KARACHI - Non-Muslim countries are the largest halal food exporters in the world. Halal foods’ quality is popular in the world, attracting Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The halal food market is worth an estimated 2.8 trillion dollars a year. Halal products analysis and regulations are important aspects of food safety and security.

Several processed food products, imported from abroad, may or may not have ingredients which are haram. So there is a real need to look into such products more scientifically.

Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, Director, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (KU), expressed these views while speaking at the inauguration of a one-day seminar on “Halaal Products Analysis and Regulations” held here at the LEJ National Science Information Center KU on Wednesday.

The seminar was jointly organized by HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, University of Karachi and SANHA Halaal Associates, Pakistan. Professor Iqbal Choudhary said that halal foods and meals are made with the best and quality ingredients. “That is why they attract Muslims and non-Muslims alike,” he said, and added, “Thailand is one of the largest exporters of halal foods in the world.”

Choudhry emphasised the importance of halal products in modern times. He stated that the world market of consumable products was becoming very complex so there was a real need for looking into such products more scientifically.

“ICCBS is a world class institution which is also contributing to the provision of analytical services on food and non-food products, suspected of containing non-halal ingredients,” he said, and added that halal products were a benchmark of safety, hygiene and quality of what we consume or drink daily.

Maulana Muhammad Saeed Naulakhi, Chief Shariah Director of SANHA, South Africa and renowned speaker on halal food items also spoke on the occasion. 

He listed a number of food products and cosmetics in which traces of pork meat are added.

“Although the identification number is mentioned on the label, but Muslims often do not look into it,” he said and emphasized the need for creating awareness among Muslims about non-halal ingredients, saying this was need of the hour.

Saleem Sheikh of SANHA South Africa stressed the role of scientists to work for the benefit of Muslim consumers.

Professor Dr Muhammad Iqbal Bhanger and Dr Shakeel Ahmed of the HEJ Institute discussed the analytical services being provided to industry in terms of halal testing.

Yousuf Abdul Razaq of SANHA Associates Pakistan delivered his lecture on “Why we need certification in Pakistan.”

He was of the view that Muslims must not take everything for granted as halal if it was available in a Muslim country.