ASSALAAMU ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAH Alhamdulillah was-salatu was-salaamu 'ala rasoolillah. All thanks and praise is to ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, and we ask that HIS blessings and peace be upon HIS Messenger, Muhammad, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam.
"Muslims are instructed by God Almighty to fast the whole month of Ramadan from dawn to sunset. They are to abstain completely from eating, drinking and even chewing gum. Ramadan is the 9th lunar month in the Islamic Calendar" said Dr. Ahmad H. Sakr. Fasting during the month of Ramadan is considered the fourth pillar of Islam. There are a total of five pillars: Declaration of faith, Daily Prayers, Obligatory Charity, Fasting, and Hajj the Pilgrimage.
Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Quran, as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. GOD intends every facility for you; HE does not want to put you to difficulties. (HE wants you) to complete the prescribed period; and to glorify HIM in that HE has guided you; and perchance you shall be grateful. (Al-Quran:2:185)
Some of the recommended or required activities, besides fasting during the month of Ramadan include:
Praying Sunnah Taraweeh prayers every night, before fasting the next day.
Giving charity and helping those less fortunate in society, especially relatives.
Inviting family and friends at the time of Iftar: breaking fast at sunset.
Make Tahajjud Salat (bonus prayer after midnight.)
Research And Development Ideas For Ramadan Products
A typical fast lasts around 12 hours of daylight. In summers, it can even go on longer. This is why halal consumers are advised to avoid fried, fatty foods; foods that contain too much sugar; and excessive caffeine. For R&D purposes, there is a huge potential for Ramadan-oriented foods for halal consumers during their month of fasting. For example, foods containing slow-digesting ingredients, such as grains, seeds, and other complex carbohydrates, are high in fiber and lengthen the feeling of satiety. These products should be enriched in minerals and vitamins to ensure electrolyte balance for the fasting individual. According to Dr. Mohammad Ahsan, some of the common medical ailments during fasting are lethargy, low blood sugar, muscle cramps, and constipation. Hence, there is a huge opportunity to develop beverages that not only supplement calcium and potassium needs, but are also high in carbohydrates to help maintain normal blood sugar levels during the fast. The benefit of a Ramadan-specific product development is that not only can it be highlighted for 30 consecutive days, but it also goes hand in hand with the current trend on health and wellness.
There were several halal-certified giveaways such as Paramount Farms'Wonderful Pistachios®, Kontos® cocktail flatbread and China Mist® Teas at this year's ISNA booth. Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Abbott, Kontos andLabayk also donated gift baskets that were raffled daily to an enthusiastic crowd of ISNA attendees. Many halal consumers were delighted to learn about these halal-certified products and the fact that they were available at major supermarket and pharmacy chains, as well as specialty stores. One excited American Muslim from Columbia, MD, Anwar Zuberi tweeted during the conference, "Love the fact that Cabot [Cooperative Creamery] cheese is certified halal. It's the only cheese I buy and promote in the community!"
IFANCA and Halal Peru Sign MoU To Provide Halal Certification Services In South America
The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Halal Peru to help provide halal certification services to South American companies. The cooperation was finalized this year, and will be effective August 10, 2011 onwards. Halal Pere was born out of a need to provide Latin American companies viable access to global markets, where halal is a necessary regulatory and compliance issue for food, beverage, pharmaceutical and cosmetic goods. Halal Peru will work with IFANCA's halal certification experts to provide halal certification services for companies interested in competing in today's global markets with an additional edge. As a leading halal education and certification non-profit organization, IFANCA has been invited to work exclusively with Halal Peru on all matters of halal food science and compliance. "For a truly international access, companies have to incorporate halal in their overall marketing strategy," says Dr. Muhammad Munir Chaudry, President of IFANCA. The global opportunities for halal ingredients and products are currently estimated at US$ 2.1 trillion. Today, the significance of halal certification is clearly reflected in the exponential growth of halal-certified ingredient and food product launches. From 2005 to 2010, IFANCA witnessed an increase in its certification services by an approximate 80 percent growth in halal-certified products for US and global halal markets. IFANCA also participated at the Institute of Food Technology Expo in 2010, and in 2011, to address the growing interest around halal-certified products. For similar educational purposes, IFANCA hosted the 13thInternational Halal Food Conference in Chicago earlier this year in April.
Opportunities For Market Differentiation In Halal Medicine
Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Insight published an industry trend analysis titled "Opportunities for Market Differentiation in Halal Medicine". The series is published by the emerging market specialists called Business Monitor International (BMI), who provide regulatory analysis, market intelligence and forecasts on more than 120 global pharmaceuticals and healthcare regional markets. The article recommends halal certification to be a relative cost-effective way of gaining a competitive edge when selling products to the world's 1.57 billion Muslims. The world's Muslims are primarily based in the emerging markets of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The article cites IFANCA's halal-certified client, Abbott, as an example of a company leading the way in halal pharmaceutical markets. In April 2011, Abbott was the first company to ever receive the 'Company of the Year' award from IFANCA, based on the company's compliance with halal in its manufacturing practices, and for its work towards obtaining IFANCA halal-certification globally. The company obtained certification to ensure it could sell its nutrition supplements aimed at children and adults globally, including brands like PediaSure, Similac and Glucerna, which includes shakes and cereals for people with diabetes. To read the complete article click here.
Saffron Road Team Up With Whole Foods During Ramadan
Natural Products Marketplace and Gourmet Retailer published stories about Ramadan promotional activities at a US supermarket chain, Whole Foods. This August, halal-certified frozen foods company, Saffron Road, teams up with Whole Foods to establish an emotional connection with American Muslims during Ramadan. All 12 of Saffron Road’s frozen products are halal certified by IFANCA. The Ramadan promotion involves hosting several blog posts and offer shoppers chances to win free Saffron Road products and a $100 Whole Foods Market gift card on the grocer's Whole Story Blog. According to American Halal Company's CEO, Adnan Durrani, "This will be the first time a major grocery chain in the United States acknowledges Ramadan in this way on a national level." To read the complete story, click the links below.
MonoSol Achieves Halal Status For Its Water-Soluble Films The packaging media is abuzz with the news that MonoSol manufactured water-soluble films that are used in household brands around the world, and now halal-certified by IFANCA. Halal packaging materials was one of the emerging industry markets identified in the IFANCA organized 13th International Halal Food Conference in April 2011. Packaging Europe, Plastics and Rubber Weekly, Packaging Asia and Packaging Connections have all reported on the product differentiation and market access possible with halal-certified packaging materials. According to MonoSol CEO, P. Scott Bening, "IFANCA's certification acknowledges our products as conforming to the halal dietary and contact standards of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims." The company's flagship product, MonoDose film, is a dissolvable film essential to unit-dose detergent products. As the film dissolves, it releases the product that performs cleaning actions in automatic dishwashers and laundry equipment. With IFANCA's halal-certification, MonoDose films are free from non-permissible (haram) or questionable (mashbooh) ingredients. For the complete article, click here.
Enzymotec Cognitive Products Achieve Halal Status
Nutritional Horizons published an article about Enzymotec Cognitive Products achieving halal status in its Functional and Fortified Foods and Nutrition section. Enzymotec, as the leading supplier of phosphatidylserine, is producing in conformity with the preparation and ingredient standards of the halal dietary needs. Phosphatidylserine (PS) is one of the most researched ingredients shown to be potent for cognitive activity and is one of the body's major building blocks. To read the complete story, click here.
IFANCA at the Prepared Foods R&D Applications Seminar, August 3rd, 2011
Topic: Halal Ingredients & Formulations: Your Global Competitive Advantage. 9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.; Hyatt Regency O'Hare, Rosemont, IL. Click for more information.
IFANCA to participate at FIAGRO: Peru’s International Food Technology Fair, Lima, Peru-August 18-20, 2011
IFANCA, alongside with its South American representative, Halal Peru, will be exhibiting its halal food regulatory and certification services in South America. Click here for more information.
IFANCA Gives Halal Education Seminar at Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC), September 2011 Topic: Global and Local Halal Market Opportunities; ICNC 320 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL. Click here formore information.
IFANCA at American Muslim Consumer Conference 2011, Booth PavilionOn October 29, 2011, Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Visit us at the booth pavilion. Click here for more information