• Is Halal Scientifically Assured? - Chromatography Explores

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Is Halal Scientifically Assured? - Chromatography Explores

Feb 23 2017

Knowing what products are in the food we eat and the products that we use matters to some groups of people for many different reasons. Whilst for some people it is a lifestyle decision for moral or ethical reasons, for others it is important to know for medical reasons — for example dairy or gluten intolerance.

For other groups — the products that they consume or use are covered by religious laws and rules. One of the requirements under Islamic law is that pork — or pig meat products — cannot be consumed or used in everyday life. But now a laboratory is Dubai has piloted a service that could help identify pork in all sorts of products — and chromatography is at the heart of the action.

Halal and haram and Ahkam

For many Muslims — in both majority-Islamic and other nations — the choice of consumer products and food are covered by certain provisions from the Islamic commandments or, the Ahkam. There are five Ahkam in Islamic law that govern how people who follow Islamic law should live. They are:

  • Fard                 is a compulsory duty commanded by Allah,
  • Mustahabb        refers to a recommended action, an act that is said to be virtuous,
  • Makruh             is an act that is considered offensive or is disliked,
  • Haram               means forbidden in Arabic. It refers to something that is sacred or prohibited,
  • Halal                 is anything that is permissible, it covers food, drink and other everyday things.

For Muslims, pork and its products are considered haram. Knowing if there are any pork products in your food or personal items is important. And while that might seem easy — when you realise just what pork products get used in makes you realise how difficult it can be. Pork finds its way into all sorts of personal products including lipstick, soap, lotions and a myriad of other cosmetic and personal care products.

Chromatography could help keep the law

The Dubai Central Laboratory (DCL) offer a Halal Testing Service to help identify pork in cosmetics and other personal care products. The service uses Fourier transform Infrared Spectroscopy to identify possible traces of pork in the products and then follows up with gas chromatography mass spectrometry to confirm the presence of pork. Food testing kits of Halal food testing are available as discussed in this article, Porcine Detection Kits for Halal Food Testing & Screening.

The tests will help producers and consumers know that the products meet not only Islamic law but also the United Arab Emirates Standard Specifications — the equivalent of Europe’s ISO system.

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