Discussing the Viral Ones, Why Ice Cream Must Be Halal Certified?

Recently, the social media is busy discussing the halal status of an ice cream brand that is famous for being cheap, delicious, with an appetizing look. Why does ice cream need to be halal certified? What kind of critical ingredients in Ice Cream?

The first reason ice cream is a product that needs to be halal certified is related to the company’s compliance with regulations. Currently, Indonesia has begun to implement Law Number 33 of 2014 concerning Halal Product Assurance (JPH Law). Article 4 states that products that enter, circulate and are traded in the territory of Indonesia must be halal certified, except for products that are haram/forbidden. Ice cream is included in the category of food and beverages that must be halal certified by 2024.

The second reason, ice cream has many critical ingredients, what are they?

Ice cream is grouped into dairy products, because the main ingredients of ice cream derived from milk. Basically, milk is included in the list of non-critical ingredients (positive list) as long as the processing process is not mixed with any ingredients. Unfortunately, in making a bowl of ice cream, many ingredients are mixed.

One of the most important ingredients is cream or milk fat. This ingredient is one of the determining factors for the price of ice cream. Products with lower price category, have a milk fat content of about 10%, while ice cream with a higher price contains milk fat around 15-18%.

“The milk fat in ice cream serves to enrich the taste and create a soft texture. This material also provides a good ‘shape, and melting characteristics. In industrial processes, ice cream provides a lubricating effect on the container. This is contrary to the nature of non-fatty ingredients in ice cream products, which tend to be harsh in freezer equipment,” explained Ir. Hendra Utama, MM., Senior Auditor LPPOM MUI.

In addition to milk fat, other ingredients used in making ice cream are non-fat solid milk (milk solid nonfat) which is “whipping“, so it is able to retain water to increase viscosity and reduce the formation of ice crystals.

Ingredients that fall into this category are lactose (carbohydrates), whey protein concentrate (WPC), casein, and whey. All of them are by-products of the cheese industry. Which is a critical point, when the enzymes used are not derived from halal materials (for example pigs or cows that are not islamically slaughtered).

Sweeteners become the next important ingredient. The ingredient commonly used as a sweetener is generally sugar. In addition to improve the taste, sweeteners can lower the freezing point, so there is water that does not freeze at the storage temperature of the ice cream (-15 to -18 degrees Celsius). In effect, ice cream becomes easier to scoop.

However, in the process of making granulated sugar, it is possible to use a decolorization material that uses activated carbon. If activated carbon comes from mining products or from wood charcoal, then it is certainly not a problem. However, if you use bone charcoal, the halal status of this material must be clear.

In addition, to increase the stability of the ice cream, a stabilizer is needed, so that ice crystals do not form during storage. The stabilizer ingredients commonly used are gum (locust bean gum, guar gum, xanthan gum), carrageenan, CMC (carboxyl methyl cellulose), sodium alginate, and gelatin.

“One ingredient that has a high critical point is gelatin. Almost all of the gelatin’s products were imported from abroad. Even though it is widely used for various kinds of daily consumption products,” said Ir. Muti Arintawati, M.Si., President Director of LPPOM MUI.

The next material, emulsifier to bind water and fat. The ingredients commonly used as emulsifiers are egg yolk, mono- and glycerides, as well as polysorbate 80. Mono-/di-glide and polysorbate 80 are sourced from fat, so it must be ensured that it comes from vegetable or animal origins slaughtered from Islamically halal animals.

This also applies to flavoring. According to Dr. Nancy Dewi Yuliana, a lecturer in Agricultural Technology at IPB University and halal auditor of LPPOM MUI, there are two types of flavors, namely natural and artificial flavors. Natural fruit flavors are generally derived from vegetable materials and through a physical processing process, for example through pressing without the addition of other ingredients. Then it can be said that the natural flavors processed like this include non-critical materials.

“Meanwhile, synthetic flavors are more complex and in terms of halalness can also be included in the category of critical materials. Although the name seems to be safe, because of the fruit flavor, sometimes there are also ingredients that make up synthetic fruit flavors which are fat derivatives,” explained Nancy.

Coloring agents are also inseparable in making ice cream. There are dyes that are made from synthetic (artificial) and natural (natural) materials. Synthetic dyes are preferred by food manufacturers because they have a fairly good level of color stability and a relatively low price.

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. (YN)

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