Recognize the Halal Critical Point of Vitamins

As a Muslim, efforts to maintain health must be followed by paying attention to the halalness of the products consumed, including vitamins. Especially if the raw materials for many products come from abroad. Data from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia (Kemenkes RI) in 2021 states that 95% of the raw materials for drugs obtained are imported from abroad, namely from China, India, America, and Europe. 

Vitamins are products that contain one or a combination of ingredients used to increase the nutritional adequacy ratio (RDA). Vitamins, minerals, plants, or materials derived from plants, as well as amino acids. Vitamins can be in the form of tablets, powders, capsules, and liquid products in the form of syrup or liquid. 

According to the LPPOM MUI senior auditor, Drs. Chilwan Pandji, M.Apt.Sc., if it is seen by the source, vitamins are divided into two, they are herbal and chemical. Herbal vitamins contain plant extracts, mineral ingredients, galenic preparations, or a mixture of these ingredients which are processed in such a way that they turn into pills or powders without a mixture of chemicals. 

“Meanwhile, chemical vitamins contain ingredients that are mixed and processed with chemical synthesis, in order to obtain compounds with certain pharmacological properties,” said Chilwan. 

In terms of both herbal and chemical processes, the production and raw materials for vitamins are relatively the same, which is composed of various raw materials, additional materials, and adjuvant. Every process and ingredient has the potential to contribute a critical point to the vitamin.

“For example, the critical point of the halal vitamin C can be observed from the manufacturing process, namely through chemical synthesis or biotransformation processes. Based on observations in several industries, biotransformation methods are generally used using microorganisms, which are reproduced in a growth medium. Growth media needs a carbon source, a nitrogen source, and other materials that must be checked for their halal status,” said a lecturer in Food Science and Technology of IPB University, Prof. Dr. Ir. Sedarnawati Yasni, M.Agr. 

Vitamin C is simply oxidized so that the industry uses a protective matrix or commonly known as a coating agent, such as gelatin. Gelatine is obtained by partial hydrolysis of collagen derived from animal skin and/or bones with acid or alkaline reagents. The type of animal and the method of slaughtering the animal needs attention so that its halal status can be ascertained. 

As the name implies, the sour taste of vitamin C can be masked by adding certain flavors or sweeteners, so that consumer acceptance is good. Generally, industries use synthetic flavors made from various chemical compounds, and in the processing process, they use certain solvents. Thus, the halal status of the flavoring used must be shown with a halal certificate.  

The addition of sweeteners in the manufacture of vitamins aims to reduce the sour taste. Sweeteners added can be sugar or artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame). In the process of making sugar, it is refined using activated carbon. The halal status of activated carbon must be clear, as is the case with aspartame sweeteners. The source of the amino acids used, namely the amino acids phenylalanine and aspartate, must have a clear halal status. O

n the basis of the explanation above, it is very important for Muslims to really select the products to be consumed, including vitamins. Now, selecting halal products is not a complicated matter. LPPOM MUI presents a list of halal products through the website and the Halal MUI application. Both can be accessed by the public easily and transparently. (YN)

LPPOM MUI Halal Webinar Series: Halal Medicine, Emergency Until When?


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