How about the Halal Status of Root Beer?

Familiar with the term root beer?

This sparkling sweet drink uses the root beer tree Sassafras albidum (sassafras) or the Smilax ornata vines (sarsaparilla) as the main flavor. Root beer may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, naturally without caffeine or have caffeine added, and can be carbonated or non-carbonated.

Most root beers have a thick foamy top when poured. Currently, commercially produced root beer generally has a sweet, bubbly, carbonated, non-alcoholic taste. Although the raw materials and the production process do not have problems with halal status, in fact, the Indonesian Council of Ulama Fatwa Commission (MUI) stipulates that root beer cannot be halal certified.

Based on the MUI fatwa, the Assessment Institute for Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics of the Indonesian Council of Ulama (LPPOM MUI) issued a Decree of the Director of LPPOM MUI Number 46 of 2014. Concerning Provisions for Writing Product Name and Product Form (SK46/Dir/LPPOM MUI/XII/14), as well as the provisions of the Halal Assurance System Criteria (SJH) which serve as a guide in helping halal certification.

The Decree of the Director of LPPOM MUI in detail explained that the name of the product, which cannot be certified halal, includes the name of the product, which contains the name of the liquor. In this group, non-alcoholic wine, champagne, root beer, rum raisin flavored ice cream, and 0% alcohol beer, indeed, cannot pass halal certification.

The Head of LPPOM MUI’s Auditing Division, Dr. Ir. Mulyorini R. Hilwan, M.Sc, explained, referring to the eleven criteria of the Halal Assurance System (SJH) written on the HAS23000 book. It stated that the product name must not use a name that refers to something that is forbidden or worship that is not following sharia, Islam.

(Read What are the Criteria of Halal Certified Products based on the form and name?)

Even so, the opportunity for root beer to be certified halal is still there, and it’s by replacing the product name with a name that no longer contains the word beer. “Considering that root beer products do not contain haram ingredients (but cannot be halal certification due to the use of its name). The use of its production facilities may be combined with halal-certified products,” said Deputy Director of LPPOM MUI, Ir. Muti Arintawati, M.Sc. (*)

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