Halal and Kosher Food
With growing of globalisation, the heterogeneity of the German population is increasing and the associated demand for e.g. kosher or halal food poses new challenges for the Western food industry. Many foods that do not comply with the halal and kosher food regulations are therefore taboo for the population group concerned - in addition to certain meat products, these may also include cakes, jelly bears, yoghurt products or puddings.
Halal and haram: permitted and prohibited food in Islam
The Muslim dietary requirements are regulated in the Koran and Sunna. Food that meets these requirements are "halal". All foods are allowed except those listed below, which are considered "haram=prohibited". Under commercial law, the term halal has been described in the Codex Alimentarius since 1997. On an international level, a uniform halal certificate is being sought. At present, however, there are a large number of certification bodies that issue certificates, whose acceptance can vary greatly due to different halal interpretations.
Prohibited animal products1
- Pig including wild boar
- dogs, snakes, monkeys
- carnivorous animals with claws and teeth such as tigers, lions, bears
- Birds with claws like eagles or vultures
- "Pests" like rats, scorpions, centipedes
- Animals that according to Islam may not be killed, such as ants, bees, woodpecker birds
- animals that are "generally repulsive" such as lice, flies or maggots
- animals that live both on land and in water, such as frogs and crocodiles
- Mules and domestic donkeys
- poisonous and dangerous aquatic animals
- all animals not slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law
Prohibited herbal products, drinks and additives
- all intoxicating and dangerous plants
- all intoxicating and dangerous drinks, including alcohol
- all additives obtained from the above products
Kosher food: permitted and prohibited food in Judaism
The basis for food that is permitted (kosher) under Jewish dietary laws is the Torah. It is divided into "meaty" (Hebrew: basari), "milky" (Hebrew: chalawi) and "neutral" (parve) foods. The simultaneous consumption of milky and meaty foods is not permitted. In the stomach, milky and meaty foods may also not mix, so waiting times must be observed. 2
The following foods are considered kosher3
- meat of ruminant cloven-hoofed animals, e.g. cows, goats, sheepa
- ritually Jewish slaughtered domestic fowl: chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, doves
- eggs from kosher animals without traces of blood
- Fish that have fins and scales e.g. salmon, trout, tuna b, c
- Milk and milk products from kosher animalsd
a other animals such as pigs, horses, camels, hares, insects are prohibited
b are not kosher, e.g. eels, whales and all shellfish (lobsters, crabs, mussels)
c Fish eggs and fish oil are only kosher if they are obtained from kosher fish
d with the exception of milk products such as hard cheese or whey obtained from animal rennet
We offer a sensitive PCR detection for pigs and many other animal species for testing halal and kosher food. You can also have your products tested by us for alcohol residues.
Pesticides and Their Metabolites in Drinking Water
Analysing water or drinking water for pesticide residues requires other methods than the detection of pesticides in fruit or vegetables or even in processed foods. ifp Institut für Produktqualität has established a special drinking water multimethod for the sensitive determination of a total of 464 agents and metabolites (including phenoxy carboxylic acid / acidic herbicides). After special extraction, determination is performed by means of HPLC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS.
In addition, we offer individual analyses for substances not covered by the multimethod, e.g.:
- chlorate and perchlorate
- glyphosate and AMPA
How do pesticides get into the water?
In conventional agriculture pesticides are extensively used on crops in order to guarantee the crop yield. In organic farming, by contrast, the use of chemical/synthetic pesticides is forbidden. However, it is hardly possible to keep both types of crop separate from each other. Driftage to neighbouring crops or waters due to weather conditions cannot be excluded. In addition, even when used appropriately in conventional farming, residues may trickle into the groundwater and hence into the drinking water. In this, factors such as the soil conditions and the chemical properties of the respective pesticide play a part. Apart from the pesticides themselves, their in part toxic metabolites may also contaminate the water.
Maximum allowed concentration for pesticide residues in drinking water
In Europe the quality of water intended for human consumption is defined in Council Directive 98/83/EC and translated into German national law by the German Drinking Water Ordinance (TrinkwV 2001). According to the German Drinking Water Ordinance, no single pesticide agent and no relevant metabolic or reactive product may exceed the limit value specified in Annex 2 Part 1 of 0.1 microgram per litre (µg/L). Furthermore, in the event of multiple residues, the sum of the individual substances must not exceed the maximum concentration of 0.5 µg/L. A significantly lower limit value (of 0.03 µg/L) applies to the persistent insecticides Aldrin, Dieldrin, Heptachlor and its metabolite heptachlorepoxide.
More and more people worldwide abide by specific nutrition rules that are either voluntarily chosen or based on religious beliefs. With globalization and a food industry that explores "niche markets", demand for these types of products is growing. At the same time, product authentication and correct labelling become more relevant than ever.
For more information on specific diets, see the following pages:
Detecting constituents of animal origin in vegetarian/vegan and kosher/halal foods
ifp Institut für Produktqualität uses state-of-the-art analytical methods for the detection of animal constituents so as to guarantee the origin and authenticity of your products. These include:
- real-time PCR for the detection of animal species and products derived thereof
- immunological methods (ELISA) for the detection of milk and egg and products derived thereof
- mass spectrometry for additional analyses