Canned Fish Is Not Necessarily Halal

Quoting the Qur’an surah Al-Maidah verse 96: “It is justified for you the game of the sea and the food (which comes) from the sea as a delicacy for you, and for those who are on the way; and it is forbidden upon you (to catch) land game, as long as you are in ihram. And be devoted to God, to whom ye shall be gathered.”

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said of the halal of two carcasses and two bloods:

“It has been justified for us two carcasses and two blood. The two carcasses are fish and grasshoppers. The two bloods are the heart and spleen.” (HR. Ahmad and Al-Baihaqi).

Basically eating fish is kosher, including the carcass. However, as people’s lifestyles change, the status of fish can become syubhat.

Nowadays, fish dishes are served in various forms ranging from fried, grilled, to preserved in cans so that they can last longer. These various processed methods are what make the status of fish can shift to haram consumption. For example, in frying fish, if cooking oil containing pork is used, the fish becomes illegitimate to consume. Likewise, by burning if it involves substances that are not kosher, then the status also shifts.

Likewise, if the fish is preserved into canned, it is necessary to pay attention to other ingredients that have the potential to change the status of the fish to haram.

Canning is a processing technique by heating fish in a tightly closed canned container to inactivate enzymes, kill mycoorganism, and turn fish in raw form into a product that is ready to be served but the nutritional value content decreases slightly compared to fresh fish due to the protein denaturation process due to the heating process, but higher when compared to vegetable protein sources such as tofu and tempeh.

The method of preservation by means of canning was invented by Nicholas Apert, a French scientist. Food canning is a way of preserving food ingredients that are hermetically packaged and then sterilized. Hermatic packaging can mean that the cover is very tight, so it cannot be penetrated by air, water, damage due to oxidation, or changes in taste. In food canning, foodstuffs are hermenits packaged in a container, either canned, glass or aluminum.

What are the halal aspects of canned fish?

According to the Halal Auditor of LPPOM MUI, Ir. Hendra Utama, canned fish has the potential to be syubhat when other spices are added. Ketchup is one of the seasonings of canned fish. However, besides that, there are also other types of seasonings, for example, chili sauce seasoning, salt, or vegetable oil. Usually on the packaging appears in addition to the trade name is the name of the product. For example, Sardines in Tomato Sauce or Chili Sauce, Mackarel in Tomato Sauce or Chili Sauce or other types of fish such as Tuna in Oil or Tuna in Brine.

  1. Tomato Sauce

The material that needs to be criticized is the addition of canthaxanthin dyestuffs. This coloring material is a natural dye. Its types include the group of carotenoid pigments. For the first time, this type of pigment was isolated from fungi, although it was also actually found in green algae, crustaceans (shrimp, crabs, etc.), and certain fish. If the raw materials come from materials like this, it shouldn’t be a problem. So, where does the problem lie?

Natural dyes, during storage tend to be unstable. In order to be stable, it is usually coated or co-ripped with certain materials. The most risky coating is gelatin. Since 40% of the world’s gelatin is produced from the skin of pigs. In addition, it also comes from the skin or bones of cows.

If gelatin is from a cow, it must be ensured that the slaughter is carried out in syar’i.

2. Chili Sauce

For chili sauce, the ingredients that need to be thought of are the use of flavor enhancers such as MSG or vetsin. MSG is a fermentation product. According to the MUI standard, for fermented products, what needs to be considered is the medium. The fermentation medium must be clean of everything unclean, one of which may be used as a helping agent is enzymes, it must be ensured its halalness.

3. Tuna in Brine

If tuna in brine is tuna that is put in salt water, there is no critical point of its nutrition, but if tuna in oil or tuna is put in oil, you must pay attention to the source of the oil (whether vegetable or animal) and there are several other ingredients that also need to be criticized for halalness.

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