Food Additives and Processing Aids

Authored by: Mian N. Riaz , Munir M. Chaudry

Handbook of Halal Food Production

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781498709712
eBook ISBN: 9781315119564
Adobe ISBN:


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Food additives are substances added to foods for many purposes including preserving flavor or improving taste, texture, and appearance. The term food additive applies broadly to chemicals, both natural and synthetic, that are added to food, either intentionally or indirectly, to facilitate processing, extend shelf life, improve or maintain nutritional value, or enhance the food’s organoleptic qualities. Some products would not be possible to produce without additives. However, some of the food additives also have serious problems with respect to their halal status. For the food industry to serve the halal market properly, it is very important that they determine the halal status (suitability) of these additives. Unfortunately, some of the common additives are derived from sources that are not halal, for example, pigs and other haram animals and animals that were not slaughtered as halal. Even if the food additive is listed in the ingredients statement, the source of the additive is usually not mentioned. Furthermore, food additives do not need to appear on the ingredients label statement when used as carriers, processing aids, and anticaking agents. Because of how they are processed, some foods may become contaminated with unintentional food additives that are not halal such as non-halal food grade equipment lubricants. To make sure all aspects of the food’s production is halal, food companies need to be able to assure halal consumers that all food additives they use are halal. This requires that a food company work closely with their halal certifier and that the halal certifier is knowledgeable about and checks the halal status of all materials that are used in or come in contact with a food product (Zweig, 2013).

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