By: Dr. Ir. Sedarnawati Yasni, M.Agr
Lecturer of Food Science and Technology, IPB University
Auditor Halal Senior LPPOM MUI
Besides being known as a religious tourism destination in Central Java, Kudus City is also popular as a jenang producing city. Jenang kudus is a type of dodol garut in West Java. In the form of small pieces, the holy jenang is wrapped in plastic, and put in a plastic box or mica packaging with a variety of flavors, namely chocolate, milk, vanilla, and fruit flavors.
The raw materials for making jenang kudus are basically halal, consisting of rice flour and wheat flour, sugar, coconut milk, vegetable fats, and dyes. However, along with the very rapid development of the food industry, jenang kudus and also other foods, processed with various additives (ingredients) to improve the quality, appearance, shelf life, taste, and aroma, food product processing practitioners use raw materials (main) and Food Additives (BTP), such as flavorings, sweeteners, emulsifiers, developers, dyes, coatings, softeners, anti-caking agents, prevention of clumping (anti-caking agents), etc.
Therefore, it is important to know the critical point of halalness of the materials used. Here are how many ingredients should be observed at the critical point of halalness.
Rice flour is the main ingredient in making holy jenang. Basically, pure rice flour belongs to the group of "Non-Critical Ingredients", because products derived from rice (vegetable materials) are processed through a physical process, that is, washed, dried, then ground or ground, and sifted. Processing traditionally is generally without the addition of other ingredients, but nowadays there are already many types of flour produced by adding chemical additives.
It is this additional ingredient that needs to be traced to its halalness as an example, in wheat flour products often L-cysteine is often added in the form of its hydrochloride to soften gluten compounds. Gluten compounds are the main proteins in wheat flour that play an important role in the development of dough in foods made from wheat flour. L-cysteine is easily available in the market and is cheap, so it is widely used, even though L-cysteine is made from human hair, especially imported from China.
In the food industry, two kinds of sweeteners are known that are often used, namely synthetic sweeteners and natural sweeteners. Non-caloric synthetic sweeteners, such as sodium cyclamate (Na-Cyclamate), sodium saccharin (NaSac-charine), and aspartame, are generally already halal in the market. However, sorbitol is syubhat because this product is made from glucose which has the status of syubhat.
Natural sweeteners in the form of granulated sugar, Javanese sugar or palm sugar are widely used in the manufacture of traditional food, it is necessary to pay attention to its halalness, because in its processing it is often used whitening (blanching or bleach) in the form of activated charcoal (carbon) which is also used as a filter (filter) of water. This activated charcoal can come from mining materials such as calgon, or from a vegetable material known as wood charcoal, or it can also be from animal bones. If it is used that comes from animals, it is this that needs to be considered, whether it is the bones of pigs that are clearly illegitimate, or from the bones of cattle animals that come from slaughterhouses certified halal or not.
Sterilization milk is not always used fresh whole milk, but it can use recombined milk or a mixture of whole milk with other ingredients, namely skim milk and milk fat. In this process it can also be mixed with whey, whose status is still syubhat.
In sterilized milk, in addition to the addition of flavoring, there is also the addition of emulsifiers (emulsifiers) and stabilizers (stabilizers). The halal status of these two additives is syubhat because in the manufacture of emulsifiers most involve fatty acids that can come from animals, while one type of stabilizer is gelatin which has the status of syubhat. Therefore, the clarity of the origin of the ingredients from the production of fatty acids and gelatin, as well as the auxiliary ingredients used in the production process of fatty acids and gelatin is very important to know their halal status.
The use of vegetable oil in the process of making holy jenang aims not to stick when cooked or at the time of packaging. The critical point of halalness of vegetable oil lies in the purifying agent that can be derived from activated carbon. Activated carbon usually comes from the bones of animals, both cattle and pigs, and if it comes from cows, it needs to be ensured that it is slaughtered according to Islamic law.
The basic ingredient for making butter is milk cream that is stirred using a stirring device until it is solid and molded using a mold. The tipping point of halal butter is the source of milk cream derived from halal animals and the slaughter process is in accordance with Islamic law. If animal fat components are used (most of them are cow fat), then it must be supplemented with a halal certificate.
Coconut Milk and Salt
If coconut milk is made from fresh grated coconut juice and there are no additional other ingredients, then this ingredient is not critical. Salt is included in the positive list, therefore salt is not a critical ingredient. Currently, there is a lot of coconut milk circulating in tetra packs, which initially was not liked by the public because it was considered to use preservatives. Packaged coconut milk is increasingly in demand by the Indonesian people after knowing the coconut milk process through ultra high temperature (UHT) and aseptic packaging that ensures the quality and taste of coconut milk is maintained, without preservatives. UHT technology heats packaged coconut milk products at 140 degrees Celsius within 8-15 seconds is able to achieve commercial sterility conditions, meaning that the target microbes in the form of Clostridum botulinum and pathogenic or putrefactive microorganisms contained in the product have been destroyed.
Flavor or flavor is an ingredient or compound that is added to food or drinks so that the product has a taste, aroma or smell that is in accordance with the wishes of consumers. The constituent materials of the flavor can be obtained from chemical synthetic compounds, plants and animals. The critical point that must be observed from the flavor is the origin of the material used, the base material of the flavor, the way to produce it and the possible use of alcohol as a solvent. If extracted from animals or made from animal amino acids, it must be ensured that this flavor comes from halal animals slaughtered syar'i.
Emulsifiers are materials added to food dough so that raw materials with high fat content can mix with water evenly (homogeneously) and stabilize for a long time. Because it functions to stabilize the mixture, it is often also used as a stabilizing agent.
The halal status of the emulsifying agent depends on the compound used, such as lecithin (lechitin). Lecithin is a phospholipid compound derived from fats, of course it can be animal fats as well as vegetable fats. If it comes from animal fat, it must be ascertained the halal status of the animal.
In the market, there are many types of jenang that replace the use of wheat flour with sweet potatoes, and at the same time reduce sugar levels because sweet potatoes have a certain sweetness. In this way, it not only reduces the import of flour, but also increases the economic value of sweet potatoes as a local potential, and it is obviously its halal status.
From the description above, although there are a number of materials that must be observed at the critical point of halalness, in the market many holy jenang already have halal certificates. Therefore, do not hesitate to consume holy jenang that has been mui halal certified. (***)