Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sugar Alcohols contain ALCOHOL........ WRONG!?!?!?

MYTH: Sugar Alcohols contain ALCOHOL.

What are Sugar Alcohols?

Sugar alcohols (also known as a polyol, polyhydric alcohol, or polyalcohol) are carbohydrates (sugar or starch), that have been modified to contain a hydroxyl group. It is this hydroxyl group that classifies it, chemically, as an alcohol. Sugar alcohols are commonly used for replacing sucrose (sugar) in foodstuffs, often in combination with high intensity artificial sweeteners to counter the low sweetness.

Some common sugar alcohols:

Glycol Lactitol
Glycerol (glycerine)

Do Sugar Alcohols contain ALCOHOL?

Yes, and No. Sugar Alcohols are not made with, nor do they contain what we commonly refer to as ALCOHOL (ethanol). Yet they all fall into the chemical class 'alcohol' because like all compounds of its class, they contain a hydroxyl group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom of an alkyl or substituted alkyl group.

Sugar Alcohols are not produced using the alcoholic fermentation process in the way that alcoholic beverages such as beer or wine are produced. Nor are they distilled in the way that gin, vodka or whiskey are. Nor do they contain the alcohol known as ethanol (ethyl alcohol), which is the type of alcohol that is present in all the alcoholic beverages mentioned above.

Are Sugar Alcohols allowed in Muslim countries?

Yes. Sugar alcohols are halal. They have been approved for use in foods in Muslim countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This table provides regulatory information for various sugar alcohols for the countries of Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


sorbitol and sorbitol syrup (E420)
mannitol (E421)
maltitol (E965)
maltitol syrup
lactitol (E966)
xylitol (E967) In accordance with good manufacturing practices in chewing gum, chocolate, confectioneny, bakery products, jams, jellies and marmalades, breakfast cereals and puddings.

Food manufacturers must only warn that mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol may cause diarrhea.

QATAR permits:

sorbitol and sorbitol syrup (E420)
mannitol (E421)
isomannitol (E953)
maltitol (E965)
lactitol (E966)
xylitol (E967)



  1. Thank you so much for this information.

  2. Assalamu alaikum,
    are the following gums halal:
    stride,juicy fruits,
    trident,bubahubba,doublemint and 5

    please tell me if these are halal so inshallah i can consume halal
    **if i missed any gum please tell me about those too

  3. to add to the above questions, can you tell me if bottled water, nachos, orange juice, english muffins, kiwis, and shake-and-bake are halal? thanks.

  4. to add to the above questions, can you tell me if bottled water, nachos, orange juice, english muffins, kiwis, and shake-and-bake are halal? thanks.

  5. u gotta be kidding meNovember 19, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    to add to the above questions, can you tell me if bottled water, nachos, orange juice, english muffins, kiwis, and shake-and-bake are halal? thanks.

  6. thanks a lot for the info.It was very useful.God Bless.

  7. Jazakallah Khair!

  8. Thank you so much. I looked at other websites but it did not say. This website is good. I reccomend it to everyone. Bye.

  9. Thanx. I used this to conclude that 5gum, Tic Tac and Extra are halal.

  10. i bought a vanilla extract which contains propylene glycol instead of ethanol...
    can anybody tell me whether its halal or not ?

  11. Jazakallah Khair!
    it helps me a lot.

  12. I am interested in making and sustaining a company which supplies Halal White sugar.

    All those interested in pitching in can contact me on the following :

    Khawar Nehal

    Applied Technology Research Center (ATRC)
    C-55 Block A KDA Officers, Karachi 75260, Pakistan
    Email :
    Website :
    Mobile : 971-55-639-8386
    Gtalk : khawar.nehal
    Skype : khawar.nehal

    Internet Wadi

    Shop 13 Building T1, Spain Cluster, International City, Dubai, UAE.
    Email :

    Dubai Business Club
    Website :

    Social Networks
    General email :
    Salam BC :
    Linked In :
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  13. As salam..Thanks....Now I know what is 'sugar alcohols' means.As a muslim, Halal is very important,so when I found 'sugar alcohols' added in one of Wrigley's product, I got confused weather it Halal or not and this info really help me a lot.Thank you so much.

  14. Assalamu aleikum!

    Could you please be so kind verify that the sugar alcohol erythritol is halal? Is it used in muslim countries? Because accordning to the site "muslim consumer group" it's not halal since it is made through alcoholic fermentation.
    I'm feeling unsure because it is actually being marketed as halal certificated.

    May Allah reward you with good, please clarify this issue since I'm sure many are doubtful about using erythritol sweeteners.

  15. Wa alaikum as salam

    Can you be more specific as to what products it is used in.

    Also if you can take a picture of a product label that has this ingredient in the list. Best product's to use for this kind of research is the offering from a bigger company since they would have adequate resources to provide us the required information.


  16. I apologize for making a double post, I was unsure my comment was published.

    Thank you for the immediate answer.

    For example this product:

    The last one is only in Swedish, I apologize, but the ingredients are pure stevia (Rebaudiosid A) as an extract and the stevia sugar which is a blending of stevia(Rebaudiosid A) and Erythritol (E968).
    Stevia Vital is also marketing it as halal in their Q&A.

    My question is mostly regarding using erythritol as an artificial sweetener, in food and drinks instead of regular sugar.

    May Allah reward you with good.

  17. Only reason i can think for the "haram" classification from mcg is that the bacterial culture might be bred / fed on something haram.

    And it would have been great if they had provided us with this info.

    So i really cannot comment on their classification based on lack of this technical information.


  18. For your information i can tell you that i myself sent a email to Stevia Vital which uses it in one of their products. The mail was originally in Swedish so I have translated it, this what they told me:

    Hi Maryam,

    Yes, that's a good question. Our products have a halal certificate by our production facility. This certificate is issued by an independent organization whose purpose is to protect Muslims' interests. So we can only assume that it is correct. The second reason can be found below.

    Without claiming that we are being either Muslims or expert in the field we understand the issue with regard to alcohol as following. The basis for the prohibition (haram) seems to be that alcohol impairs/degrades ones judgement against and before God and the environment. That is, the consumption of liquid (which is the only form of alcohol). Various Muslim experts disagree on the microscopic level of (alcoholic) liquid in medicines, for example. But we do not need to think about.

    The shortest response is that there is no alcohol in solid form. And as our products are dry powders products there also is no alcohol.

    Hope you are happy with the answers Maryam, otherwise feel free to contact me again.

    Have a nice day.

    Best regards

    Customer Service

    About the bacterial culture that is used, i will look futher into the question about what they are being fed on. Though i doubt it to be something that could be considered haram, with regard to the statement in the letter and my own reasoning (we have pretty strict guidelines here in Sweden at least).

    My personal conclusion would be that is actually is halal if it actually has been certified as it. And of course after clarifying the question about the bacterial culture.

    Mcg classified it as haram on the basis that they think it is made through alocolic fermentation. But maybe in reality it is gone through a fermentation like cheese and any other fermenated and permissible foods (as also mentioned in the Q&A section in one of the link).

    What do you make of this if it turns out that the bacterial culture is bred synthetically or organically? And with the above mentioned statements in mind?

    Thank you for you time.

  19. Assalamu aleikum

    So i actually recieved a copy of the halal certificate authorized by the Inspection- and Certification Body for Halal Food Halal Control (EU). But maybe one should keep in mind that this certifaction was issued for pervious mentioned products (Stevia Vital and Sukrin), since i don't want to be held repsonsible for any wrong anyone should confirm the status of any other erythritol products of a different label.

    LINK to their website:

    Officially accredited and appointed by JAKIM (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia),
    LP-POM MUI Indonesia (The Indonesian Council of Ulama),
    CICOT (Central Islamic Committee of Thailand and HIT (Halal Standard Institute of Thailand), MUIS Singapore (The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore) and further reputable institutions.

    Futher, one can read in their site

    Products that have earned the label of protected Halal Control (EU) can be safely consumed by Muslim consumers.It is a guarantee for the strict implementation of the food and professional certification to very high standards of halal (Malaysian halal standard MS 1500:2009, etc.). As the "best and most advanced certification body for Halal food in Europe," we were in 2003 awarded by the Malaysian Halal Authorities (Jakim)


    W e only employ qualified and accredited Islamist food chemists / technologists for halal certification of the various industrial companies and independent laboratories to provide our services. So we have been working since 2001 with various accredited genetic laboratories. Halal Control (EU) is the first certification body worldwide that has a concept HrACCP (Haram Analysis Critical Control Point) introduced in the food industry.

    (All translated from German)

    And Allah knows best

  20. Xylitol chewing Gum HARAM because they contain illicit substances