The company yesterday said the certification by the Islamic Foods and Nutritional Council of America (IFANCA) applies to a range of its standardized botanical extracts, probiotics, enzymes and minerals.
"The addition of Halal certified products will not only allow us to enter different world markets, but also help our customers meet regulatory requirements and demand from the Muslim community," said Shaheen Majeed, Sabinsa’s director of marketing.
Sabinsa, which said all its ingredients are already certified as Kosher, said the new Halal certification applies to ingredients including Bioperine, ForsLean, Fabenol, Curcumin C3 Complex, Cococin, Boswellin, Lactospore, Digezyme and Selenium SeLECT.
ForsLean is an extract derived from Coleus forskohlii roots, a plant native to warm temperate habitats including India. Coleus forskohlii is the only known plant source of forskolin, a natural compound that has been shown to increase lean body mass and help optimize body composition and therefore help in weight management.
Selenium is a trace mineral that is found naturally in soil. When consumed, selenium enters the body to form selenoproteins and glutathione, the body's antioxidant immune system detoxifier. Sabinsa claims its Selenium SeLECT, an L-(+)-Selenomethionine compound, is the most bioavailable, pure and safe form of selenium available on the marketplace.
Bioperine is a standardized black pepper extract that contains 95 percent of piperine. It is thought to increase the absorption of nutrients in nutritional supplement formulations.
Fabenol is a standardized extract from the seeds of the kidney bean that is used to support weight management.
In addition: Curcumin C3 Complex is an extract of turmeric standardized to 95 percent curcuminoids; Boswellin is an extract of Boswellia serrata that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties; Lactospore is a lactic acid bacillus preparation; and Digezyme is a multi-enzyme complex derived from fermented grain composition.
Sabinsa said additional product certifications are underway.
According to Dewi Hartaty Suratty, head of the Halal Certification Strategic Unit at Majlis Ungara Islam Singapura (MUIS) who spoke at a symposium organized by SAFC last October, the global Halal food market is worth more than US$560bn.
On average, one in four of the world's estimated 900m to 1.3bn Muslims eat Halal food, meaning there is a massive market for food companies and the ingredients companies that supply them, she said.
The US market for Halal foods continues to grow as the country’s Muslims grow accustomed to seeing Halal in their grocery aisles, but also as a result of demand from non-Muslims who see Halal as a ‘value-added’ or ‘healthier’ option.
As such, for food processors, going through the Halal certification process opens up the possibility of additional clientele - even if they do not have to make changes to their product to get such certification.
What is Halal?
Halal means to be sanctioned by Islamic law, the opposite being 'haram', which means it is unlawful according to Islam.
A third category, mashbooh, is not so clear as it means a product is doubtful or questionable - in which case it has to be examined according to Islamic law.
Haram products include the following: pork and pork by-products, animals improperly slaughtered or killed in the name of anyone other than Allah (God), alcohol, blood and blood by-products. This means that any food that has come into contact with, or contains traces of, these foods are not halal.
Some questionable mashbooh foods are those containing gelatin, enzymes, or emulsifiers, because the origin of these ingredients is not always known.
The Islamic Food & Nutrition Council of America (IFNCA ), which started up in 1980, is a not-for-profit organization. It said that all fees it charges for certification are channeled back into educating industry and the community about requirements for Halal foods.