Thursday, February 11, 2010

'Suitable For Vegetarian' is Halaal?

'Suitable For Vegetarian' is Halaal?

Views: 1160817 Last Updated: 31/01/2010
Question
 
I am writting this mail regarding some Halal, Haram problem i am facing. I am living in The London City. I just want to ask about some products labeling 'Suitable For Vegetarian', like if we find these quote on any product does it mean that it is Halal and we can use these product?
Problem is that whenever I check the ingrediant list mostly I find few Emulsifiers which is according to my information is Haram like E471, E472, E476 etc. From a last 2-3 months I am trying to find a Bread but I am unable to find a single Bread which did not include any Haram Emulsifiers.
I tried in Sainsbury's, Tesco, Budgens, Marks & Spancer etc, but in every bread I found either some Emulsifiers like E471 and E472 or Mono & Di-glycerides of fatty acids. My friend told me that if you find the sign of 'Suitable For Vegetarian' in any of the products that means it's halal because it does'nt include any animal fats and there is a two types of Emulsifiers.
The same problem I am facing in Ice Cream, Biscits, Chocolets, Cakes and other Bakery items. I am really strugling to find the correct information. I hope you pplz can help me to find the truth. I also want to know about the detail information about Emulsifier so can you tell me the web site which have a detail information about Emulsifiers.

Answer

 
Last Updated: 31/01/2010
A product which is 'suitable for vegetarians' does not necessarily make it suitable for a Muslim diet, though it is quite likely that it is. There are two issues which need to be understood:
The use of Animal Derivatives?
Preservatives like E471, E472, E476 and other such constituents can be from a vegetarian, synthetic or animal source. So a 'suitable for vegetarians' emblem would ensure that these ingredients are suitable for Muslims since they can not be from any animal source. So, in most cases there is usually not anything to worry about.

The use of Alcohol as an ingredient?
A 'suitable for vegetarians' product could have alcohol added to it but I have yet to find a bread product which contains added alcohol. Nevertheless, be careful with confectionary especially cakes, puddings etc. If alcohol is added then these would be declared in the ingredients panel in most cases.

Use of Shellac
To confuse matters, shellac is suitable for vegetarians but not suitable for Muslims, so reading the ingredients is imperative.
Shellac - Haraam - http://www.gmwa.org.uk/foodguide2/index.php?page=viewquestion&id=243
Conclusion
So, to conclude a product which is 'suitable for vegetarians' should be free of animal sources as a rule, so only the alcohol content need be checked.
On the other hand if a product does not have the 'Suitable for Vegetarians' emblem, this does not automatically disqualify it for Muslim consumption. Ingredients like fish, and even battery eggs (according the Vegetarian Society, battery eggs are unsuitable) may make the product unsuitable for a vegetarian diet but of course we know that these are suitable for Muslims. We can not ascertain whether a product is Haraam or Halaal until these issues have been clarified.
Please can you clarify what particular information you require about emulsifiers so that I may direct you correctly?
If you need further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

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