Verifying the source of an ingredient is challenging in the food industry. The future of conformity is through laboratory verification.

Why is verification important?

The requirement of a recognised Halal certificate for the High-Risk ingredient is vital due to several reasons including the possible source of animal, shared processes (with non-Halal) and gaps of regulatory on processing aids, prescriptive substances. For example in the European Law some of these are not declared in European ruling:

Food with animal risk and GMO:

REGULATION (EU) No 1169/2011 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 25 October 2011

 Article 20
 Omission of constituents of food from the list of ingredients

 Without prejudice to Article 21, the following constituents of a food shall not be required to be included in the list of ingredients:
(a) the constituents of an ingredient which have been temporarily separated during the manufacturing process and later reintroduced but not in excess of their original proportions;
(b) food additives and food enzymes:
(i) whose presence in a given food is solely due to the fact that they were contained in one or more ingredients of that food, in accordance with the carry-over principle referred  to in points (a) and (b) of Article 18(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008, provided that they serve no technological function in the finished product; or
(ii) which are used as processing aids; 
(c) carriers and substances which are not food additives but are used in the same way and with the same purpose as carriers, and which are used in the quantities strictly necessary; (alcohol used in food for extraction and carrier is part of processing aid)
(d) substances which are not food additives but are used in the same way and with the same purpose as processing aids and are still present in the finished product, even if in an altered form;

As for alcohol:

CHAPTER IV
MANDATORY FOOD INFORMATION
SECTION 1
Content and presentation
Article 9
List of mandatory particulars

Article 9
1. In accordance with Articles 10 to 35 and subject to the exceptions contained in this Chapter, indication of the following particulars shall be mandatory:
(k) with respect to beverages containing more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol, the actual alcoholic strength by volume;

First, we talk about animal derivatives that commonly not permissible to Halal unless they are Halal certified.

Therefore, the current approach that is considered authoritative is through laboratory analysis. An analysis protocol that must be accredited such as ISO 17025 (General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories). This type of verification should also help other dietary such as vegetarian and ethnicity that treat a land animal as critical. This technique is also synonym with Halal certification validation process.

For detect animal traces the selection of a laboratory must:

    • Accredited for DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid or nucleic acid) analysis protocol based such as PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) must be done by a leading laboratory such as Halvec, Eurofinn (i.e. France and Germany), SGS, Mérieux,  etc.
    • The method specific limit of detection (mLOD) is <0.01% or <10 DNA copies for 3 animal species (Sus scrofa-porcine, Bos Taurus-cattle and Oval ovaries-sheep) in making Halal integrity is completely verified.

Secondly, when comes to alcohol 1.2% in European standard, it is perceived as too high alcohol level for Halal standards.

  • Accredited or not, ethanol analysis is quite basic in the industry such as Gas Chromatography System (GCS)
  • The parameter must below 0.1% (LoQ) for detection.

In some sectorial of Islamic view, the use of ethanol is permitted depending on the purpose. If it’s used for cleaning, hand swab, medical procedure, killing bacteria it is allowed. Also in a raw state, some ingredient requires ethanol as a carrier agent as a form of anti microbes growth. But the source of ethanol must not come from khamr production such as consumer-alcoholic. There is an approved source of ethanol such as food, medical or pharmaceutical producer. The manufacturer needs to make sure all consumable product does not exceed 0.1% according to an international fatwa (Malaysia, JAKIM). A fatwā is an Islamic legal pronouncement, issued by an expert in religious law (mufti). | Related article.

 

Posted by Rohaizad Hassan

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