By: Hendra Utama (Senior Auditor of LPPOM MUI)
More than ten years ago, a line of potential buyers lined up in front of a bakery that had just opened. The goal is only one, to feel the products currently becoming a trend.
From the transparent glass display case, bread with various variants are beautifully displayed with a delicious aroma, as if waving their hands, inviting them in, then persuading them to touch and taste them. As is customary in many events, the long queues invite curiosity. The crowds of fans were like free advertising; sure enough, in the following days, more and more potential buyers were waiting in line.
One of the store’s mainstay variants is meat floss topping. The golden yellow color that coats the top of the bread is very tempting. Unfortunately, the meat floss was problematic because it was later rumored to be not halal. The bread variant sold by the same name outlet in his home country uses pork floss.
And again, since halal is a sensitive issue in Indonesia, you can already guess what happened. Next, people stopped buying bread at these outlets. Although in the end, it was not proven. After all, shredded meat is one of the critical products in terms of non-halal.
In the food world and its processing, shredded is one product with many fans. When there are no side dishes at home, this product is one of the complementary choices for eating rice. Confectionery entrepreneurs also include shredded filling such as lemper and buns. This type of food is also often sprinkled on the surface of chicken porridge or chicken noodles. Or as mentioned at the beginning of this article, meat floss is also used as a coating in bread and cake products.
Meat floss is made mainly from meat. As one of the Chinese native cuisines, the product, which exists in the form of shredded meat fibers, is then spread throughout the world through the diaspora of its citizens, including Indonesia. In their home country, this product called Chousong usually uses pork as a raw material. This product has been known for a long time.
Talking about shredded raw materials, it is meat that comes from cows, goats, horses, pigs, or sheep. Some shredded fish are made using aquatic animal raw materials, such as tuna, catfish, mackerel tuna, skipjack, eel, crab/crab, or shrimp.
In addition to raw materials, to enhance the taste, several ingredients are added. The flavor enhancers used include MSG and powdered mushroom broth. To tenderize the meat and enrich the taste, the meat is soaked in peacock wine (angciu). Sweet soy sauce also affects the taste, especially giving it a sweet taste and a slightly brownish appearance. The added filler is kluwih or jackfruit fiber—which functions as an addition to the volume or quantity of the product. Of the many materials, let’s dissect them one by one.
Meat is the raw material for making meat floss. As mentioned earlier, the meat that can be used is beef, horse, lamb/goat, or pork—in addition to ingredients derived from aquatic animals. Of course, it must be ensured that the meat comes from halal animals slaughtered according to sharia.
MSG or Vetsin
MSG or Vetsin, or ordinary people call it micin is a microbial product. That is, there are microbes involved in the production process. In general, the critical point of non-halal microbial products is the presence of unclean and unclean materials in the microbial growth media, additives, and auxiliary materials. So there must be an assurance of the halal status of the materials used. One of the additional materials that may be used is enzymes which may be derived from animal materials or their derivatives.
Broth Powdered Mushroom
Broth Powdered Mushroom broth is one of the ingredients used to give the taste of umami (from Japanese, which means savory or delicious). In the production process, it turns out that it does not only involve mushrooms as an ingredient, some ingredients are critical from the halal aspect, such as MSG.
Soy sauce is processed through the fermentation process of soybeans and wheat with the help of Aspergillus, Saccharomyces, Bacillus, and Lactobacillus. The process technology has two stages: koji and moromi fermentation. The manufacturing process can take up to 10 months. Because the manufacturing process is too long, soy sauce companies take a shortcut by adding soy sauce flavorings and coloring agents even though the fermentation process is not yet complete. Traditionally, companies have even added animal-based broths such as bone broth, chicken head broth, or fish head broth.
To facilitate the process of softening the meat fibers and adding a specific flavor, sometimes the meat is soaked in peacock wine, also known as angciu. If this is done, the meat becomes haram and mutanajis (exposed to unclean originating from wine). (***)