Flavors and Ingredients
Islamic Services of America always analyzes additives to consumer products during the Halal certification process. These additives may not be seen or tasted or noticed in any particular way. Often in the process of manufacturing consumable goods there are many ingredients and many different types of ingredients made up of multiple other ingredients. These ingredients and sub-ingredients are easily hidden, overlooked or simply unknown until one studies the ingredient list. Even then, each of them is comprised of other sub-ingredients and referenced in very generic or vague terms and descriptions.
For example what do "natural" or "artificial" colors and flavors mean? What are their sources of origin? Are they plant based, synthetic, microbial, animal or mineral based? Does "beef flavor" mean beef is used? Not necessarily. This is where the deep dives occur in the Halal product review process.
Processing aids may be used throughout the creation, development and compilation of finished products. Ethyl alcohol can be used as a solvent or a carrier for flavorings like vanilla and other extracts. Some companies also use animal by products. ISA qualifies the source of origin for each ingredient, color or flavor and investigates them for Halal compliance. For example, cheese and whey powder could contain pork enzymes or other animal enzymes that may or may not be Halal. Not all bovine sources are Halal. Halal flavors, colors and sub-ingredients are supported by Halal certificates from respected, recognized and known global Halal certifiers. This is all part of the initial Halal compliance and integrity steps followed at the start of a Halal product review and approval.
Then come the production flow charts which are studied to understand how the ingredients are blended, heated, evaporated and completed for the packaging stages. Halal facility audits witness the entire documentation and process handling to ensure the Halal integrity of production from the raw material stage to final storage.
Do you know what you are consuming and how it was made? We do.