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How are halal foods different from others?
Halal food
  • How do halal products differ from the others?

In all countries of the world, there is a tendency for people to switch to healthy food. In Western countries, the concept of "Organic Food", which refers to natural food devoid of any artificial additives is becoming more and more popular. This "fashion" is also relevant for the CIS countries, where many people adhere to a healthy diet.

In recent years, the trend of goods with the designation "Halal" is gaining more and more manifestation. Healthy lifestyle adherents who eat foods labeled "Organic" and "Bio" also highly appreciate the quality of halal products. To enjoy all the benefits of such products, you need to understand why "clean food" is gaining popularity among consumers of different faiths.

What is halal and halal products?

All followers of Islam are bound by Sharia, the set of rules that govern their daily lives. Halal dictates what Muslims can do, and haram dictates what is strictly prohibited. One of the most important rules is to follow a halal diet, that is, to refuse forbidden foods that are considered "unclean". Halal products, especially meat, are a lot of controversy in the CIS countries. This is due to the slaughter, the way of obtaining this "legal" meat.

The term "Halal" is used quite widely, but for many people, it in most cases evokes an association with cuisine or Muslim dietary laws. If you are already perfectly familiar with what kosher cuisine is in Judaism, then you probably noticed a certain similarity. However, not every kosher product is halal. For example, foods that contain gelatin from bone marrow, beef bones, may be kosher but not halal. If you evaluate the Muslim dietary laws, they are more stringent and always based solely on religion. Just like kosher products, halal products on store shelves can be distinguished by specific labels.

How is Halal classified?

Halal, or what Sharia allows, is divided into four groups:

  • Wajib. All mandatory actions, the failure of which is considered a sin. Among others, Wajib includes daily prayer, worship of Allah, fasting during holy Ramadan, the use of halal food and halal cosmetics.
  • Mustahab. Action recommended by every good Muslim. Mustahab includes: helping other people, caring for the elderly, and all kinds of acts of help.
  • Mubach. Religiously neutral behavior, such as performing a certain profession.
  • Makrooh. Represents a set of activities that are allowed but not recommended. Makrooh includes both serious situations, such as divorce, and more trivial ones - eating a heavy garlic dish before going to the mosque.

"Halal" - stricter than GOST

 Halal for Muslims is strict adherence to the traditions of Islam. Therefore, the corresponding labeling indicates that these products do not contain ingredients prohibited for consumption by Muslims.

Fact. In recent years, many major brands have received halal certificates for their products.

Consumers who are unfamiliar with Muslim traditions often narrow the meaning of halal down to making special meat. Concerning meat, there are certain rules regarding animal health checks. For example, when slaughtering them, it is necessary to adhere to a certain order, observe hygiene standards at each production stage and during the transportation of products.

Another critical point is that any GMO components are prohibited in halal products and several chemical flavoring additives. Some manufacturers entirely exclude certain ingredients forbidden by the canons and any "controversial" additives from halal products. We are talking about harmful dyes, flavor enhancers.

What products are considered "Halal"? Their peculiarities

Halal cuisine includes dishes that Muslims eat. They must not contain products prohibited by the Quran. According to the Islamic holy book, believers cannot consume blood, pork and alcohol, meat from dogs, snakes, monkeys, donkeys, and predatory animals (such as tigers or vultures), or pests (such as rats or mice). It is also forbidden to eat meat from filthy or disgusting animals, such as insects, larvae, frogs, and poisonous animals (scorpions). Halal meat must be obtained as a result of ritual slaughter carried out by Islamic laws.

Halal foods do not fall under the Haram category. Among such products:

  • Fish (sea and river)
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Vegetables, fruits, berries and any derivatives based on them
  • Alcohol-free drinks. Permitted drinks include alcohol-free beer and kvass
  • Margarine, which is made on the basis of vegetable fats
  • Ice cream
  • Halal meat
  • Cauliflower
  • Cereals, nuts
  • Soybeans, beans
  • Cheese
  • Sweets

Which meat is halal?

Halal slaughter must be carried out in accordance with the laws of Islam. The animal is heading towards the Arab city of Mecca. Immediately before killing the animal, the phrase “Bismillah! (In the name of the Lord!) "But the most important thing is the moment of slaughter. The tool used must be very sharp, the cut must be smooth and continuous.

The incision itself should cut through the trachea, esophagus, and the main carotid arteries of the animal. Ritual slaughter may not be performed at every slaughterhouse. This requires a special halal certificate issued by local Muslim religious organizations. It is released only after meeting all the requirements for harvesting.

Halal and dairy products

The food industry is evolving, and the reach of halal products is expanding. The requirements for dairy products have become more stringent. It should not contain canonically prohibited components. Fermentation of cheese and cottage cheese takes place with the use of animal enzymes - "abomasum". This is a particular part of the stomach of newborn ruminants. In such a situation, specific problems may arise because the abomasum can be taken from an animal slaughtered in disregard of halal standards, and this is already non-compliance with the norms. Halal cheese and curds are produced using certified halal abomasum or plant-based microbiological enzymes to eliminate any risks.

Mixing or counterfeiting is prohibited during the production of certified halal dairy products. In addition, there are certain GOSTs, technical regulations and other documentation that provides for the production technology of such products.

Halal meals

You should delve into cooking with halal products to diversify your daily menu. This can positively affect the body due to the variety of spices contained in these halal dishes. The most famous dishes:

  • Shami Kabab. A dish of minced meat, yellow peeled khan peas with the addition of aromatic spices.
  • Meethi Tikkiyan. Pakistani Coconut Cookies, deep-fried, have a coconut and cardamom flavor.
  • Kari Pakora. The dish is made from chickpea flour and grated onions. All this is seasoned with spices, then deep-fried and dipped in yogurt sauce.
  • Murg Masala. Chicken in tomato sauce is a variant of curry with aromatic spices.

Halal label

The Halal label proves that a given dish complies with halal principles from the moment the raw materials are received throughout the entire production process until distribution. The halal sign should not mean that these foods are better or healthier than others.

It should also not raise doubts about the safety of similar products that do not have this mark. However, research shows that consumers value halal food certification more than others, as they point to a close relationship with food safety and quality. It also shows that manufacturers adhere to strict manufacturing standards and have gone through many rigorous checks before being awarded this certification.