Popcorn, An Alternative to Snacks on a Diet, Is It Definitely Halal?

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Although it is made from corn kernels, popcorn, light snacks that are favored by children to adults are potentially illegitimate. Why? How to look at the tipping point of his monasticism?

Popcorn or popcorn is a snack that is often eaten at relaxing times. For example, when watching TV, watching movies or traveling in the outdoors. The manufacturing process is very simple. Made from dried corn kernels that are picked and heated and mixed with butter and flavor enhancers, it's an appetizing snack.

Professor of Food Science and Technology, IPB University, Prof. Dr.. Ir. Sedarnawati Yasni, M.Agr., explained that as a snack made from plant-based ingredients, popcorn is basically good for health. Its high fiber content is believed to help with weight loss.

"Popcorn, which is made from pure corn kernels without any additions, does contain many benefits, including for a low-calorie diet," he said, who is also a senior auditor of LPPOM MUI.

In addition to paying attention to health aspects, Prof. Sedarnawati advised consumers to also pay attention to the halal aspects of popcorn. Because, it is possible that popcorn, whose basic ingredient is only corn, which in principle is halal, can become syubhat and even haram when in the process it is mixed with other additives.

The story about the existence of popcorn that is not kosher has indeed shocked the virtual world some time ago. Prof. Sedarnawati explained that it must not contain pork or alcohol, the critical point of nutrition in popcorn must still be observed. Because, the additional ingredients used, for example butter, milk, sugar, soda and salt are not automatically illegitimate.

"You must first check the manufacturing process and the materials used in these materials," said Sedarnawati, who is also a senior auditor of LPPOM MUI.

As is known, butter is made from the basic ingredients of milk cream which is used as an intermediate for fat in some bakery products and dishes, and is used for frying. Butter which is a dairy product, then butter contains quite high fat and cholesterol.

In the manufacturing process, in order for the butter dough to mix well, it is necessary to add emulsifiers that are hydrolyzed from fat compounds, can be animal fats and vegetable fats. If it comes from animal fat, it can come from lard or halal animal fat that is not slaughtered syar'i.

Emulsifiers produced from vegetable fats can also be contaminated with illicit materials, because at the time of hydrolysis fats into glyceride compounds, lipase enzymes taken from illegitimate animals can be used, such as porcine pancreatic lipase, which is a fat digesting / hydrolyzing enzyme produced by the pig pancreas.

Another ingredient that is also often used in making popcorn is oil, generally vegetable oil, both corn oil and coconut oil. However, it should be remembered that even vegetable cooking oil is not always kosher. Currently, cooking oil is added with beta carotene in the product so that the color of the oil is brighter.

Beta carotene can be derived from plants as well as synthetic chemicals. Beta carotene is unstable, so cooking oil manufacturers often add stabilizers. Well, there are these stabilizing materials that come from gelatin pigs or livestock that are not slaughtered shariah. There are also stabilizers derived from vegetable ingredients which are of course kosher.

In addition to stabilizers, what is often used in the cooking oil production process is activated carbon. This ingredient is intended to obtain clear, consumable cooking oil. Activated carbon can come from pig bones, cow bones, coal, or from wood charcoal or coconut shells.

Given the large content of ingredients that must be observed for halalness, it is highly recommended that people be more careful in choosing popcorn. If you want to make your own popcorn, the good news is, in the market today there are many circulating cooking oil and butter that have been certified halal.

Therefore, if you want to make your own popcorn that is guaranteed to be halal and healthy, make sure that the ingredients used are MUI halal certified. (*)

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