An excerpt from Eric Butrym’s Presentation; Firmenich, Inc.

Eric Butrym, of Firmenich, Inc., a major stakeholder in the flavor industry, in his presentation, Who is Supplying Your Suppliers? Insuring the Halal Status of Flavors and Ingredients, laid out how Firmenich has been successful in halal certification. He also discussed how Firmenich, Inc. validates the halal status of their ingredients.

Firmenich products have been IFANCA certified for nearly a decade. In 2006, they certified 994 new flavors, and in 2007 they are expecting that number to rise to 1536.

“Where do flavors fit into the halal scene?” he asked. Flavorings are complex ingredients. On average, they contain 30-50 different components. Firmenich screens each raw material, from every vendor for compliance to specifications. There are over 200 individual pieces of information on a standard questionnaire, with over 6000 available attributes. These attributes cover identity, composition, origin, physical and sensory properties, health and safety, and legislative issues.

Firmenich pays particular attention to potentially problematic ingredients, such as those of animal origin, containing ethanol, and biotechnology products. However, because halal is part of the same process used to verify legislative and other regulatory requirements, few additional steps are needed to obtain halal certification.

This presentation was made at the IFANCA-organized, 9th International Halal Food Conference and Banquet, April 2007.


About Eric Butrym

Manager, Product Safety & Regulatory Affairs, Firmenich Inc.

Eric’s has worked for 20 years in clinical toxicology, instrumentation development, sales and marketing and in R&D functions in positions predominantly related to Analytical Chemistry. Eric started with Firmenich in 2001 in Quality Assurance, and since 2005 has been part of the Regulatory Affairs department, managing religious dietary compliance globally. He has an MS degree in Food Science from Rutgers University.