Halal is an Arabic term which means lawful or permitted – it applies to any object or action that is permissible.
Halal is usually associated with food that is allowed for consumption, according to Islamic Law. However, Halal and Haram relate to all aspects of everyday life.
Today, Halal is an essential factor that influences consumer purchasing and consumption behaviour. From a product context, companies acknowledge the value of Halal in maintaining competitiveness.
The Halal concept has gained worldwide attention due to its recognition as a benchmark for safety, hygiene and quality assurance. Hence, products or foods produced in line with Halal principles receive acceptance from consumers of all faiths.
So which products are Halal?
In simple terms, produce such as fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs and milk are Halal. Moreover, products that are free from any prohibited (Haram)items can potentially be certified as Halal.
The following are examples of products which can be Halal certified:
- Dairy and its by-products such as whey powders
- Grain cereals, bread, jams, confectionery, flavours and food additives
- Energy drinks, juices and non-alcoholic beverages
- Vitamins, minerals and health supplements
- Creams, hand sanitisers and personal care products
The opposite of Halal is Haram, which means unlawful or prohibited. Haram applies to any forbidden item, behaviour, conduct, speech and manner under Islamic law. Haram also includes materials that are unlawful for consumption or use.
Examples of Haram materials include:
- Pig and all pig by-products including their derivatives
- Alcohol and other intoxicating substances
- Blood and blood by-products
- Birds of prey and carnivorous animals including their derivatives
- Reptiles, amphibians and insects including their derivatives
- Lawful animals (e.g. Cow, Sheep, Poultry including their derivatives) not humanely slaughtered
- Products contaminated with any of the above items
Mashbooh are items which cannot be determined as Halal or Haram due to insufficient information.
For example, whey powder is a by-product of the cheese-making process. During the cheese manufacturing process animal or microbial sources of rennet enzymes are used. If the enzyme is of a pig, then the cheese and its by-products, including whey, are Haram. If the source of the enzyme is unknown, then the whey is considered as Mashbooh.
Why is Halal Certification necessary?
At present, the global awareness for consumers to purchase products with a Halal logo is exceptionally high.
Halal consumers want products that fit their religious obligations and comply with Halal requirements. The lack of widespread offerings has led to a surge in demand, as consumers seeking Halal are striving for popular products adapted to their lifestyle.
Complex manufacturing processes and production has made it challenging for consumers to know the Halal status of a product. Through Halal certification, consumers can solve these problems, and the Halal logo empowers them to purchase products with confidence.
How does Halal apply to your business?
Companies must show that they can produce and maintain the integrity of Halal products and manage any associated risks.
They also need to assure that products and ingredients are Halal, and there is no risk of contamination by Haram. For example, having a robust traceability system confirms that only Halal materials are used in Halal products, or routine sampling of the products to ensure they are within specification.
Policies and procedures are in place to manage Halal, and operatives have had the required training against them. And the production process and environment comply with relevant Food Safety, Good Hygiene (GHP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
Halal conditions can vary from market to market. Some countries accept specific materials as Halal, while others won’t. As the requirements change, so do the standards.
We have developed our standard in line with the international Halal authorities. And HCE grants certification to companies that have demonstrated satisfactory compliance with HCE Halal standards.
A copy of the Halal standard can be purchased by inquiring at firstname.lastname@example.org