BANGI, 15 July, 2010 – A professor revealed today that there are powdered milk found to be mixed with fats obtained from cattle not slaughtered according to the syariah thereby compromising its halal status. The fats account for up to 30 percent of the weight of the powdered milk.
Prof. Dr Yaakob Che Man from the Halal Research Institute of University Putra Malaysia said that such animal fats are also widely used as additives in making chewing gums, toffee, jelly, appetisers , ice cream , gelatine , cakes and biscuits. Wyeth Laboratories england has reported the widespread use of animal fats in oleo oil used as the addictives.
He, however, said that none of the products have so far been imported into the country.
He disclosed this in a paper on “The Use of Animal Sources in Food processing and in modern Biotechnology: What is the impact on Islamic Rulings” presented at the Maqasid Syariah Seminar in UKM today.
Prof Yaakob also reveal that pork fat is also used in making powdered milk by mixing 880g non fat milk with 120g pork fat. This was reported by Chairman of International Breast Feeding Mothers’ support group in Sweden which did a research on the matter.
He said that people in Malaysia are lucky because Islamic Development Department Malaysia ( Jakim) have a stringent criteria in determining the Halal status of foods.
He explained that pork fat is also widely used in modern food processing like cattle fat.
In addition products which are surimi based; a type of protein used in making fish balls, fish noodles, fish sausages and fish burgers are also questionable.
This is due to the presence of blood plasma in surimi which helps to improve its quality.Though there are advantages in using surimi which contains protein plasma but their use could create doubts over their halal status, he said.
In addition the use of biotechnology in the food processing industry also raises doubt about the halal status of a lot of food. This is due to the transfer of genes from one species to another.
“In 2002 The Food Standard Agency in United Kingdom found there were cattle as well as pork dna in 57 per cent of 30 poultry that were tested .
“This is due to the use of animal collagen to retain liquid and act as a protein source in other animals,” Prof Yaacob said.