. If the fruit cocktail can does not have a Halal or Kosher symbol, then the fruit cocktail containing colored cherries is not Halal. So always look for Halal or Kosher symbol in a product containing colored cherries.
Types of Gelatin
There is a big confusion about Kosher Gelatin which is now used very
extensively in yogurts, Sour Cream, Cottage cheese and Ice Cream.
There are four type of kosher gelatin in the food products but none
of them meet the Islamic dietary requirements and they are not considered Halal.
Different kosher certifying organizations have different beliefs. For example kosher organization with symbols:
1. OU, CRC, V, Kuf K do not consider pork gelatin as a kosher gelatin.
2. K, KO accept pork gelatin as a kosher product.
Gelatin is a derived water soluble protein made by controlled
hydrolytic conversion of collagen, the protein constituent of white
fibrous connective tissue from animals.
Gelatin is obtained from one of the following:
* Beef bones and calf skin (Gelatin type B) or
* Skin, hide splits and trimming of pork (Gelatin type A)
SOME GELATIN PRODUCTS:
* Gelatin in Jell-o Gelatin products is made from pork and
considered kosher by a Rabbi who certify these products with a kosher
symbol K. These products are Haram (NOT HALAL).
* Kosher gelatin is also obtained from non-kosher slaughtered
cattle bones and skin in China, which is certified by a Rabbi in
Florida. This gelatin is used in majority of Dannon Yogurts with the
* exception of Dannon's Premium Low Fat Plain, Premium Non Fat Plain and Natural Plain with UD kosher symbol, they do not contain any gelatin and considered as Halal
* Kosher gelatin is also made from pork source and listed as
kosher gelatin in some products with kosher symbol KO. These products
are Haram (NOT HALAL).
* The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregation of America certifies a Kosher gelatin, which is made from cattle. These cattle are slaughtered according Jewish laws a Rabbi. This kosher gelatin is used in Entenmann's Frosted Toaster Pastries with kosher symbol UD. Many Islamic Scholars do not accept kosher meat as the meat of Ahle-Kitab
because a Rabbi do not announce the name of Allah and other
prayers on each animals. He announces the name of Allah on first and
Only fish gelatin and gelatin made from the bones and skins of Halal
animals slaughtered according to Islamic Sharia is considered Halal.
Gelatin is also obtained from fish. The fish gelatin is now used in many food products.
Fish gelatin is used in Procter &Gamble's Sunny Delight fruit drinks. It is combined with Beta carotene a plant based color as a processing
aid ingredient (not reported under the ingredients list) to help
disperse the Beta carotene in liquid system. Gelatin from zabiha slaughtered cows is considered Halal.
Halal gelatin from cow is now manufactured in India, Pakistan and Malaysia.
L - Cysteine & GMO
L - Cysteine L-Cysteine is a non essential amino acid used in bakery products as dough conditioner. It prevents dough from shrinking in case of pizza crust and pita breads. It is also used in bagels and many breads most commonly french breads, italian bread, baguettes, rolls etc. L-Cysteine is made from either:
What's a GMO?
A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic, hence they are also known as transgenic organisms. This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same.
What foods are GM? Currently commercialized GM crops in the U.S. include soy (94%), cotton (90%), canola (90%), sugar beets (95%), corn (88%), Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%), zucchini and yellow squash (over 24,000 acres).
What are other sources of GMOs? Products derived from the above, including oils from all four, soy protein, soy lecithin, cornstarch, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup among others. Also:
Look out for more helpful information to help you eat healthy
I became alarmed about what we are eating after calling manufacturers to find out what the jargon used on our food packages in the form of ingredients really mean and felt compelled to educate myself and others as to how ingredients are disguised and approved for use by the FDA.
Eating halal is not only for Muslims. Eating Halal means respecting our bodies, animals, plants and our environment in which we all have to co-exist. It also means the way in which our food is treated, handled, extracted, processed and manufactured.
Taking care to eat Halal, at its peek, is the key to worshiping Allah (God) as we should and doing justice to our bodies, mind and soul.
After many years of researching I am now taking a step towards helping to shed some light on what choices can be made.
Lets all help to eradicate unhealthy, haram, doubtful food from our families' lives so we can have overall success.
I will continue with my research and May Allah help all of us in our quest to live halal lives.