Eid al-Fitr is the most awaited moment for Muslims worldwide. The majority of Muslims prepare various types of snacks on that day. One that never misses is cookies as a typical Eid snack. Usually, this snack is served to guests who visit home.
These snacks are often made homemade. Therefore, manufacturers can select the materials used. Even so, some key ingredients have a halal critical point. Let’s review them one by one.
Wheat flour is one of the main ingredients for making pastries. This material is rich in carbohydrates but very little in vitamins and minerals. To enrich its nutrient content, several food additives are often added as wheat flour fortifications, which include: iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and folic acid. These vitamins change status to become non-halal when produced microbiologically using non-halal media.
Then, margarine is made with the essential ingredients of plant fats. In manufacturing, stabilizers, dyes, and flavors are often added, which need to be scrutinized for their halal status.
Granulated sugar goes through several stages, starting from the process of extraction, clarification, evaporation, and crystallization, to drying. The steps of this process can use decolorizing agents that use activated carbon.
“If this activated carbon comes from mining or wood charcoal, then it’s not a problem. However, if you use bone charcoal, you must ensure the halal status of the animal origin. The activated charcoal must come from halal animals slaughtered according to Islamic law,” said Dr. Ir. Mulyorini R. Hilwan, M.Si, Senior Auditor of LPPOM MUI.
Cheese and chocolate are ingredients often used as toppings or cake mixes. Cheese comes from the milk of cows, sheep, goats, or camels. Then it takes microorganisms (such as rennet enzymes, pepsin, renin, and renilasi) in the milk coagulation process.
“The rennet enzyme used can come from microbial processes or calves’ stomachs. If it comes from a microbial process, it must be ensured that the media used for microbial growth does not contain any prohibited materials. Meanwhile, if it comes from a calf’s stomach, the method of slaughter determines its halal status,” explained Ir. Muti Arintawati, M.Si, President Director of LPPOM MUI.
Chocolate sometimes requires an emulsifier in the manufacturing process. This material comes from vegetable or animal products. In addition, flavor, lactose, and whey are also commonplace in chocolate. Lactose and whey are critical ingredients because they can come from by-products of cheese production, which may use haram ingredients in manufacturing.
This can be anticipated by continuing to choose products with packaging labeled Halal MUI. If you need help, you can check the halal product through the website www.halalmui.org and HalalMUI Apps on Android.
Remember to pay attention to the condition of the packaging that is not damaged, leaked, and cloudy syrup. The validity period or expiry date must also be considered so that the syrup we consume is both halal and safe (thayyib). Let’s make it a culture to choose halal ingredients, at least to take care of ourselves and our families. (YN)