Ramadan is the most awaited month for all Muslims in the world. There is a lot of worship and activities undertaken during the month. Starting from fasting, tarawih prayer, to other social agendas. Therefore, Muslims need to prepare themselves as well as possible.
In addition to improving the quality of worship, physical readiness turns out to be an important thing that must be considered. A healthy and fit body will launch Muslims in fasting. There are many ways to maintain a healthy body while fasting. One of them is by consuming pure honey at dawn and breaking the fast.
During fasting, Muslims are advised to consume as much as one to two tablespoons of honey. This can provide benefits for the body, especially when fasting. Reporting from doktersehat.com, there are five main benefits of honey, namely: a natural substitute for food or beverage sweeteners, an instant energy supplement, protecting the esophagus and stomach, increasing endurance, and reducing triglyceride levels.
Basically, pure honey is included in the list of “Non-Critical Ingredients”. This was stated in the Decree of LPPOM MUI number SK15/DIR/LPPOM MUI/XI/19. That is, honey has been said to be safe and halal consumed, without having to go through a series of halal certification processes.
However, it is a different story if honey has been mixed with other ingredients such as certain flavor. Flavored honey products (generally fruit flavors) can be found easily on the market and this type of honey may contain a critical point in terms of halalism.
According to Dr. Nancy Dewi Yuliana, a lecturer in Agricultural Technology at the Bogor Institute of Agriculture and a halal auditor at LPPOM MUI, has two types of flavors, namely natural and artificial flavors. Natural fruit flavors generally come from vegetable ingredients, such as orange peels or orange’s peel. Processing is done physically, for example through pressing without the addition of other ingredients. Judging from the ingredients and the process, it can be said that natural flavors that are processed like this are not critical.
“While synthetic flavor is more complex and in terms of halalism can also be included in the category of critical materials. Even though the name seems safe, because of the fruit flavor, sometimes it’s also found in the ingredients of synthetic fruit flavor which is a fat derivative, “Nancy explained.
This fat derivative must be traced to its origin. If the fat comes from unclean animals, such as pigs, it can be ascertained unclean. However, if the fat comes from halal animals, it must be ensured how to slaughter in accordance with Islamic sharia.
Another thing to note is mixed or fake honey. It can’t be denied, there are currently many naughty sellers on the market. This forces us to be more careful with counterfeit products. It may be that, instead of getting healthy, it actually suffers from prolonged illness.
Reporting from several online news, mixed honey ingredients turned out to be very dangerous for consumption. Some materials that may be used include alum, sugar, flour, to alcohol. For alum and alcohol, most people already understand how bad these two ingredients are for health.
While for the critical point of sugar, Nancy explained, there is the possibility of using activated charcoal in the bleaching stage. Activated charcoal can be made from wood, coconut shells, sawdust, animal bones, and so on.
“I have confirmed from an active charcoal company in Europe that there is indeed active charcoal made from bone. Although, its use is mostly used in the decolorization stage for pharmaceutical products, “he said.
There are many ways to test the authenticity of honey. The simple one is trying to put honey in the fridge. Real honey will not freeze, while mixed honey will freeze. Another easy way, put honey in water. The real honey not dissolved, the drops will fall to the bottom of the glass. Meanwhile, mixed honey will dissolve in water.
“Distinguishing authentic honey and mixed can also be done by using more sophisticated analytical techniques, for example, the use of high performance chromatography (HPLC), mass spectrometry (MS), or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). These techniques are based on the fact that the type of sugar or saccharides that compose pure honey is certainly different from mixed honey, “Nancy said.
Therefore, it is important for consumers to check a product before consuming it. The safest step is to check the MUI halal label on the product packaging. With the MUI halal label, it can be ensured that the product is halal and thayyib. So it is safe for consumption and good for health. (YN)