Vinegar is an additional cooking ingredient used to add a sour taste. This ingredient is widely used in pickles, pempek sauce, a slightly sour taste in soupy foods, and a fishy odor remover in meat. According to chemistry, vinegar is an organic compound with the chemical compound name acetic acid.
Vinegar can be made chemically or naturally. Chemical vinegar is made through the carbonylation process of methanol, a compound of the alcohol group, which is sometimes distilled. This chemical vinegar is widely used in households, although the downside is that the taste profile is less rich. Naturally, vinegar is made through a fermentation process, both traditional fermentation and with the help of microbes. Traditional fermentation turns raw materials into vinegar by fermenting naturally over a long period.
Meanwhile, fermentation with the help of microbes, generally Acetobacter aceti or yeast, will produce vinegar quickly, usually in days. Apples, grapes, and rice are common raw materials for vinegar, although apple cider vinegar is perhaps the most popular. However, many questions arise, especially regarding the halal status of apple vinegar, which comes from fermented fruit.
What is the law regarding consuming apple cider vinegar?
As Muslims, we must be careful about the halal status of our vinegar. Vinegar is a food that has halal status; as stated by Rasulullah SAW, “The best side dish is vinegar” (HR. Muslim, No. 3824).
According to Halal Auditor Management Manager of LPPOM MUI, Ade Suherman, S.Si., when referring to the Fatwa of the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) Number 4 of 2003 concerning “Standardization of Halal Fatwa,” vinegar that comes from wine whether it occurs by itself or through engineering, is halal and holy. There is a process called changing the original nature into something else and releasing the original character, such as the name, characteristics, and accompanying it.
In making vinegar using the fermentation process, there are two stages of the process that take place continuously, namely the fermentation process, which converts glucose (C6H12O6) into alcohol (C2H5OH). The alcohol will change into vinegar acid (CH3COOH). The fermentation process directly converts sugar into vinegar, so the status of the vinegar is halal, just like making apple cider vinegar.
Then, in the Fatwa of the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) Number 10 of 2018 concerning “Food and Beverage Products Containing Alcohol/Ethanol,” it was also discussed regarding vinegar originating from wine, whether it occurs by itself or through engineering, the law is halal and holy.
“However, this does not mean that the vinegar we find on the market, such as apple cider vinegar, is halal, so we need to pay close attention to the critical point for the source of microbes and the source of the fermentation media, which lies in the nitrogen source for microbial growth nutrients, which could come from meat extracts, meat hydrolysis peptone, and other materials,” explained Ade.
Apart from that, after it becomes vinegar, there is the opportunity to add other ingredients, such as flavors and coloring. The ingredients and process can prove that flavor and paint have a composition that contains fat derivatives, both animal and vegetable. If it comes from animals, it must be ensured that it comes from halal animals that are slaughtered according to Islamic law. Apart from that, the enzyme pectinase is sometimes used to clear apple cider vinegar. This enzyme is mainly produced from fermentation, so it is critical.
To further convince us, as Muslim consumers, to consume apple cider vinegar. It’s good to pay attention to the halal label/logo on the apple cider vinegar packaging. LPPOM MUI has provided a Halal Product Check platform on the website https://halalmui.org/. You can access this platform anywhere and anytime. (ZUL)