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Are mono-and diglycerides (emulsifying agents) Halal?

While most mono-and diglycerides (emulsifying agents in puddings, ice cream, peanut butter, salad dressings, bread etc.) on the market come from plants (the oils of corn, peanuts and soybeans), some are derived from animals (cows and Pigs). Identifying the foods that use animal sources is near impossible. Food labels are required to report only the presence of...

by Islam Online, Islam Online Fatwa Editing Desk
  

Islam Online, Islam Online Fatwa Editing Desk
Source: INFAD, Islamic Science University of Malaysia - 07 July 2002
 

Question

While most mono-and diglycerides (emulsifying agents in puddings, ice cream, peanut butter, salad dressings, bread etc.) on the market come from plants (the oils of corn, peanuts and soybeans), some are derived from animals (cows and Pigs). Identifying the foods that use animal sources is near impossible. Food labels are required to report only the presence of monoand diglycerides, not their sources. Are these products Halal?

Answer

First of all, we’d like to state that Almighty Allah has blessed His servants by creating all kinds of provision on earth for them and He has permitted them to eat everything that is Halal (permissible) and good. Allah says: "O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and wholesome in the earth, and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Lo! He is an open enemy for you." (Al-Baqarah: 168)

However, Allah forbids a limited number of foods that are bad and can be detrimental to one’s health. It is the duty of every Muslim to seek what is Halal and keep away from Haram not only as regards food but also in all the other affairs of his life.

As regards your question, we’d like to cite for you the following Fatwa:

“Mono and diglycerides are emulsifiers used in the food industry. Emulsifiers are food chemical
substances which keep oils dispersed in water or water droplets dispersed in fat. They can be Halal or Haram depending on their source. Emulsifiers can be extracted from animals or plants. For example: gum Arabic, egg yolk (lecithin), mono and diglycerides, bile salts, soya bean, etc. are all sources of emulsifiers. Emulsifiers containing lecithin are OK for Muslims to eat. If the emulsifier is mono or diglycerides, you have to find out their sources. Recently, food manufacturers started labeling the source of mono and diglycerides. But if the source is not mentioned, then the only way to find out is to ask the bakery or the food manufacturer of the product that you want to consume.” [Source: www.islamicity.com]

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