Pletok Beer, Only this 'Beer' can be Certified Halal

The MUI Fatwa Commission has determined that Bir Pletok Betawi can apply for halal certification without having to change its name. The reason is, Bir Pletok Betawi has been widely known by the public and has become a hereditary tradition.

“However, this provision does not automatically stipulate that Bir Pletok Betawi must be halal, because to determine its halalness, it must go through a more in-depth study,” said Deputy Director of LPPOM MUI for Auditing and Halal Assurance System, Ir. Muti Arintawati, M.Si.

As is known, pletok beer is a typical drink of the Betawi people in the past. Although it contains the word beer, pletok beer is made from ginger essence, sugar, basil flower essence and roots. However, it is not impossible that in the production process, the producer of Bir Pletok Betawi added other additives that are illegitimate or doubtful of their halalness. Therefore, to get a halal certificate, producers of this type of drink still have to register halal certification with the MUI.

Muti Arintawati’s affirmation was conveyed to remove the impression that Bir Pletok Betawi was automatically declared halal. In fact, the MUI Fatwa Commission Meeting only stipulates that Bir Pletok Betawi can be submitted for halal certification without having to change its name, not determine the halalness of Bir Pletok Betawi.

The affirmation of the MUI Fatwa Commission was carried out because in the previous fatwa, namely Fatwa No. 4 of 2003 stated “It is not permissible to consume food/drinks that use the names of forbidden foods/drinks.

In the case with Bir Pletok Betawi, considering that the name of this drink has become a name that has been attached to the community and has become a hereditary tradition, the MUI provides leeway, Pletok Betawi Beer producers can apply for halal certification without having to change the name of Bir Pletok Betawi. “The halal decision certainly still refers to the results of the lppom MUI auditor’s examination and the Fatwa Commission Meeting,” said Muti Arintawati.

This provision is similar to the allowing of meatballs to be submitted for halal certification, without changing the name. Based on the history of its name, the word meatball comes from Hokkien Chinese which means pork ground beef. However, considering that Indonesian consumers are predominantly Muslim, the basic ingredients of meat are no longer pork, but beef, chicken meat, or fish.

Even so, not all meatballs must come from halal meat. Therefore, meatball traders who want to apply for halal certification, are required to use halal ingredients. If after inspection it turns out that all the ingredients used are halal, then the meatball merchant is entitled to get a halal certificate, while still using the word meatball. On the other hand, if there is an illegitimate ingredient content, for example, it comes from pork, it will automatically be rejected by the MUI.

Like meatballs that have been very widely known in the community, Bir Pletok Betawi has also existed since the Dutch colonial era. At that time, many Dutch people liked to drink beer. Meanwhile, the Betawi people, who are predominantly Muslim, realize that beer is intoxicating, and the law is haram. Since then, betawi people have taken the initiative to make their own beer that is not intoxicating.

The ingredients of Bir Pletok Betawi consist of a mixture of several spices, namely ginger, fragrant pandan leaves, and lemongrass.

To make the color more attractive, betawi people use the addition of secang wood, which will give a red color when brewed with hot water.

The origin of the word Bir Pletok itself, according to Indra Sutisna as an expert on the Betawi community, there are three versions. Beer means spring water. The meaning of pletok there are several versions, namely the first version is made of bamboo, where it is closed and poured the sound of pletok. The second version is also drunk, put it in a teapot, mixed with ice, the teapot ingredients are from aluminum. Well, keep shaking and sounding. While the third version, there is a secang fruit, the fruit if old is black, the seeds are thrown away and beaten so that they become pletok beer. It’s purely from spices,” he said.

In processing pletok beer, Indra explained that it takes a long time. Because the spice process must be made in a simple and natural way.” The manufacturing process is one to two hours, because the process is still natural and what it is,” he explained.

Furthermore, he admitted that pletok beer drinks have penetrated into how many parts of the Betawi area.

Although the way of processing is still a home industry. “Now, pletok beer can be found anywhere, if it used to be only in the central Betawi region,” he said.

Even though it has penetrated into several various regions in Jakarta, slowly this Betawi specialty drink has begun to shift because of the many varieties of health drinks sold anywhere.

The properties of Pletok Beer are very diverse, ranging from relieving nausea to treating various diseases. Ginger, as the main ingredient of pletok brewing, can not only treat hangover/nausea, but also has a myriad of other benefits such as:

1.The content of protease and lipase enzymes contained in ginger serves to break down proteins and fats. It is this enzyme that helps digest and absorb food so that it increases appetite.

2.Ginger also protects the digestive system by lowering the acidity of the stomach. Acetone and methanol compounds in ginger are also able to inhibit the occurrence of irritation in the gastrointestinal tract. The benefit is that stomach pain can be reduced by consuming ginger. Inflammation in arthritis can also be overcome by consuming a lot of ginger because ginger inhibits the production of prostaglandins—hormones in the body that can trigger inflammation.

3.Ginger contains cineole and arginine compounds that are able to overcome premature ejaculation. This compound also prevents infertility and strengthens sperm resistance.

In addition to ginger as the main spice it makes, there is also secang wood (Caesalpinia sappan) as one that makes it unique. The use of secang wood is intended to provide a natural dye that makes pletok beer more attractive but still healthy.

This sapwood will give a red color when brewed with hot water. Secang wood containing gallic acid and tannic acid, in pletok beer can be useful for treating pain such as: diarrhea, dysentery, coughing up blood (tuberculosis), in addition to other uses as a remedy for various other diseases such as ), woundsin, syphilis, dirty blood, vomiting blood, bloody crusts, bloody wounds, bloody bruises, malaria, tetanus, tumors, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes.

Halal Journal 111

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