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:
Without prejudice to Article 21, the following constituents of a food shall not be required to be included in the list of ingredients:
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.