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Food Ingredients and Their Halal Status

Publisher: Muslim Consumer Group for Food Products (2013)
Author: Syed Rasheeduddin Ahmed
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Training Video

MCG is a 100% non-profit organization, any proceeds received via the app or the book sale is solely used towards Halal Products Research.

Welcome to Canadian Halal Food

The Muslim Consumer Group for Food Products is a non-profit and non-political organization, incorporated in 1993 as Halal foods educational and Halal certification organization for Muslims consumers and food industry. Muslim consumers in Canada are in great need to know the Halal status of food products in Canadian supermarkets. Alhumdulillah MCG is grateful to Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala for providing this service to Muslims in Canada. This web site will educate them about requirements for Halal foods. We are the only Halal certifying organization whose Halal certification is acceptable to every Muslim consumer because it is based on strict Islamic dietary requirements. Our Halal symbol H in triangle appears on many food products, and ingredients. We follow the Islamic dietary requirement of no added ethyl alcohol to food products such as in natural and artificial flavors, vanilla extract and alcohol containing products such as naturally brewed soy sauce. We bring complex food processing knowledge to Muslims and its impact on Islamic dietary requirements. Our main purpose is to help Canadian Muslims to bring only Halal food products to their homes and Masajid.

What we do

We educate Muslims consumers and food industry about Halal food products and Halal food ingredients through our two web sites. We answer question from Muslims regarding food products through e-mails and we have a toll free Halal Food Hot Line to answer question about Halal food products in supermarkets, food ingredients, Halal personal care products and Halal on the counter medicines.

We go to Masajid or Islamic center for Questions & Answers sessions. We participate questions/answers session on radio program.

We Halal certify non-meat food products and food ingredients for different food companies. 

Recent Research on Food Products in 8 supermarkets of Toronto, Ontario area: In September 2012 Muslim Consumer Group has completed the research and collected the data of food products in 7 supermarkets of Toronto, Ontario area. The total products researched were 1857 in 8 different supermarkets excluding the meat and meat-by products and assign the following status: Halal, Halal if no alcohol is used in flavor, Not Halal The above status were assigned on the basis of Muslim Consumer Group's criteria as reported on this website. The 8 supermarkets researched in Toronto area are:

  • Costco Warehouse
  • Food Basic Supermarket
  • Fresh Co (Old Price Chopper)
  • Loblaws Supermarket
  • Metro Supermarket (Old Dominion)
  • No Frill Supermarkets
  • Real Canadian Superstore
  • Wal-Mart Super Center


Gelatin containing Food Products, Multivitamins and Fish Oils are not Halal unless they contain Fish Gelatin

Gelatin is a protein and it functions as a gelling agent. It is obtained from collagen which is derived from bones, skin from pork called Gelatin Type A. Gelatin is also obtained from collagen of beef bones and calf skin, it is called Gelatin Type B. Gelatin can be made from fish bones and it is considered as Halal. Fish gelatin cannot be labeled as gelatin but the word fish has to come before gelatin under ingredients statement. Fish gelatin is the only Halal gelatin available to food manufacturer and pharmaceutical companies in USA and Canada. Zabiha beef gelatin is not available commercially in USA and Canada. Type A gelatin is derived from acid treated tissues of pork. Type B gelatin is derived from alkali treated beef tissues. Gelatin gel strength is measured by means of a Bloom Gellometer and ranges from 50 to 300 Bloom. Gelatin is used in Ice cream, desserts, yogurts, in ham coating, confectionary and capsules of multivitamins, Omega fish oil, soft gel pain relievers and medicine capsules (please throughout the medicine capsules and consume the bitter medicine). MCG ulema do not consider non zabiha beef gelatin as Halal.

There are very few Islamic scholars and some liberal Rabbis consider pork gelatin as Halal or kosher because they think the original pork raw material has changed during gelatin processing.

This is not true because extensive studies have shown that amino acid content of white connective tissue whether from bone, skin, or tendons or from different species is very uniform and yields gelatins also having uniform amino acid composition ( East, J.E. 1955 " The amino acid composition of mammalian collagen and gelatin" Bio-Chem. J. 61, 589) .

Amino acids are the basic unit of gelatin protein. The above study showed that no changes happened to amino acid of pork collagen (structural protein) during pork gelatin processing. It means amino acids of pork collagen remained as is in pork gelatin.

This is not the case of Tabdeele Mahiya (A Sharia term). Pork gelatin is Haram and beef gelatin is not Halal.  


The Kosher Certified food products are not considered Halal if they contain one of the following ingredient (based on MCG Halal criteria):

}  (1) Gelatin (2) Kosher Gelatin (3) L-Cysteine made from human hair or chicken or duck feathers (4) Wine (5) Liquor (6) Beer batter (7) Rum flavor (8) Ethyl Alcohol or ethanol as a main ingredient (9) Cochineal or Carmine (10) Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce (11) Brewer’s Yeast Extract from byproduct of beer making  (12) Nucleotides (13) Vanilla Extract (14) Wine Vinegar (15) If ethyl alcohol is used as a solvent in natural and artificial flavors (16) Confectionary Glaze or Resinous Glaze (17) Torula Yeast grown on alcohol (18) if Carrageenan is made with ethyl alcohol, (19) Natural Vanilla or Natural Vanilla Flavor (because Alcohol is used in extraction)


The question about alcohol in flavor is a tricky one because it is a hidden ingredient of the flavor. If you ask alcohol question to non technical consumer department person of a food company, first they look at the ingredients list of the food product and will find no alcohol is mentioned. Then they will say we do not use alcohol in our products because they do not know the alcohol is a hidden ingredient of the flavor. We request Muslim consumers to use the following phrase when asking or writing the question to consumer department of any food company regarding the presence or absence of alcohol in the flavor of a food product.

" is alcohol used as a solvent in flavor; alcohol is a hidden ingredient or processing aid ingredient of a flavor, it will not appear in the ingredients statement. The knowledge of presence or absence of alcohol in flavor is only known to your QA or Technical service department because they have access to the specification of flavors. In the specification of flavor, your flavor supplier has written  the name of solvent or carrier used in that particular flavor. So please request your QA or Technical service department to find out whether alcohol was used or not in the flavor as a solvent. The consumer department can not answer this question because they do not have access to specification of ingredients".

Canadian Supermarkets Food Products
StatusProduct *BrandSupermarket
haramFruit SatianMott'sFresh Co (Old Price Chopper)
exclaimHarvest Crunch Raisin Almond CerealQuakerFresh Co (Old Price Chopper)
halalOrganics smooth Peanut ButterPresident ChoiceLoblaws Supermarket
unknownChocolate Chocolaty MixDuncan HinesNo Frill Supermarket
exclaimRoasted Garlic & Herb Pasta SauceHunt'sNo Frill Supermarket
* Click on the product name to view details.

Non Food Products
Product *Brand
 Cashmere Bouquet Beauty Bar
 Olay Ultra Moisture Body washOlay
 All ProductsLogics
 Olive Oil Shampoo coloured, dry or damaged hairNeolia
 Facial CleansingOlay
 Cough DropVicks
 Creams and LotionsAvon
 Baby WashesJohnson & Johnson
 All ProductsMartrix
 Non Chewy Gaviscon TabletsGavison
* Click on the product name to view details.

StatusNumber *Name
unknownE623Calcium Glutamate
halalE296Malic Acid
halalE508Potassium Chloride
halalE536Potassium Ferrocyanide
* Click on the E-Number to view details.

StatusIngredient *
unknownSodium Stearoyl Lactylate
unknownTurmeric Extract
* Click on the ingredient name to view details.

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