Eid al-Fitr becomes the most awaited moment by Moslems globally. Mostly they prepare various foods for the day. One of the must is cookies. The cookies are served for the guests who visit the house.
The cookies are made by homemade. Therefore, the maker can select all the ingredients used. However, some of the main ingredients have halal critical points. Let’s discuss it one by one.
Flour is the main ingredient in making cookies. It is rich of carbohydrates, but less of vitamins and minerals. To enrich the nutrients, fortified ingridients are often added to the flour, such as iron, zinc, vitamin B1 and B2, and folic acid. Those might be non halal ingredients if it is produced microbiologically through the non halal media.
Margarine is made by plant fats. There is often found stabilizer, food coloring, flavor, which is added into the process of making and the halalness is need to be questioned.
Sugar is processed through some steps, begins with extraction, clarification, evaporation, crystalization, until drying. These process might use active carbon decolorization.
“If the active carbon is carried from mining process or wood charcoal, sure it is not a huge matters. However, if it is from bone charcoal, the active carbon must be confirmed its halalness. The active charcoal must be originated from the animals that is slaughtered under Islamic Rules, “ said Dr. Ir. Mulyorini R. Hilwan, M.Si, Advisor of Halal Audit Service Directorate LPPOM MUI.
Other ingredients that frequently used as topping or cake compound are cheese and chocolate. Cheese comes from cow, sheep, goat, and camel. Microorganisms (such as: rennet enzyme, pepsin, renin, renilation) are needed in milk curdling.
“The rennet enzyme that is used can be from microbial process or calf’s stomach. If it comes from microbial process, then must be assured that the media used do not contain prohibited material. Meanwhile, if it comes from the calf’s stomach, the way calf is slaughtered becomes the determinant of the halalness, “ said Ir. Muti Arintawati, M.Si, Deputy Director of LPPOM MUI.
The same happens to chocolate since it needs emulsifier in its making. The emulsifier comes from vegetable and animal. Besides, the use of flavor, lactose, and whey is also common thing in chocolate. Lactose and whey are critical ingredients since it originates from cheese production that might be using prohibited things in the making process.
This can be anticipated by choosing the product whose MUI Halal labeled on the packaging. If unsure, the halalness can be checked through the website www.halalmui.org, Jurnal Halal Magazine, or Halal MUI Apps for Android users.
Do not forget to check the unbroken packaging, leaky, or murky syrup. The expired date also need to be checked so the syrup we consume is not only halal but also safe (thayyib). Let’s get used to in choosing halal ingredients, at least to take care of our self and family. (YN)