Take a Look at the Halalness of Softdrink

As with any other drink, the main ingredient of making softdrink is water. Although it seems simple, even plain water can be potentially illegitimate if the purification process involves activated carbon materials that are not kosher, such as pork bones.

To bring taste sensations and aromas according to taste, in the manufacture of softdrink also need other ingredients. These ingredients are needed to make soft drinks taste better, fresher, and look attractive.

Additional ingredients contained in carbonated soft drinks include sugar which causes sweetness. There are also various flavors, such as strawberry flavors, grapes, cola, lemon, and so on. Then, this drink is also mixed with dyes to match the taste sensations offered, for example, yellow / orange for orange flavor, red color for strawberry flavor and brown color for cola flavor.

Other ingredients often found in carbonated drinks are CO2, citric acid, sodium benzoic, and preservatives. So many additives must be included, that Muslim consumers must be careful, both in terms of their safety and halalness.

Auditor senior LPPOM MUI, Ir. Nur Wahid M.Si. stated that ingredients such as sugar, fruit concentrates, flavors, as well as acidity regulators, and artificial sweeteners have a critical point of nutrition that every Muslim consumer needs to be aware of. Sugar for example, although of vegetable origin, its halal status can be sumir, it can be halal or haram. In fiqh terms it is called syubhat. The source of sugar raw materials is cane or beet. However, in the process of processing, the results of halal sugarcane or beet extracts intersect with other additional ingredients that may not be halal.

This is more common in sugars that undergo a bleaching process. In the industrial world, this type of sugar is called refined sugar. The critical point of nutrient from refined sugar lies in the refinery process, which is the stage of the process that uses certain ingredients in whitening the sugar.

In water and sugar, the ingredient that is considered problematic in this bleaching process is the use of activated charcoal. From the material aspect, activated charcoal can come from coconut shells, sawdust, coal, or animal bones. If you use vegetable ingredients, then of course there is no need to doubt its halalness. But if the activated charcoal comes from pork bones, it is clear that sugar or water is illegitimate. Meanwhile, if the activated charcoal comes from a cow, it must be ensured that the cow is slaughtered in sharia.

So the tipping point of its monasticity is the bones of animals. Because anything that comes from animals, if it is for consumption, must be ensured to come from kosher animals and be slaughtered according tosyar’i, of course, including the bones in it.

Another ingredient that should be criticized is the presence of concentrates. Fruit concentrates are additional ingredients to add flavor so that they are similar or the same as certain fruits, such as oranges, grapes, cola, or stratwberries. At first glance, this fruit concentrate will indeed not be problematic when viewed from the halal status. But even though it comes from fruit, concentrates can also use auxiliary materials that are not clear about their halal status.

To make fruit concentrates so that they are not cloudy, for example, auxiliary materials such as enzymes or gelatin are needed. When it comes to enzymes, then what must be ascertained is the source of the enzyme, whether it comes from plants, animals, or microbials. If the enzyme is obtained from microbially treated enzymes, it must be ensured to use a medium that is free of illicit and unclean materials.

If the syrup purifier uses gelatin, it must be ensured that the gelatin comes from a halal source. Because in the industrial world, gelatin raw materials come from animal bones and skin. The problem is, the gelatin used in Indonesia mostly comes from abroad.

Halal gelatin is very limited. Because as explained above, every material that comes from animals, it must be ensured that it comes from halal animals and is slaughtered Islamically.

In addition to adding fruit concentrates, softdrink flavors also come from flavors. Without these substances, you can imagine how difficult it would be for producers to produce softdrink if the taste buds of the fruit came from fresh fruits. Because, fresh fruits are not always present because of their seasonal nature.

The standard factor of taste is also problematic, if using fresh fruit. Therefore, the taste of the fruit becomes standard if the manufacturer uses a certain fruit flavor with a certain dose as well. The problem is, industrially made fruit flavors are sometimes not found in the flavor. Even fruit flavoring can come from the synthesis of certain chemicals, which must also be criticized for their halal status.

In addition, acidity regulators can also be problematic from the halal aspect. One of them is citric acid. Because citric acid is a microbial product, so it is processed microbially as well. Manufacturers of this material must use microbial growth media that is free from illicit and unclean materials.

Another ingredient that also invites question marks from the halal aspect is artificial sweeteners. An artificial sweetener that can be problematic is aspartame. This artificial sweetener consists of two amino acids, namely phenylalanine and aspartic acid.

Because usually these two amino acids are also processed microbially, it must certainly meet the halal requirements of microbial products. So, to avoid consuming softdrink whose halalness is unclear, consumers should consume products that have been mui halal certified.

Until now, a number of soft drink brands have had MUI halal certificates. For example, Coca Cola, Fanta and Sprite produced by the Coca Cola Company. There is also Big Cola with various flavors produced by PT Aje Indonesia. Meanwhile, PT Prima Cahaya Indo Beverage, under the Pepsi brand, has also bagged a halal certificate.

Halal Journal No. 109

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