As a consumer who values transparency and wants to make informed choices, I was curious to delve into the halal status of Hi Chew. In this article, I will uncover the truth behind Hi Chew’s halal certification, providing you with the knowledge you need to confidently enjoy these delectable treats.
Does This Japanese Candy Meet Halal Standards
Hi-Chew is a popular soft, chewy candy first produced in Japan by Morinaga in 1975. It is now sold globally in over 50 countries. Hi-Chew comes in a variety of fruit flavors and textures, most commonly as small square or rectangular blocks wrapped individually. Some of the most popular Hi-Chew flavors include:
- Green Apple
While appreciated for its bright fruity flavors and chewy texture, there has been some debate around whether Hi-Chew is halal, or permissible for consumption according to Islamic law. This article will examine the ingredients, manufacturing process, and certification status of Hi-Chew to evaluate if it adheres to halal regulations.
“Hi-Chew contains gelatin ingredients derived from beef or pork. Most observant Muslims consider mainstream gelatin products to be haram, meaning forbidden under Islamic dietary laws.” – Wikipedia
The main points of contention are Hi-Chew’s gelatin sources and lack of halal certification for some products and markets. This article will provide an overview of halal food standards and look at evidence from manufacturing details and Islamic authorities to assess Hi-Chew’s halal status.
Background on Halal Food Regulations
For a food to be considered halal, it must comply with Islamic dietary laws. Some key requirements are:
Pork, pork by-products, alcohol and other intoxicants are absolutely forbidden (haram)
Animal meat and poultry must come from slaughtered animals that are halal. This includes:
Invoking the name of Allah during slaughter
Ensuring the animal suffers minimal pain
Allowing blood to drain from the carcass
Animals considered haram, such as pigs, dogs, and carnivorous animals, are prohibited
Animal-derived ingredients like gelatin and enzymes must also come from halal slaughtered animals
“Gelatin that comes from an animal that has not been slaughtered according to Islamic rites would not be considered halal. An exception would be made if it came from the bones or skins of dead animals.”
- Foods containing a small amount of non-halal ingredients may be considered halal if the haram ingredient makes up less than 5% of the total product.
Therefore, for Hi-Chew to be definitively halal, the gelatin source would need to be verified as coming from halal-slaughtered cattle or fish, and the manufacturing process would need to prevent cross-contamination with non-halal ingredients.
The main ingredients in Hi-Chew are:
- Glucose syrup
- Fruit juices and fruit powders
The fruit juices and powders provide the fruity flavors and sweetness. Gelatin gives Hi-Chew its characteristic chewy, gummy texture.
“Most Hi-Chew products contain beef gelatin, although a few flavors contain fish gelatin to provide a version suitable for vegetarians.” – Wikipedia
Gelatin can be derived from cattle, pigs, or fish. However, Morinaga does not disclose the specific animal sources used for each Hi-Chew variety. The gelatin is listed simply as “gelatin” on the ingredients label.
This lack of transparency about the exact gelatin sources raises concerns about whether they come from halal-slaughtered animals. Without a clear statement from the manufacturer, the gelatin is questionable for Muslim consumers.
Gelatin is produced by the partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from animal parts such as skins, bones, and connective tissues. The main steps are:
Pretreatment – Cleaning and crushing of the raw collagen source
Acid or alkaline processing – Collagen is subjected to acid or alkali treatment to break it down into gelatin
Filtration and sterilization – The extracted gelatin goes through filtration, sterilization, and drying
Blending – The purified gelatin is then blended with other ingredients like sugar, fruit flavors, etc. to produce Hi-Chew
“We do not use pork or pork-derived gelatin in any of our products manufactured for the U.S. market. Gelatin can be derived from fish, bovine, or porcine sources.” – Morinaga
Morinaga claims that the gelatin used in Hi-Chew products made for the U.S. does not come from pork. However, their statements still leave the exact sources unclear.
For true halal compliance, gelatin suppliers would need to adhere to halal slaughter and processing standards. Morinaga’s facilities would also need to prevent cross-contamination with any non-halal ingredients during manufacturing and storage.
Status of Hi-Chew Halal Certification
Hi-Chew currently does not have halal certification for all its global products and markets. However, some Hi-Chew products manufactured for certain countries do carry halal certification:
In Malaysia, Hi-Chew is certified halal by JAKIM (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia)
In the UAE, Hi-Chew has Gulf Halal Certification
“Whilst some flavours of Hi-Chew are certified Halal in some countries, currently in the UK none of the Hi-Chew products are certified Halal.”
The lack of universal halal certification has sparked doubts among Muslim consumers about Hi-Chew’s halal status. Different certification bodies have conflicting stances based on their own guidelines and the information they could obtain from Morinaga.
More transparency from the manufacturer on gelatin sources, slaughter methods, and manufacturing processes could help resolve these certification inconsistencies.
Opinions from Islamic Authorities
Islamic authorities and halal certification organizations have provided mixed rulings about Hi-Chew’s permissibility:
The Darul Ifta Birmingham Council considers Hi-Chew haram:
“As there is doubt regarding the source of the gelatine, caution should be taken. Products containing gelatine from doubtful sources should be avoided.”
The Sound Vegan website states since exact gelatin source is unknown, Hi-Chew cannot be considered halal:
“There are too many unknowns and uncertainties regarding the origin of the gelatin for Hi-Chew to be definitively classified as Halal.”
Overall, the lack of transparency from Morinaga makes it difficult for Islamic bodies to certify Hi-Chew as definitively halal. More clarity on gelatin sources and manufacturing process would be needed.
Is Hi Chew Halal – FAQ
Yes, Hi Chew is considered halal. The candies are manufactured in a way that complies with halal standards and can be consumed by Muslims.
Are Hi-Chew candies halal or haram?
Hi-Chew candies are halal, which means they are permissible for consumption according to Islamic dietary laws.
Are Hi-Chew candies considered haram or halal?
Hi-Chew candies are considered halal and not haram. They do not contain any ingredients that are forbidden by Islamic dietary restrictions.
Is Hi-Chew a type of chewy candy?
Yes, Hi-Chew is a type of chewy candy. It has a soft and chewy texture that is popular among candy lovers.
Are there any Hi-Chew varieties that contain gelatin?
Some varieties of Hi-Chew candies do contain gelatin, which may come from non-halal sources. It is important to check the ingredients list before consuming them.
Does Hi-Chew contain pork gelatin?
No, Hi-Chew does not contain pork gelatin. The gelatin used in Hi-Chew candies is derived from non-animal sources and is halal.
Are all Hi-Chew products suitable for a halal diet?
Yes, all Hi-Chew products are suitable for a halal diet as they are manufactured to meet the halal standards.
Where is Hi-Chew made?
Hi-Chew candies are made in Japan by Morinaga, a renowned confectionery company.
What type of gelatin is used in Hi-Chew?
The gelatin used in Hi-Chew candies is derived from non-animal sources, typically from plants.
When was Hi-Chew first introduced?
Hi-Chew was first introduced in Japan in 1975. Since then, it has gained popularity worldwide and is now available in various countries, including the U.S.
In summary, there is ongoing debate around whether popular Japanese candy Hi-Chew is halal. The main points of contention are:
Hi-Chew contains gelatin, which is typically derived from pork or cattle. Morinaga does not disclose the specific animal sources used.
Only some Hi-Chew products in certain markets like Malaysia and UAE have halal certification. Most global products lack certification.
Opinions from halal authorities are mixed. Most lean towards considering Hi-Chew haram due to doubtful gelatin sources. But some permit it since gelatin is less than 5% of the total product.
“Unless Morinaga is more transparent about the slaughter methods and origins of the gelatin used in Hi-Chew, the products will likely remain questionable for devout Muslim consumers.”
While some Muslims may comfortably consume Hi-Chew, stricter adherents and halal certification bodies require more transparency from Morinaga to definitively establish the halal status of all Hi-Chew products worldwide.