Watchout, Fried Banana Could Be Haram Product

Bogor – Banana is naturally a halal product. However, if it is exposed or processed by means of technology, it should be assessed in depth. It may be considered Syhubhat, its legal status is questionable, or even haram (unlawful). This statement was made by the Head of The Institute for Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Assessment (LPPOM) of Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Regions, Ir Nur Wahid M.Sc., in his presentation on “Urgency on Halal Certification and Halal Assurance System (HAS)”, as well opening the SJH training, which was held on December 16-18, 2014, at the Training Facility of LPPOM MUI Global Halal Centre (GHC), Bogor.

Fried banana can be forbidden for Muslims if cooking oil being used is contaminated by pork material, he said, during the training, which has become a regular agenda of LPPOM MUI. He futher elaborated in detail that cooking oil commonly used by housewives, small shops or restaurants, usually show clear golden yellow, with a rich aroma, with no smell of rancid oil at all. The cooking oil has gone through the process of purification and absorbing the unwanted odor, by using purification and odor absorbent activated carbon material.

Indeed, in the food and medicine industries, activated carbon material is used as a fluid filter, absorbing and eliminating the bad color, odor and bad taste. The carbon raw material or activated charcoal can be derived from plant materials such as wood and coconut shell, which are processed into charcoal and can also come from animal products, especially animal bones that has been processed into charcoal.

“If it comes from animal bones, the activated carbon material must be observed and studied during the halal certification process. Make sure that it is not derived from pork bones,” he warned.

The utilization of pig bones as activated carbon, he added, has been undertaken by many indusry players, especially in Europe due to the abundant availability of pig bones and the price is also relatively low.

Utilizing Pig Waste 

Why are they using the activated carbon material from pig bones? The answer is that economically, pork bones supply is really abundant as waste and by-products from the pig slaughterhouses industry. In those countries, rather than dumping those materials and creating new problem, it would have been better if the materials can be utilized as materials that have economic values.

Moreover, in Europe, the coconut shells or woods are also hard to find. The supply of these materials is very limited and the price is quite high. Therefore from an economic standpoint they are really worth considering. Meanwhile, the pig bones are abundant and the price is cheap. Of course this is really tempting, given that they don’t have to consider the materials are halal or haram from the point of view of the religious rulings as we believe.

There Should Be No Intifa

The Ulemas at the Fatwa Commission (KF) of MUI, he said, has declared a fatwa that there should be no Intifa’ or the utilization of materials from pork in the production and processing of food products. Therefore, the Halal Certification process conducted by LPPOM MUI and the declaration of Halal Fatwa by the MUI’s Fatwa Commission is considered as an attempt to ensure that the materials and the production process of food, drugs and cosmetics does not contain elements of unlawful according to sharia.

As for the company, the basis for guaranteeing the halal production process, he said, is to understand and implement the Halal Assurance System consistently. Therefore, the SJH along with the training organized by LPPOM MUI is part of efforts to ensure the production process is halal which is much needed by the community. (Usm).

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