Food additives in Halal products

Finding its way in food additives ! 


The issue for the Muslims is that some food additives originate from animal such as pork or insects or even extracted from alcohol, their use in food preparations is prohibited. For example, are considered doubtful emulsifiers because they can be of animal origin (E471, E433), some antioxidant (E304,...), anti-caking agent (E542,...), antifoaming (E570,..), moistening (E422, E1518,...), conservative (E1105,...), flour treating agent (E920), .    


Additives can play several roles; these functions have been divided into 27 categories.


Acidity regulator

Anti-caking agent

Antifoaming (anti-foam)


Bleaching agent

Bulking agent

Agent of carbonation

Medium (carrier)


Color retention agent


Emulsifying salt


Flavor enhancer

Flour treatment agent

Foaming agent

Gelling agent

Glazing agent


Packaging gas


Propellant gas

Leavening agent





Doubtful ingredients (Mushbooh)

Remarks : some groups don't accept E120 or E904 as Halal food additives.  


E904 - Shellac : HALAL


Halal if no if it is not treated with alcohol, two types of shellac is available, the Halal type  is not treated with alcohol but other type is treated with alcohol. A gummy secretion material from the pores of a insect Coccus lacca that feed on Palas trees in India and South Asia. This gummy material is called Lac. Manufactured by Indian companies.

E120 - Cochineal,Carminic acid ,Carmines : HALAL


Natural red color; extracted from the bodies of female insects called Dactilopius coccus; rarely used.  The 100th Discourse of the Fatwa Committee of the National Fatwa Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia convened on the 4-6 July 2012 agreed that bloodless dead insects are considered pure, and it follows that cochineal colourings are extracted from dead and bloodless cochineal insects. Based on that, the Discourse agrees to decide that any use of cochineal colouring in food, drinks and goods is permissible and the amount allowed for usage must be in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health Malaysia, as long as it does not bring any harm.”

E124 - Ponceau 4R : HALAL


Halal if used as 100% dry color. Mushbooh if used as liquid color, the solvent has to be Halal

Doubtful E-numbers (Mushbooh)