Classification of Foods

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Halal is a term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. The term is used to designate food seen as permissible according to Islamic law. The opposite of this word is haraam. Halal foods are foods that Muslims are allowed to eat under Islamic dietary guidelines. The criteria specify both what foods are allowed, and how the food must be prepared. The foods addressed are mostly types of meat/animal tissue. For Muslims the Halal or permissible items are:


For Muslims the Haram or impermissible items are:


For all Muslims, this group of consumables consists of ingredients that are doubtful or questionable. E.g. Animal fat or proteins; Antioxidants; Dairy products; Emulsifiers; Enzymes; Flavorings; Gelatin; Glycerin and Vitamins. All these items are derived either from animal, plant, microbial or synthetic sources. If it comes from an animal source, then we need to know if the animal was halal and if so, was it slaughtered properly or not. If yes or if the source is plant or certified-microbial then we can eat it.

Responsibility of a Muslim Consumer

It is every Muslim consumer's responsibility to be conscientious of what he/she does, whether it be the consumption of food, nutritional supplements, pharmaceuticals or cosmetics items, and to please ALLAH (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) by following HIS commandments. We should:

Be familiar with different types of ingredients

Simple or Single Complex or Compound
Salt Sugar Batters Breadings
Flour Water Colorings Flavorings
Honey Vinegar Cheese Powder Enriched Flour
Ascorbic Acid Aspartame Enrichment Mix Seasonings
Benzoate Gelatin Shortenings Spices
L-Cysteine Onion Powder Vitamin Mix
Phosphate Propionic Acid

Know hidden ingredients in common foods

Ingredient Food
Liquor Chocolate
Gelatin Ice Cream and Pharmaceuticals
Lard Maple Syrup
Pan Grease/Lard Bread/Baked Goods
Polysorbates Dairy Products
LPork Lipase Cheese
Stearates Chewing Gum

As a Halal consumer, I should be aware of ingredients by function

Function Ingredient
Antioxidants BHA, BHT, Ascorbic Acid
Acidulates Citric Acid, Carbonic Acid
Colorings Blue, Red, Yellow 5,6 etc.
Emulsifiers Lecithin, Mono Di-Glycerides
Flavorings Artificial/Natural Flavors, Spices
Flavor Enhancers Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Fortifiers Thiamine, Vitamin A & D
Preservatives Benzoic Acid, Propionic Acid
Stabilizers Alginate, Gelatin, Phosphates
Supplements Amino Acids, Minerals, Vitamins
Sweeteners Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose

Common foods that may be a concern

Products Examples of Mashbooh (Doubtful) Ingredients
Bread Lecithin, Mono/Diglycerides
Bagels Cysteine hydrochloride, Enzymes, Folic acid, Niacin
Candy Glycerin, Gelatin, Mono Glycerides, Whey, Natural & Artificial flavors, Stearic acid, Magnesium Stearate
Cereals Artificial/Natural flavors, Vitamin A, B2, C, D
Chips Cheese
Cookies Folic acid, Thiamine
Granola Bars Flavorings
Coffee Creamer Artificial/Natural flavors, Mono/Diglycerides
Cakes Artificial/Natural flavors, Mono/Diglycerides
Donuts/Pastries Mono/Diglycerides, Flavors, Lard
Ice Cream Whey, Artificial flavor, Mono/Diglycerides
Jell-O/Puddings Gelatin, Artificial/Natural flavors
Cheese Enzymes
Shortenings Animal fat, Mono/Diglycerides
Peanut Butter Mono/Diglycerides
Colas Natural flavors
Ketchups Natural flavors
Yogurts Flavors, Gelatin, Whey
Gums Glycerin, Stearic acid
Mouth Wash Alcohol, Flavors, Glycerin
Nutritional Supplements Gelatin, Magnesium Stearate
Soaps Sodium Tallowate, Glycerin
Toothpaste Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

E-numbers that may be a concern

  • E-304
  • E-322
  • E-422
  • E-431
  • E-432
  • E-433
  • E-434
  • E-435
  • E-436
  • E-442
  • E-445
  • E-470a
  • E-470b
  • E-471
  • E-472a
  • E-472b
  • E-472c
  • E-472d
  • E-472e
  • E-472f
  • E-473
  • E-474
  • E-475
  • E-476
  • E-477
  • E-479
  • E-481
  • E-482
  • E-483
  • E-491
  • E-492
  • E-493
  • E-494
  • E-495
  • E-570

Concern about the process and source