5th International Halal Food Conference Proceedings 2: The Importance of Halal Certification
A Summary of Presentation by Dr. Muhammad Munir Chaudry, President, Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America
Halal certification began due to demand for Halal products by Muslim countries back in the 1970’s. The early products that were certified included poultry, cookies and toothpaste. Malaysia, Singapore and Saudi Arabia were among the first countries to require food imports from the United States to be Halal certified. But of course, the Halal regulations go back much longer than that, almost 1400 years back. Until relatively recently, Halal consumers produced their own food so there was no need for Halal certification. Most meals were prepared at home from fresh and simple raw materials. Food ingredients were not very complex.
Processed foods did not become common until the last century so meat derived ingredients were not a concern. As technology converted previously inedible materials into edible, it brought blessings to some consumers but presented a serious dilemma to others. Animal derived ingredients like gelatin and steroyl-2 lactylate found their way into products like yogurt, bread and cakes.
As technology revolutionized transportation, it became easy and cost effective to travel to far away lands. This exposed people to new cultures and different foods. It also facilitated the shipment of frozen foods and led to the franchising revolution. It became imperative for Halal consumers to develop some means of Halal verification to ensure they maintained a proper diet. Halal consumers around the world began to question the ingredients in their food and importers responded by requiring Halal certification.
There are over 80 Halal certifying organizations in the United States, but less than l 0 of them certify all product-types and only 3 certify retail products for the domestic market. IFANCA is the largest food and ingredient certifier for a number of reasons. IFANCA’s Crescent M certification is accepted locally and globally; it is staffed with food technologists who understand the food business; it resolves issues through a Shura committee; it has created global affiliations; it offers confidentiality and cost effective consulting. IFANCA offers Halal certification in over 40 countries and works with a number of Halal certifying organizations around the world.
IFANCA offers a universally accepted Halal certificate for qualifying products; news releases about new company certification; on-demand consultation on key issues; Halal certified product listings on our website and promotions at IFT and other conferences.
The process of obtaining IFANCA Halal certification is easy. The client completes an application for Halal certification; a contract is agreed stipulating inspections; ingredients are reviewed procedures are developed to fit into normal operating procedures, HACCP, ISO, etc.; ingredients are classified according to their conformity to Halal and the products are approved and a Halal certificate is issued for an agreed time period. The certificate is renewed prior to expiration. The result is a product that meets the needs of the Halal consumer, opening up new markets for the food producer.