Thursday, April 10, 2008

Beta Carotene... Haram or not??

Why is beta carotene haram?
"What is beta carotene?

-Beta carotene, which is found in plants, is a precursor of vitamin A. The body converts beta carotene to vitamin A. It occurs mainly in fruits and vegetables that are deep yellow, orange, or dark green in color, such as carrots, squash, yams, peaches, apricots, spinach, collard or mustard greens, and broccoli. It is an antioxidant, a compound that may prevent cancer-causing substances from damaging DNA. Epidemiologic studies have linked high intake of foods rich in beta carotene and high serum levels of the micronutrient to a reduced risk of cancer, particularly lung cancer.

Assalam O Alaikum

Beta Carotene itself is Halal ingredient because it is obtained from plant source. But it has to mix with a carrier such as vegetable oil and gelatin to dissolve or disperse in a food system. The carrier added to Beta carotene is considered as a processing aid ingredient and it is not require to mentioned in the ingredient list. If it is mixed with vegetable oil, it is Halal. But if it is mixed with pork gelatin, then it becomes Haram.

A Halal or genuine Kosher symbol indicate it is not mixed with pork gelatin and sometimes it is mixed with fish gelatin for example Sunny Delight fruit drinks in which Beta Carotene is mixed with fish gelatin.

Please visit Muslim Consumer Group's web site "" for more information.

Syed Rasheeduddin Ahmed
Muslim Consumer Group