People who reside in Jeddah or to be more specific, Muslims who reside in Jeddah or any other part of Saudi Arabia never have to worry about the food they are consuming. This is because all the ingredients used in food products available there are Halal. Halal means all those food items that are permissible for Muslims to eat. However, this is not quite the case in the Gulf or West region. Muslims residing there have to pay extra attention to the food items they consume and this is because most items there do not contain Halal ingredients. Those food products might have wine, rum or pork in them which is not allowed for Muslims to consume hence Muslims need to be careful about what they are picking off the supermarket shelf.
Not only normal food products, even chocolates in the West should be carefully eaten because most of them are made with rum which is not Halal for Muslims. Muslims in the West have to be cautious about even the smallest of things such as the vitamin pills they are consuming. Most vitamin pills contain gelatin in them because gelatin is soft and chewy and can be easily swallowed. However, gelatin is mostly made by melting pig’s meat hence it is not allowed for Muslims to consume that. Gelatin is made after the ligaments, bones and tendons are boiled of animals such as pigs, cow and cattle. Gelatin has absolutely no smell or taste which is why it is used for multi vitamins and can be found in various kinds such as multi vitamin capsules, tablets or the gummy bear multi vitamins. When wandering through the vitamins aisle at the super market and picking out capsules, Muslims need to ensure that the product clearly states it is Kosher or Halal certified because if it does not state that, it means the product cannot be taken by the Muslims.
Pig and pork are the most important source from where gelatin is usually derived. Instead of throwing away their skins, the hair and fat are removed to convert them into gelatin. This gelatin is used not only in multi vitamins but even in jellies, candies or meat that is processed. There is good news for Muslims though! A few companies in the West produce multi vitamins that have an alternative for gelatin which is agar-agar and carrageen that are different substances obtained from an endless variety of seaweed. These kinds of vitamins are permissible for Muslims.
Other than this, Muslims can also buy vitamins that do not contain any substances or materials obtained from pork. There are several new companies now that produce Halal and gelatin free vitamins which is great for Muslims.
A few of those companies are Nutrition Enhancement, Shefa Natural and Noor Vitamins. These companies have promised to produce Halal certified multi vitamins and oils only which are great for Muslims living in the West now. They can purchase such vitamins without having to constantly check the ingredients list!
Source: Saudi Gazette
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