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E Numbers Not Suitable for a Halal Diet

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 10 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Halal Diet Dietary Restrict Restriction

If you’re following a halal diet for religious reasons then it’s important to know which E numbers aren’t suitable to be consumed. Here we explore which numbers you should be avoiding.

The term halal is an Arabic word that means permissible and refers to food that is permissible to eat according to Islamic laws. As a result of these laws, foods such as pork, or any product containing ingredients sourced from pork, such as gelatine, are unable to be consumed by Muslims. The situation can be a bit tricky when it comes to E numbers, as in order to be sure that they are halal, you need to know the full origins of the additive.

The origins can sometimes vary. For example, in the case of antioxidants such as E306 (tocopherol), it is halal if the tocopherol comes from plant fat. However, it’s not halal if the tocopherol is obtained from pork fat. Some of the other E numbers that can be variable include:

  • E470 to E483 – these emulsifiers can be halal, unless they are obtained from pork or non-halal meat sources.
  • E542 – edible bone phosphate. This isn’t halal if it comes from pork or non-halal sources.
  • E422 – glycerol or glycerine. This can be halal, unless it is obtained from pork or non-halal meat sources.
In the case of E numbers that could be derived from animal or plant sources, the best way to be sure of where they come from is to either look at the packaging or contact the manufacturer. If the packaging says, “suitable for vegetarians,” the chances are that the ingredients are from plant sources. But if you want to double-check, then phone or write to the manufacturer and ask for clarification. It’s also worth noting that some mosques and Muslim organisations maintain lists of non-halal E numbers, so ask if anything is available in your area.

Halal Unsuitable E Numbers

  • E120 – cochineal
  • E140 – chlorophyll
  • E141 – copper phaeophytins
  • E252 – potassium nitrate
  • E422 – glycerol/glycerine
  • E430 – polyoxyethelene (8) stearate
  • E431 - polyoxyethelene (40) stearate
  • E433 – polysorbate 80
  • E470 – sodium salts
  • E471 – glyceryl monosterate
  • E472a – acetic esters of fatty acids
  • E472b - lactic esters of fatty acids
  • E472c - citric esters of fatty acids
  • E472d - tartaric esters of fatty acids
  • E472e - acetyltartaric esters of fatty acids
  • E473 – sucrose esters
  • E474 – sucroglycerides
  • E475 - polyglycerol esters of fatty acids
  • E476 - polyglycerol polyricinoleate
  • E477 - propylene glycol esters
  • E478 - lactylated glycerol esters
  • E491 - sorbitan monostearate
  • E492 - sorbitan Tristearate
  • E494 - sorbitan mono-oleate
  • E542 - edible bone phosphate
  • E570 – stearic acid
  • E572 – magnesium stearate
  • E631 – sodium 5 inosinate
  • E635 – sodium 5 ribonucleotide
  • E904 - shellac
It’s important to note that ingredients of products do change, so a processed food that you have been unable to eat in the past may become suitable for a halal diet at a later stage if the offending E number is removed or replaced. Likewise, things can change in the other direction, with manufacturers adding different E numbers to favourite foods so they suddenly become unsuitable for your dietary requirements. So keep up-to-date up studying food labels and consulting with other Muslims, so you can be sure what you’re eating is permissible at all times.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Thank you for this Information
Abdullah - 25-Mar-17 @ 10:39 AM
Thanks for the information! I really appreciate it!
Abdul Ahad - 15-May-16 @ 6:33 PM
HOW DOYU SAY INCECT COCHINELLE IS HALA SHAME ON YOU.DO YOU LIKE INSCT OR INSECT BLOOD. WHO SAID IS HALAL.IF INSECT IS HALAL PORK TO HALAL.WHAT KIND MUSLIM EAT OR SACK INSECT BLOOD ANY KIND
hasan - 15-Jan-13 @ 5:57 PM
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