As the Muslim population across the world continues to rise, so too will the growth of halal markets and the demand for products that are halal certified.
Though halal food is one of the key requirements for Muslims, this is not always easily accessible for those who live outside Muslim-majority countries. Halal’s innate nature makes it tricky to determine if a product is qualified or not by merely looking at it.
Although some items like alcohol and pork are totally prohibited, there are still a lot of other considerations that are not indicated on the product label, like how a halal animal such as a chicken or a cow was slaughtered, or the source of a gelatin or an enzyme.
This is the reason why achieving halal certification from specialist organizations is important for manufacturers who want to make their products available to the Muslim consumers.
Quick Definition of Halal
The concept of halal is simple at its core. The word itself is actually an Arabic term that means permissible or lawful. Haram is at the other end of the spectrum which means forbidden or unlawful. The requirements that outline what is considered halal and haram are based on Quran, the Muslim faith’s holy book, and Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings.
Two of the most popular aspects of halal food are the absence of alcohol and pork, including ingredients derived from sources like fats, enzymes, and stearates. Other not so popular but still fundamentally significant requirements are the removal of blood from all products and zabiha slaughter or avoiding the use of meat from carnivorous animals including birds of prey.
Zabiha slaughter is the aspect of halal food that cannot be determined without any proper supervision. The first requirement of this form of slaughter is that the animal is killed by cutting to the neck using a sharp knife.
This slaughter should be performed by Muslims. They also need to invoke God’s name while cutting the anima’s throat, and the animal should be left for it to completely bleed out. The blood loss should be the reason for the death of the animal. It means that the animal should still be alive up to the point that its neck has been cut. There are different opinions on whether stunning is acceptable or not, depending on the specific Islamic school of thought. However, all scholars are at a consensus that stunning should be non-lethal.
For products to be considered halal, the requirements should be applicable to all parts of the finished product. All animal-derived ingredients should be sourced from halal animals slaughtered based on these guidelines.
Porcine-derived materials must never be used at all. Consumers are usually not privy to the manufacturing process of a company, and they might not be knowledgeable of the necessary food science to understand the ingredients that may pose a problem.
Start looking for halal markets near me in Los Angeles, CA to get your hands on certified halal products that will let you follow your halal journey.