In recent years, there has been an increase in the importance and demand for Halal-certified products, especially in the food industry. The word "halal" itself means what is allowed. This is how Muslims define everything that is permitted by Sharia law. In Islamic culture, this also applies to the diet of Muslims. According to the Quran, the consumption of blood, pork, carcasses is strictly prohibited; animals must also be slaughtered in a ritual way, which is called halal slaughter. In addition, it is also strictly forbidden to consume alcohol.
Halal products are developing rapidly and are appreciated in many countries around the world. The Halal certificate inspires confidence of the Muslim buyer and thereby expands the sales markets for such products. Halal is a restrictive and detailed certification process designed to confirm that the manufacturing, packaging, and even storage processes of a given product have been carried out according to the requirements of Islamic culture.
What are Haram and Halal?
Conduct that does not comply with Islamic religious principles is prohibited (haram), and behavior that complies with these principles is halal. As in other religions, in Islam the concepts of haram and halal were introduced to people. People who switch to halal are rewarded because of their beliefs. As for the residents of Ukraine and the CIS countries, they use halal products because they believe that it is environmentally friendly and healthy.
Muslims are prohibited from eating:
There is disagreement among Islamic theologians over whether the meat of all land animals is haram or halal. Meat from animals such as turtles, frogs, and crabs is generally considered haram. In addition, most clergies believe that the meat of mules, horses, donkeys, dogs, and birds of prey is considered haram.
Development of Halal standards in the world
People who strive for food that corresponds their religious beliefs, avoid sin, and tend to eat only halal food, naturally want to gain confidence that the food is truly pure. In addition, they must have complete confidence in the activities of food organizations. Therefore, halal food standards are emerging. Consumers would like to see the Halal Islamic Compliance in food, which indicates whether the food is Halal.
The main feature of the Halal Islam Compliance Standard is the guarantee that production complies with the religious principles of Islam at all stages of production, from the receipt of raw materials to the enterprise and ending with delivery to the final consumer. In addition, the food products themselves must be certified and any ingredients and additives that are part of a particular product. All elements must fully comply with the criteria of Islam, both the source and the production technology. The halal Islamic standard of conformity requires that every manufacturing process, along with packaging materials and food storage conditions, fully comply with the religious principles of Islam.
Why is halal certification so popular?
Halal certification is essential for certain producers who want to start exporting to Islamic countries, namely for companies in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries. This document is an ideal opportunity to stand out and gain a competitive advantage over other foreign organizations that export goods to countries where Islam is the dominant culture. In this way, it is possible to attract a consumer for whom it is important to adhere to the basic principles of faith.
Having a Halal certificate increases the level of trust and credibility in his eyes and thus ultimately induces him to make a purchase decision from a certified person. Although its acquisition and control over its ownership is very strict and demanding, it is worth making an effort to finally succeed in markets such as Turkey, UAE and others. It should be noted that halal products are becoming popular worldwide, including in Europe and the CIS.
Problems of halal food
Even though the use of halal food has become rampant in a short period, it in fact dates back to a very distant past. However, even today, there is still debate about whether many foods or ways of use are halal or haraam. For example, products raise questions about the production of hormones, enzymes, gelatin and some of the additives they contain or the methods used during the manufacturing stages. Consumption of unknown additives raises doubts as to whether they are created according to Islamic principles, plant-based, or processed with alcohol.
A wide range of food additives is used to extend the shelf life of food products, preserve their nutritional value, improve their textural properties, and prevent the growth of pathogens. From the point of view of manufacturers, this is necessary to make products more attractive, as well as to maintain their characteristics.
Food additives used in the production of halal products
People no longer find time to prepare food; they tend to choose ready-to-eat foods. People's eating habits are changing. Consequently, manufacturers emphasize ensuring that food products can be stored for a long time, retaining their freshness, appearance, smell, color and aroma. To impart the above properties to the products, food additives are used. For some manufacturers, it doesn't matter if the food is halal or prohibited.
The sources from which the additives are obtained, whether it is animal slaughter following religious rules or the yeast used in cheese making, are suspect. Since most of the supplements are imported from non-Muslim countries, their sources are completely unknown. It is doubtful that even halal food certification organizations will consider halal and haram concepts.
One such additive is gelatin. The use of gelatin in the food industry is extremely high. Although certification bodies in other countries say gelatin is obtained only from cattle, this does not inspire much confidence. There must also be assurances that livestock was slaughtered following religious rules and that gelatin was not derived from the bones and skins of cattle. Otherwise, certification with incomplete information means consumer deception.
Especially suspicious additives are enzymes used in cheese making. Until recently, most of the enzymes used in the food industry were of animal origin. However, microbial enzymes are also produced today.
For the most part, the main problem with nutritional supplements is manufacturing sources. Religiously, the market uses additives that come from pigs, dead or uncut animals. For this reason, finding truly halal food for a Muslim living abroad today is not easy. With the search for halal food in Muslim countries, such problems, of course, do not arise. In such a situation, in Muslim societies worldwide, certain rules are being introduced that can ensure that the foods they eat are halal.