What is the ruling on vanilla extract and vanillin?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

When we see the word vanilla, vanillin and vanilla extracts, how are we to judge whether the product is halal or not? What questions should we ask the producer’s corporate office in order to figure whether a vanilla flavored product is Halal.

Answer

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

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

Vanilla is a flavour derived from the vanilla plant, or more precisely vanilla planifolia. The vanilla plant comes from the family of orchids. The natural vanilla flavour, usually called Pure Natural Vanilla in non-alcoholic and is usually made with a glycerin or a propylene glycol base.[1]

Vanilla extract is a solution containing the flavour compound vanillin as the primary ingredient. Pure vanilla extract is made by macerating and percolating vanilla beans in a solution of ethyl alcohol and water. Although 35% is the standard alcohol requirement, premium vanilla extracts often contain a higher percentage of alcohol in order to extract more vanilla flavor from the beans.[2]

Vanillin is a flavorant made from synthetic or artificial vanilla.[3]

Vanilla extract, which contains alcohol, is used as an additive in foodstuffs. It will be halaal to consume such foodstuffs that contain the extract on condition the alcohol in producing the vanilla extract is not made from grapes or dates.[4]

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Arshad Ali

Student Darul Iftaa
Trinidad

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

http://www.daruliftaa.net/


[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla_extract

In the United States, in order for a vanilla extract to be called pure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that the solution contains a minimum 35% of alcohol and 100g of vanilla beans per litre (13.35 ounces per gallon).[1] Double and triple strength (up to 20-fold) vanilla extracts are available.

 

[4]   بدائع الصنائع في ترتيب الشرائع (6/ 416) [أيج أيم سعيد]

 أَمَّا الْخَمْرُ فَيَتَعَلَّقُ بِهَا أَحْكَامٌ؛ (مِنْهَا) أَنَّهُ يَحْرُمُ شُرْبُ قَلِيلِهَا وَكَثِيرِهَا إلَّا عِنْدَ الضَّرُورَةِ لِأَنَّهَا مُحَرَّمَةُ الْعَيْنِ فَيَسْتَوِي فِي الْحُرْمَةِ قَلِيلُهَا وَكَثِيرُهَا

 

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