Is Cochineal, Carmine, E-120 Halaal?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Assalam o alaikum,

I want to asked that the cochineal ( e-120 ) is it halal ?

Cochineal ( e-120 ) colour is used  in some spices like, biryani masala, chicken tandoori masala, tikka masala, custard powder strawberry flavour.

Kindly let me known that should we used in such spices which mention above or in other ways.




In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.


The cochineal (/kɒtʃɨˈniːl/ koch-i-neel or /ˈkɒtʃɨniːl/ koch-i-neel; Dactylopius coccus) is a scale insect in the suborder Sternorrhyncha, from which the crimson-coloured dye carmine is derived. A primarily sessile parasite native to tropical and subtropical South America and Mexico, this insect lives on cacti in the genus Opuntia, feeding on plant moisture and nutrients.

The insect produces carminic acid that deters predation by other insects. Carminic acid, typically 17–24% of dried insects’ weight, can be extracted from the body and eggs then mixed with aluminum or calcium salts to make carmine dye (also known as cochineal).[1] Carmine is today primarily used as a food coloring and for cosmetics.[1]

There are two principal forms of cochineal dye: cochineal extract (E120(ii) ) is a coloring made from the raw dried and pulverised bodies of insects with around 20% carminic acid; and carmine

( E120(i) ) a more purified colouring made from cochineal.[2]

Cochineal is primarily identified as E-129. In the world marketplace, it may also be identified as:

CI #75470 – CI Natural Red #4

CAS #1390-65-4 – Carmine

CAS #1260-17-9 – Cochineal Extract[3]


The South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA) has declared E-129 as Haraam after conducting detail research on Cochineal (E-129)[4] as well as other reputable Halaal organizations across the World.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Moulana Ismail Desai,
Student Darul Iftaa
Durban, South Africa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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