Is There a Critical Point of Halalness on Indonesian Traditional Snack “Klepon”?

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Klepon is a timeless traditional food. The shape, color, and taste never change. Its sweet and legit makes people addicted to buy this food.

Klepon is made from rice flour which is shaped like small balls and filled with brown sugar then boiled in boiling water. A step not to be missed is rolling the klepon over grated coconut. The banana leaf container adds to the beauty of this one snack, in harmony with the green color of the klepon. The materials used to make klepon are included in the list of non-critical ingredients. However, there are still a number of things that we need to pay attention to regarding the critical point of halal klepon. 

(Read also: The List of Non-Critical Ingredients of LPPOM MUI)

Rice flour is one of the main ingredients needed to make klepon. Basically, pure rice flour belongs to the “Non-Critical Material” group. This is because of veggies product origin are processed through a physical process without adding any ingredients.

However, nowadays many flours are produced by adding the additives, which are generally chemicals. This additional material needs to be investigated for its halalness.

Brown sugar as a filling for klepon is also not necessarily included in the list of uncritical ingredients. This is because in its manufacture, brown sugar is usually mixed with granulated sugar. Meanwhile, in the manufacturing process, granulated sugar has the opportunity to use a decolorizing agent that uses activated carbon.

“If this activated carbon comes from mining or wood charcoal, then of course it will not be a problem. However, if using bone charcoal, it is necessary to ascertain the halal status of the origin of the animal. Activated charcoal is haram to use if it comes from haram animal bones, or halal animal bones that are not slaughtered according to Islamic law, “said the Advisor of Halal Audit Service LPPOM MUI, Dr. Ir. Mulyorini R. Hilwan, M.Si.

The next ingredient that beautifies a layer cake is coloring. Generally, the green dye used for klepon comes from suji or pandan leaves. Natural dyes can be extracted physically without adding any ingredients.

“However, some dyes with natural ingredients use emulsifiers and gelatin as stabilizers. In this case, the source of the emulsifier and gelatin needs to be considered. If it comes from animals, it must be halal animals slaughtered according to sharia,” said The Deputy Director of LPPOM MUI, Ir. Muti Arintawati, M.Si.

However, not a few people make klepon from synthetic dyes because they have a fairly good level of color stability and a relatively cheap price. Even though it does not contain haram ingredients, excessive use can have a negative impact on the health of humans who consume it.

In addition, sometimes cheat businessmen use non-food grade dyes for their products to make more profits. In many cases, market snacks were found mixed with textile dyes, such as Rhodamine B. Of course, this is very dangerous for health.

The last ingredient is grated coconut. Klepon is incomplete without a sprinkling of savory grated coconut. Because it comes from pure fruits, there is no need to doubt the halalness of grated coconut as long as all equipment used is not contaminated with unclean or prohibited materials. (YN)

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