How Does Halal Certification Work?

Halal is the Arabic word for permissible – halal food contains no forbidden ingredients and is permitted for consumption under Islamic law. Most Muslim consumers pay careful attention to these religious dietary requirements – with over two billion Muslims worldwide1, offering halal-certified foods, beverages, and cosmetics, may be the key to global expansion.
Halal Ingredients in Processed Foods
Any ingredient that is not halal is considered haram in Islamic law. Pork, carnivorous animals, insects, birds of prey, donkeys, reptiles, alcohol, and any animals not slaughtered according to halal practices are haram. Emulsifiers, preservatives, colorants, fragrances, and flavorings in processed foods are also subject to the religious requirements for halal certification.
Some common halal-sensitive ingredients are:

  • Carmine (E120): red food coloring from insects
  • Shellac (E904): confectionery glazing from insects
  • Gelatine sourcing
  • Ethyl alcohol quantity
  • Fatty acids from animals

5 Steps to Halal Certification in the US
There are three halal certification bodies in the US – the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the Islamic Services of America (ISA). Food and beverage companies must complete the following processes to obtain halal certification from the ISA.

  1. Inquiry
    You will need to contact the independent body directly via phone or email to start the certification process. During this phase, you can discuss your needs and goals, identifying your industry, the type of products you want certified, and your projected timeline.

  3. Application
    After the initial inquiry, you must complete and submit an application form containing your contact and product information. This phase involves providing comprehensive ingredient lists, sourcing statements, and processing flowcharts for review and approval.
    After the certification body has reviewed your application, they will draft a service agreement containing their pricing and terms. The formal certification process begins upon signature from both parties and payment according to the agreement.

  5. Product review
    The certification body will investigate your ingredients to ensure they are all halal, and they may request information about the manufacturers and distributors for each item on your product label. Your release agents and other raw materials that come into contact with the product must be halal for successful certification.

  7. Facility inspection
    Once your ingredients and raw materials are approved, the certification body will assign a quality assurance auditor to visit your processing facility. You may need to complete a pre-audit checklist before your inspection. The auditor will ensure the facility matches the information you provided in your application and that proper separation and sanitization procedures are in place for halal and non-halal products.

  9. Certification issued
    You will receive your formal halal certificate and the certification body’s logo and seal for your packaging upon successful inspection and payment for the services. The certificate is typically valid for one calendar year and requires annual renewal if you hope to keep producing halal products.

The Benefits of Halal Certification
Offering certified-halal food, beverages, and cosmetics makes your product range more accessible to Muslim consumers and allows you to market your products to a wider audience. It helps you build trust with your customers and may also improve your marketing campaigns in global markets with large Muslim populations.
Halal certification plays a significant role in building strong relationships with Muslim customers and business partners. The five-step certification process involves a careful review and inspection of your ingredients, processes, and manufacturing facility to ensure your products meet the requirements governed by Islamic law. Advanced Biotech offers over 500 halal-certified natural and synthetic aromatics, extracts, oleoresins, and pyrazines to help you craft a robust flavor and fragrance profile for your halal food, beverage, or cosmetics range.
Please contact us for more information.