Get Your Grill on with Halal Better Beef™

Now that the weather is warm, it is time to get your grill on, gather up some friends and have a halal BBQ. We spoke with a representative at IFANCA halal-certified Better Beef™, based in Canada and he had some advice on the kind of meat cuts that are the best. The most commonly grilled sections of beef are Rib eye, Tenderloin, New York Strip, T- Bone, Porterhouse and Tri-Tip. Rib eye tends to be juicy, tender and flavorful and generous marbling makes it a crowd-pleaser. Tenderloin or filet mignon is the most tender of steaks. Top Loin Strip is also called a New York steak, or a KC Strip steak. Porterhouse cooks best over a consistent medium heat. Tri-Tip is flavorful beef at an affordable price and is best when marinated well and used as thin slices for salads or sandwiches.

Meat from the hind leg is great for roasting while flank steaks are thinner sections of meat and tougher but can be very flavorful if marinated for some hours. We were advised that Chuck was the best for grinding and makes the most delicious burgers. It is also about 82% lean.

The grade of meat to ask for is ‘Triple A’ because the higher the grade, the better the quality. It is marbled nicely with streaks of fat that melt when cooked allowing the flavor to seep right into the meat. The age of the meat also makes a difference. The longer it is aged, the better it tastes. Meat that is closer to the “sell by” date apparently is the better cut. If a halal grocery has an account with Better Beef but doesn’t have the cut you want, you can have them order it in and Better Beef will deliver. So plan ahead and the halal Zabiha cuts you want, are the cuts you will get!

Better Beef supplies primals, sub-primals, regular cuts, custom cuts and offals that are available as certified Halal products and are labeled with the official IFANCA Zabiha Halal logo.


IFANCA Halal-Certified Abbott Laboratories Contributes U.S. $1.5 Million to Disaster Relief Efforts in China and Myanmar

May 16, 2008 — Abbott Laboratories and its philanthropic foundation Abbott Fund have provided U.S. $1 million in humanitarian aid in response to the earthquake in Sichuan Province in China and US $500,000 to victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar. Product donations include antibiotics, vitamins, rehydration solutions and adult nutritional products. In addition, Abbott’s China-based employees are donating part of their paychecks to support the relief efforts. Abbott Nutrition, which has its core brands certified as halal for the Malaysian market, is working with its humanitarian aid organization partners with an established presence on the ground in China and Myanmar. Its internationally recognized brands include the Similac® brand of infant formulas; the Gain® brand of growing-up milks for older babies and toddlers; the PediaSure® brand of nutritionals and snacks for children; and the Ensure® brand of adult nutritionals. Additionally, Abbott Nutrition is a leader in medical foods clinically shown to address the distinct dietary needs of people with serious health conditions or special nutrient requirements, such as the Glucerna® brand of nutrition shakes and bars for people with diabetes.


Lifeway Foods Brings Halal Lassi to US Grocery Stores

Drinkable Yogurt is a relatively new, yet increasingly popular trend, in the food industry in North America. Global sales were up 18% in 2006, according to ACNielsen (2006a) reports. Drinkable yogurt, however, is old hat in South Asia where it is called lassi (pronounced LAS-SEE) and is a summer drink made of yogurt or buttermilk. Locals drink it as is, salted, sweetened or flavored. Lifeway Foods has developed a variety of drinkable yogurts and now brings IFANCA halal-certified lassi in different flavors such as Mango Flavor Lassi and Strawberry Flavor Lassi, to retail stores. Both are available as eight ounce packages. The drink makes a great addition to a child’s lunch box or a brown bag lunch for an adult on-the-go, or even as an after-school snack.

What can possibly make yogurt non-halal? Most brands of yogurt available in North America contain non-halal gelatin. Other doubtful ingredients could also be used in the making of yogurt, including flavors, which could make the yogurt non-halal. IFANCA halal certification removes all such doubts about the ingredients. Moreover, halal certification reaffirms the quality of a product


IFANCA Certifies Select Products for Sigma Aldrich as Halal

One may wonder why flavors would need to be halal certified. Take for example processed foods that are smoked with flavors to give them a grilled, fried, toasted or roasted flavor. The smoke is run through oils, including lard, in order to capture the flavor and part of the halal certification process ensures that those oils and similar raw materials are vegetable based.

Since October 2007, IFANCA has certified over 500 food-grade products as halal for SAFC Supply Solutions®, an SAFC focus area and member of the Sigma-Aldrich TM Group, which are now available within SAFC’s extensive Flavors & Fragrances (F&F) aroma chemicals product line. “After extending our Flavors & Fragrances offer to include food-grade certified products .., we are now extremely pleased to receive Halal certification from the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America. This certification is very important to Middle East and Asian markets, where we anticipate our Halal certified F&F products will be well received,” said Judy Pruss, Marketing Manager, SAFC Supply Solutions.


Johanna Foods Inc. Serves Customers Halal Desi Natural Dahi

Certified as halal by IFANCA, Desi Natural Dahi or yogurt is now available in retail stores all over the U.S. What’s not to love in this delicious source of calcium? Desi Natural Dahi can be used as a substitute for sour cream over baked potatoes or enchiladas, it can replace some of the oil or butter in a muffin, brownie, or cake recipe. Alternatively, Desi Natural Dahi may be used to replace all of the fat called for in cake mixes. And for that extra healthy start to your day, stir in a table spoonful of ground flaxseed to your cup of Dahi and get some omega-3’s, as well.

“Any processed product needs certification,” says Haider Khattak, Food Scientist and Halal Supervisor, IFANCA Canada. “Consumers never know what is involved in the process. Flavored yogurt usually has gelatin that makes the product doubtful as gelatin maybe from pigskins. Flavored yogurt might also contains natural and artificial flavors which fall in mashbooh category,” explains Khattak. “Halal certification is necessary to removing all doubts.” Johanna Foods Inc.’s Desi Natural Dahi is made the old fashioned way, without gelatin.


Black Tea Better Than Green in Fighting Parkinson’s, Says Study

Green Tea has some stiff competition – at least amongst individuals at risk for Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative condition affecting movement and balance in more than one million Americans annually. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, which published the results, drinking at least 23 cups of black tea a month, or about three-quarters of a cup a day, may whittle down the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by a significant 71 per cent. The study comprised in-person interviews using structured questionnaires with 63,257 Chinese men and women. Black Tea is green tea that has been processed by fermentation. Oolong tea is semi-fermented tea and is somewhere between green and black tea, in its health promoting factors. Despite results from previous studies reporting that green tea may reduce the risk of Parkinson’s, the new study reported no benefits among participants of the Singapore Chinese Health Study.

IFANCA halal-certified tea companies include: China Mist Tea Company, and The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.