Mono Diglycerides, Coca Cola and Ingredients
  • Question:

    I bought a can of whipped cream and later noticed that one of the ingredients was 'mono and diglycerides'. I immediately phoned the company to find out where the 'mono and diglycerides' was derived from. They assured me that it is derived from a vegetable source. While I was at it, I happened to ask if there was any alcohol in the product. After double checking, the representative told me that there is a tiny bit of alcohol in the vanilla extract flavoring used to make the whipped cream. She said the amount is so minuscule, they don't even mention it on their ingredients label. My question was, is it permissible to consume this product?

    There is another issue that brings me to great confusion. I've been told by several different people on different occasions that pop such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, 7-up, etc. also contain a tiny bit of alcohol. Personally, I refrain from soft drinks but my family consumes them with almost every meal. And I've also noticed that they are sold with meals on jumuahs at the masajid, what's going on? Please clarify my confusion and direct me to any website/organization that monitors the halal status of "over-the-shelf" products. And also if there is a list of ingredients to look out for. JazakAllahu Khairan


    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    I admire your concern for halal consumption. May Allah bless all the Muslims to be aware of His injunctions and allow us to remain steadfast. Ameen.

    In response to your concerns, please note that mono and diglycerides derived from a vegetable or plant source would be halal suitable.

    Regarding the minute amount of alcohol in vanilla extract, I concur with the following verdict by the GMWA Foodguide, which is as follows:

    "The Foodguide follows the opinion of major contemporary Hanafi scholars including the venerable Mufti Yusuf Sacha of the UK (highly acclaimed foods expert) and Mufti Ashraf Usmani of Pakistan. The fatwa in our times is that synthetic alcohols (and all alcohol not considered 'khamr') in foods and otherwise is pure (tahir), and permitted to use and consume on the conditions that:

    (a) it is not used as an intoxicant;
    (b) it is not used as intoxicants as used (i.e. for alcoholic consumption, even a little);
    (c) it is not used in an amount that intoxicates;
    (d) it is not used in vain (lahw).

    This is the view propounded by the Foodguide service and rest assured that it is of sound Hanafi scholarship." (Reference: www.gmwa.org.uk/foodguide2/index.php?page=viewquestion&id=85)

    Please also follow the links below for further reading and islamic verdicts on the matter:

    • www.sanha.org.za/a/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=840&Itemid=210
    • www.sanha.org.za/a/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1440&Itemid=210
    • www.sanha.org.za/a/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1431&Itemid=210


    I have contacted the Coca Cola Canada company (January 2010). The representatives of the company have verified that alcohol is not included as an ingredient in their soft drinks. You are also encouraged to visit this link:

    www.thecoca-colacompany.com/contactus/myths_rumors/index.html

    You may find the following links useful for halal products and or ingredients:

    • www.hmacanada.org
    • www.canadianhalalfoods.com/products.shtml
    • www.jamiaislamia.org/halalharam.html
    • www.halalmc.net
    • www.muslimconsumergroup.com
    • www.foodguide.org.uk
    • www.ifanca.org
    • www.sanha.org.za

    (Hadith of the Day or Sheikh Yusuf Badat are not responsible and does not necessarily endorse material on external links or websites)

    "O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al-Ansab , and Al-Azlam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitan's (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. Shaitan (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from As-Salat (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain?" (Holy Quran 5: 90-91)

    "He has forbidden you only the Maitah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, on which Allah's Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But if one is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful" (Holy Quran 2:173)

    Jabir RA reported, “Allah's Messenger PBUH said: “That flesh will not enter Paradise which has grown from Haram, and all that flesh which has grown from Haram, the fire (of hell) is more worthy of it." (Ahmed, Darimi, Baihaqi)

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah institute
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