You may have heard of halal, or have seen the halal certification marks on food products, but do you know what it really means? And did you know that dietary supplements and other products can be certified halal, too?
What does halal mean?
In its most basic sense, halal is an Arabic word that translates to something being lawful or permitted.
Foods and food products like dietary supplements are generally halal if they are free from anything specifically prohibited by Islamic law and if they are made, handled, manufactured and stored using equipment that has been cleaned according to Islamic law.
The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®) lists some of the foods that are specifically prohibited:
- Pork products
- Animals not slaughtered according to Islamic method or those that were dead before slaughtering
- Alcoholic drinks and intoxicants
- Carnivorous animals and birds of prey
- Blood and blood by-products
- Foods contaminated with any of the above items
Mark of approval
Many foods are halal, but some manufacturers will seek halal certification to assure consumers. Products that have been certified halal will have an identifying mark on the label. For example, the IFANCA mark is a circle containing a crescent moon and the letter M.
IFANCA is the leading halal-certifying organization in the U.S. and a global leader in halal education, so it’s the mark you are most likely to see when searching for a halal product, but there are others.
A growing market
The world’s Muslim population is estimated at 1.6 billion people, and many who practice Islam are careful to eat only foods that have been deemed halal.
According to recent report, the halal food industry in the United States is growing quickly. Overall sales grew to $20 billion in recent years, surging ahead not only because of a rising Muslim population, but also because younger customers are seeking halal foods for non-religious reasons.
Halal vitamins and supplements
When you see a halal label on vitamins and dietary supplements, it has to do with how they are manufactured and what ingredients are used.
Most of the supplements that carry the designation are softgels or capsules made with an animal-based gelatin.
A supplement that is deemed halal means that the gelatin has been made from an animal that was cared for and used according to accepted Islamic practices.
Nutrilite: Award-winning halal certification
Nutrilite, the world’s number one selling vitamins and dietary supplement brand†, has a large selection of halal-certified products for people specifically looking for that type of supplement.
More than 25 Nutrilite products have been certified by IFANCA as containing ingredients that meet halal requirements. These include items like the Nutrilite™ Carb Blocker, Nutrilite™ Vitamin C Extended Release and the Nutrilite™ All Plant Protein Powder.
In recent years, IFANCA named Nutrilite its Company of the Year for its excellence in compliance of producing halal-certified products for people around the world.
So the next time you see the halal label on a food item or your supplement bottle, you’ll know that extra care was taken to create a product to meet these special guidelines.
Want to see the complete list of halal-certified Nutrilite products? Click here for the United States and click here for Canada. To learn more about Nutrilite products in general, visit the links below.
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†Source: Euromonitor International Limited.