What is HALAL?
Ḥalāl ('permissible') 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.
In the specific context of consumables it refers to food that is lawful
for consumption. The antonym of Halâl (lawful) is Harâm (unlawful) which refers
to unlawful items. Muslims are permitted to eat the flesh of certain animals,
which are required to be slaughtered according to the specified ritual
procedures. Pork is totally not permitted. Similarly, any animal not ritually
slaughtered will also be categorised as Harâm (unlawful). Halâl also encompasses
all aspects of food hygiene and quality.
Although non-meat items are
neutral in terms of Islamic Law, the processing procedures, food additives,
preparation areas, etc. also must be free from non-Halaal contaminants.
With specific reference to the flavour industry, it is imperative that
no animal and/or insect derivatives/extracts be used, since the sourcing and
monitoring of Halaal animal derivatives from the source i.e. the abattoir right
through the process is complicated and difficult. Animal derivatives and
extracts would include animal fats, animal enzymes, gelatine, blood plasma,
tallow-based glycerine, L-Cysteine from human hair, animal stock, animal
stearates, cochineal colour etc.
Furthermore, wines, liquors and fermented alcohols of the like are also Harâm
(unlawful) in terms of Islâmic Law. With specific reference to ethanol, it
would be Haraam (unlawful) if taken as an intoxicant. However, where such
alcohols are used as manufacturing aids as solvents, carriers etc. in miniscule
quantities, this would be condoned due to public predicament. There is no fixed
“permissible trace level”. However for operational purposes, Halâl certifying
organisations have set acceptable trace levels of 0,5%.
Seafood and derivatives thereof are acceptable in terms of Halaal dietary
regulation. Once the Halaal Authority inspects, evaluates and approves all the
relevant areas of the ingredients/raw materials and the manufacturing process,
Halâl approval is granted.
As a summary, the following must be kept in
mind when processing Halâl flavours:
It is vital
that at no stage must non-Halaal products come into contact with Halâl products.
(2) Processing, Storage and Transportation
Halaal designated should
also fulfil the following conditions:
(i) Shall not consist of or contain
anything which is considered to be unlawful according to the Sharî'ah (Islâmic
(ii) Shall not be prepared and processed using any appliance
or facility that was not free from anything unlawful as per the Islamic
(iii) Shall not in the course of preparation and processing be in
contact with any food that fails to satisfy (i) and (ii)
Notwithstanding the above, Halâl can be prepared and processed
using facilities which have previously been used for non-Halaal food provided
that proper cleaning, wash-down and sterilizing procedures, according to Shar‘î
(Islâmic Law) requirements, have been observed.