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Cochineal

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa.org.au
Is the red food colouring 120 also known as Cochineal or Carmines HALAL?

I have heard conflicting reports about this, so please clarify. Several products from Muslim countries in the Gulf region and South East Asian states have this colour (and they still put the national HALAL stamps on them). Is it ok to consume such products?

Answer:

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

Red food colouring 120 is extracted from female cochineal insects. Just like it is not permissible to eat insects, it is also not permissible to consume colouring extracted from insects. Therefore it will not be permissible to consume food products that contain red colouring 120.

Some scholars say that in the process of extracting the colour from the insects, the extracted substance undergoes metamorphosis (tabdeel al-maahiya), because of which it becomes pure and halal. However after studying the process, we did not see any procedure which could bring about metamorphosis.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Faizal Riza
10/10/2011

This answer was collected from Fatwa.org.au, which is connected to Darul Ifta Australia, based in Melbourne, Australia.
It is operated by Mufti Faizal Riza, a student of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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