Can Your Favorite Pastries Be Non-Halal? How to Ensure It is Halal

The answer to the question above is yes, it can.

Muslims who enjoy pastries and cakes should be wary of bakeries and cafes that do not appear to have a halal-certified logo by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM). It can be very tempting and thrilling to try out new places; however, Muslims should still take extra precautions. Since Malaysia is a multiracial country, diversity of food means that there are bakeries around that are halal and not halal to be consumed.

In Islam, Muslims are forbidden to eat non-Halal foods. Even if the bakeries claim to have no pork and no lard, if they are not halal-certified, it is not guaranteed that they are from halal sources. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid foods that contain doubtful ingredients at all costs as a Muslim.

What are the criteria for halal foods?

Eating halal food means that there should be an absence of pork and alcohol, following the standard that is mentioned in the Quran. However, the non-halal ingredients also exist under other names.

In pastries and cakes, non-halal ingredients that could be included are such things as lard, alcohol, gelatin, emulsifiers, improvers, vanilla extracts that contain alcohol, and other ingredients. Also, ingredients such as mono- and diglycerides, gelatin, polysorbate, SSC, L-cysteine and flavors containing alcohol should also be avoided by manufacturers who want to produce halal foods.

Other potentially non-halal ingredients to note are vanilla, chocolate, butter, cheese, milk, and shortening. This is why it is better to only consume foods that are halal-certified, because no one would ever want to go through a long list of ingredients before eating.

While Muslim-owned bakeries can be halal, it is up to the owner to determine whether they obtained the halal ingredients accurately. Hence, it is still not a guarantee that the foods served are halal.

Here are a few halal-certified bakeries that are worth trying:

Dotty’s Pastries & Coffee

Elevete Patisserie

Gula Cakery

In the end, food premises that have met the halal standards by obtaining halal certification should be chosen and consumed by Muslim consumers.

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