Carmine (/ˈkɑrmɪn/ or /ˈkɑrmaɪn/), also called a crimson lake, cochineal, natural red 4, C.I. 75470, or E120, is a pigment of a bright-red color obtained from the aluminium salt of carminic acid; it is also a general term for a particularly deep-red color of the same name. The pigment is produced from some scale insects such as the cochineal scale and certain Porphyrophora species (Armenian cochineal and Polish cochineal). Carmine is used in the manufacture of artificial flowers, paints, crimson ink, rouge, and other cosmetics, and is routinely added to food products such as yogurt and certain brands of juice, the most notable ones being those of the ruby-red variety. (source : Wiki)

Ruling on the Use of Cochineal coloring: A Review of the Standards set by the Discourse of the Fatwa Committee of the National Fatwa Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia

The 100th Discourse of the Fatwa Committee of the National Fatwa Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia convened on the 4-6 July 2012 had discussed the ruling pertaining to the use of cochineal colouring: a revision of the standards set by the Discourse of the National Fatwa Committee for Islamic Religious Malaysia. The Discourse decided that:

Upon examining the evidence, contentions and opinions that were forwarded, the Discourse is of the opinion that cochineal is a type of insect (female bug), that is harmless and any colouring substance produced from it can be used by human beings. Legally, our Food Regulations 1985 states that carmine colouring from cochineal is permitted, based on ‘Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).

The Discourse emphasised that the majority of Muslim jurists had unanimously agreed that bloodless dead insects are considered pure, and it follows that cochineal colourings are extracted from dead and bloodless cochineal insects. Based on that, the Discourse agrees to decide that any use of cochineal colouring in food, drinks and goods is permissible and the amount allowed for usage must be in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health Malaysia, as long as it does not bring any harm.

From original Jakim posting:

Facts :

• Cochineal dye is extracted from a kind of small insects. This insect is boiled ( to produce a red colour brown ) or baked in a hot oven ( producing gray ) or on a hot skillet ( producing black ) and then dried. Five ( 5 ) pounds of cochineal insects can produce one ( 1 ) kilogram carmine dye.

• Cochineal comes from Central America and Mexico. Its use in food after pasteurization

• The use of cochineal found to kill the microbes that are toxic and it is not harmful to humans and also no side effects.

• According to the opinion of Imam Malik and Abu Hanifah in marginal I’anah al – Talibin, constituent 1 , pages 89-90, the use of these insects is allowed as it is a type of animal that blood does not flow.

• Use these insects as a source of colour is not harmful to humans and it has no substance that can cause harm. Based on the original method in Islamic law where ” the origin of all things is a “harus” , then it can be used as long as no harm and controlled.

Conclusion :

There is no limit or percentage for carmine in Halal preparation perspective. It is now subjected to each food safety law of the country where it has been produced, meaning the % allowable is in accordance to the respective food safety standard or codex.

Posted by Rohaizad


  1. Shafinaz Mohd Abu Bakar 09/08/2018 at 1:06 PM

    TQ Boss!


  2. terima kasih info.
    syahir x golden lounge


  3. Berkaitan isu halal dlm cochineal kumbang merah, ada beberapa aspek perlu jelas. Sesuatu binatang atau haiwan( termasuk serangga) tidak harus ditamatkan riwayatnya sewenang-wenangnya.Melainkan binatang itu mengancam nyawa kita. Ataupun binatang itu untuk dijadikan makanan sekiranya Tiada pilihan atau alternatif lain yg boleh digunakan. Itupun kalau diizinkan oleh agama Islam dan makan bukan untuk tujuan memenuhi nafsu. Maksudnya, dlm KITAB AGAMA atau KITAB SUCI yg Asal tercatat ayat ataupun rangkap kata yg menyatakan dan mengizinkan hal sedemikian. Maka itu adalah Halal.Dan bukannya dengar dr mana mana pihak,orang atau kawan. Kita perlu benar benar nampak dan baca ayat tersebut. Barulah sah dan sahih.
    Bg kes cochineal kumbang merah,persoalannya ialah adakah nyawa kita tergugat sehingga kita nak bunuh kumbang tersebut?
    Dan adakah itu satu kemestian utk kita makan kumbang merah kerana tiada lagi pilihan warna merah yg lain? Kita akan mati kelaparan tanpa makan kumbang merah?Jawapannya Tidak. Kita boleh peroleh pewarna lain drp tumbuhan spt dr bunga ros. Lagipun kumbang merah hanya sbg pewarna saja. Tiada rasa pun. Tak kenyang perut langsung. Kalau dibunuh semata-mata utk warnanya,itu adalah Membunuh. Dosa besar dlm Islam. Biarpun dikatakan dgn cara bunuh yg halal spt baca/hafaz ayat suci, itu pun Tak halal. Misal kata, seseorang nampak semut atau lipas atas lantai, dia pun baca ayat suci. Kemudian pijak semut lipas tersebut. Itu Membunuh yg Tak halal. Satu dosa yg besar. Sebab bukan tujuan yg halal.
    Begitu juga dgn kes kumbang merah. Utk mendapat 1 paun ( tak sampai 1 Kg ) pewarna merah,kita perlu bunuh 70,000 ekor kumbang. Semata-mata utk tujuan pewarna saja. Adakah itu satu kemestian ? Kalau bukan kemestian, adakah itu halal? Cuba fikir betul-betul. Jgn kita tamak haloba sehingga nak makan kumbang sekadar untuk memenuhi hawa nafsu kita. Jgn salah tafsir maksud sebenar membunuh yg halal dlm agama Islam.


    1. Rohaizad Hassan 11/05/2019 at 4:50 PM


      Kita kena faham JAKIM membuat fatwa berdasarkan masalah industri dimana penggunaan carmine ini telah meluas. Fatwa yang dikeluarkan bertujuan untuk memberi penjelasan kepada pengguna samada carmine dari cochineal itu halal atau tidak kerana pihak industri menggunakannya sebagai salah satu bahan ramuan didalam pelbagai produk contohnya yogurt, minuman dan sebagainya. Masalah wajar tidak wajar itu bukan perkara pokok kerana pihak industri di dalam dan luar negara telah pun menggunakkannya sebagai satu bahan ramuan. Matlamat pencerahan Jabatan Agama seperti Jakim membantu menyelesaikan masalah hukum hakam.


      1. Mohammad imraan 25/02/2020 at 6:49 PM


        According to imam Abu Hanifa insects are tahir. That doesnt mean that it is halal to consume. Like other animals than fish in the sea are tahir but it is not allowed to consume according fiqh hanafi.


        1. Rohaizad Hassan 04/03/2020 at 6:29 AM

          The article is based on Shafie school ruling. It is a fatwa announced by the National Fatwa Council of Malaysia


        2. If they are shafi’i they should quote their own books in which this issue is mentioned and not quote anything from Abu Hanifa or Malik from a shafi’i book!

          Also, which scholars issues this ruling?


          1. Rohaizad Hassan 20/06/2020 at 10:02 PM

            Refer to the fatwa footnote.

      2. Mohammad Rais 13/07/2020 at 12:45 PM

        Assalam alaikum wr wb. It seems that because industry is already using carmine as a colouring and wants to continue using it we are expected to find a way to accommodate them. In my non Muslim country, Australia, we are not trying to make it easier for industry to continue doing what it wants to do and they don’t expect that from us. There are other red colourings that a manufacturer who wants to sell to Muslims can use. Yesterday I ate vegetarian “crab sticks” with vegetable red colouring because the real crab sticks are coloured with carmine.


        1. Rohaizad Hassan 16/07/2020 at 11:29 AM

          Halal standards are addressing the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for consumption to solve ummah problems and not for the purpose to accommodate. All related Islamic government that issued fatwa is all about to overcome this issue so that there is no confusion among the public. A fatwa is not a tool to meet business demands.


  4. Terima kasih atas pencerahan.


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