Cereals, What is the Critical Point?

In the last few days, the public was shocked by one of the famous cereal products which turned out to contain pork DNA, namely Post Oreo O’s Cereal. Attractive packaging and a legit taste make many eyes interested in this product, no doubt the Millennial generation.

This cereal has actually been produced since 1997 in South Korea, but was discontinued for one reason or another. Then, in 2018 this cereal was officially back into production. Even so, there are still few retailers in Indonesia that sell Post Oreo O’s Cereal. Most sales are made through the marketplace. This is one of the potentials for people to mistake or be fooled into buying products, namely the limited number of consumers seeing the product as a whole.

In fact, it is important for consumers to know the product before buying. For ordinary people, looking at the list of ingredients alone is not enough to explain the legal status of a product. Therefore, before buying, a Muslim is obliged to know that the product already has the MUI Halal logo and distribution license. After that, check the product expiration period. This is the easiest way to select products.

However, where is the tipping point for the halalness of Post Oreo O’s Cereal?

In general, these cereals contain several main ingredients, such as flour, sugar, flavor, coloring, vitamins and minerals, and vegetable oils. Not only that, marshmallows are also present as a sweetener in Post Oreo O’s Cereal.


Basically, flour is included in the “Non-Critical Material” group. This is because products of vegetable origin are processed through a physical process without adding any ingredients. However, now many flours are produced with the addition of additives which are vitamins. This additional material needs to be investigated for its halalness.


Sugar needs to go through several stages, from the extraction process, purification, evaporation, crystallization, to drying. These stages have the opportunity to use a decolorizing agent using activated carbon.

If the activated carbon comes from mining or wood charcoal, then there is no problem. However, if using bone charcoal, it must be ensured that it comes from halal animals slaughtered according to Islamic law.


According to Dr. Nancy Dewi Yuliana, a lecturer in Agricultural Technology at the Bogor Agricultural University as well as a halal auditor for LPPOM MUI. There are two types of flavors, namely natural and artificial flavors. Natural fruit flavors generally come from vegetable ingredients and go through a physical processing process, for example through pressing without the addition of other ingredients. Thus, can be said that natural flavors that are processed like this are non-critical ingredients.

“Meanwhile, synthetic flavors are more complex and seen by a halal perspective they can be categorized as critical materials. Although the name seems safe, because of the fruit flavor, sometimes we also find synthetic fruit flavor constituents which are derived from fat,” explained Nancy.

It is these fat derivatives that should be traced back to. If the fat comes from unclean animals, such as pigs, then it is definitely haram. However, if the fat comes from halal animals, then it must be ensured that the method of slaughter is in accordance with Islamic sharia.


Currently, food coloring is growing, some are made from synthetic (artificial) and natural (natural) materials. Synthetic dyes are preferred by food producers because they have a fairly good level of color stability and relatively cheap prices.

Meanwhile, natural dyes are usually less stable. To avoid color damage from the influence of temperature, light, and other environmental influences, often this type of dye is added with a coating agent through a micro-encapsulation process. One type of coating that is often used is gelatin.

“Some natural dyes use gelatin as a stabilizer. In this case, the source of gelatine must be ensured that it comes from halal animals slaughtered according to syar’i,” said Ir. Muti Arintawati, M.Sc., Deputy Director of the Research Institute for Food, Medicine and Cosmetics, the Indonesian Ulema Council (LPPOM MUI).

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals can be of animal, microbial, vegetable, or synthetic origin. If it comes from an animal, it must come from a halal animal slaughtered according to sharia. If vitamins come from microbes, the growth medium needs to be considered to be free of unclean elements. Auxiliary materials and additives to keep vitamins stable are also needed, for example coatings (coatings) which are usually made of gelatine.

Vegetable Oil

In the manufacturing process, vegetable oil requires auxiliary ingredients, such as citric acid for degumming or activated charcoal for decolorization. Citric acid is a microbial product that must be considered as the growth medium is free from unclean. Meanwhile, the source of decolorizing material can come from activated charcoal, such as wood, coal, or bone.


Marshmallow is one product that also has a high halal critical point. One of the well-known ingredients used in this product is gelatin. This chewing material turns out to have a critical point which is quite dangerous. Typically, gelatin is made from the bones and skins of livestock such as cows, buffaloes, goats, fish and pigs.

“Gelatin is one of the critical ingredients in terms of its halalness for Muslims. Because almost all of the gelatin products are imported from abroad. Even though it is widely used for various kinds of daily consumption products,” said Ir. Muti Arintawati, M.Sc., Director of Halal Audit of LPPOM MUI. (YN)

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