Thoughts on the recent trends in Halal F&B.
Wine without the alcohol tastes like grape juice. Oh wait, it is grape juice.
Maybe I should label fresh sugar cane juice as Halal Non-alcoholic Rum. Because it is basically Rum before it ferments and turns alcoholic. It is possible to get a Halal Cert for fresh sugar cane juice.
There is no alcohol, and there are no animal products used in the making of it.
The product label name has no influence on the Halal certification which is a technical audit on the product contents and the process of producing or manufacturing it.
As long as the ingredients, manufacturing process and facilities comply with the safety, hygiene and textually stipulated requirements to be Halal, it will pass the audit of an uncorrupted proper auditor.
We should not let our cultural bias make us stupid.
Tapai (fermented tapioca or glutinous rice) is an alcoholic product, it contains more alcohol than is permissible to be considered Halal. The alcohol content is so high that you can smell the fumes from a distance. Yet some of our people blindly consume it just because it is an ethnic traditional Malay dish. Yes, it is ok to call it a Malay dish, because it is an ethnic product. That however does not make it Halal. Malay is an ethnicity. Islam is a religion. Not all Malays are Muslims, and most Muslims are not Malay.
To me a Malay restaurant that serves tapai which is a non-halal dish, can be considered as “Halal” as a Morrocan or Lebanese Restaurant that sells Syrah (Shyraz) a traditional Mediteranian wine.
In my view that is their culture and their regional heritage product. If the rest of the food is prepared by Halal methods, I will eat the Halal stuff and not eat the non-Halal stuff. If you are familiar with Lebanese restaurants in Australia, the kind with Halal food and adjoining wine bar, you will get this reference.
Non-alcoholic fruit juice with a Halal certification is a Halal product regardless of what they call it on the label. They can call it Halal Wine, Halal Beer, Halal Rum, it does not change the fact that it is officially Halal, and the Halal certification audit by an internationally accepted Certification Body (CB) like JAKIM proves it.
Alcoholic fermented tapioca or soy beans, is still an alcoholic Non-Halal product regardless of what they call it on the label. Why do you think that JAKIM does not approve most brands of soy sauce (kicap) as Halal, soy sauce contains alcohol. That is in Malaysia where the factories that make this stuff are located.
We need to look beyond the title on the label and use our brains to think.
On the otherhand even Dasani drinking water a brand by Coca-cola has a Halal label ever since they introduced the brand to the region. So does every other non-alcoholic product made by Coca-cola, including other sugary drinks.
Of course we know that consumption of too much sugar is not healthy, and many of those sugary drinks have very high sugar content.
Having a product be Halal is one thing, consuming Halal products in a healthy way is another. We need to remember to consume within the limits of our health too. Don’t go crazy and consume so much of a product just because it gets the Halal cert. The human body can only handle a limited quantity of anything even if it is considered healthy.
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