Behind the very diverse benefits, packaged tea also turns out to be potentially haram. Prof. Sedarnawati Yasni, a professor at IPB University, explained that tea leaves, which are plant-based ingredients, do not have a critical point. However, it is different if its manufacture mixes other additional ingredients.
As is known, tea is made by spontaneous fermentation. Thus, it is not potentially haram. Fermentation in tea leaves does not use microbes as a source of enzymes but uses the polyphenol oxidase enzyme found in the tea leaves themselves. If the tea leaves are squeezed, the enzyme will come out and react with polyphenols and oxygen to form oxidized polyphenols.
In the tea production process, many ingredients are mixed, said Sedarnawati. That’s what makes tea, especially ready-to-drink tea beverages, still must be wary of the halal point by Muslim consumers. In addition to powder form, there are also many ready-to-drink teas in the market that are packaged in boxes or bottles.
Prof. Sedarnawati, who has conducted research on the Cinna Alle drink, which consists of 17 types of spices, explained that one of the critical points of halalness in tea lies in the flavoring content, which can be related to several things. The existence of tea with various flavors and aromas can not be separated from the flavor factor. For example, tea fragrance with jasmine, vanilla, lemon, mint, and others tastes.
The flavor is a food additive used to give a specific aroma and taste to a food or beverage. In general, flavors are made by mixing chemicals and by mixing natural flavors with chemical fragrances. The solvent, the base material, can cause the potential for flavoring or additives used.
In some cases, the use of flavors from animal ingredients is still found in flavors that use the old formula.
In addition to the use of the flavor, the components of the manufacture must also be considered, one of which is fusel oil. Fusel oil is generally a by-product of the alcoholic beverage industry, especially liquor produced from the distillation process of alcoholic fermented products. Since it is obtained by utilizing the result of alcoholic beverages (khamr), then fusel oil is also not allowed to be used by Muslims.
In short, the addition of flavoring will not have a problem with the halal aspect if the ingredients used are a mixture of natural ingredients, such as jasmine flower (vegetable flavoring).
The good news is that currently, there are many teas, both in powder and ready-to-drink tea, that have been certified halal. Therefore, make sure that the tea you are about to enjoy has MUI halal logo on the packaging. (*)