By ISA Halal
Has Halal Certification anything to do with US Dairy Industry? If yes, how? Let’s read this blog to know more!
Halal certification can have meaningful benefits for American dairy producers. The US Dairy Export Council reports that in 2018, 15.8% of American dairy production was exported, with production worth $771 million (an increase of 12% from 2017) headed to Southeast Asia and $251 million (an increase of 7%) bound for the Middle East. Dairy demand is growing around the world, and these markets offer huge opportunities for the development of the Halal dairy sector.
According to the trade website Dairy Reporter, as early as 2010 industry giant Danisco had invested in Halal certification for a range of key ingredients including yogurt and cheese cultures, ensuring that they will be able to meet the growing demand. Other producers targeting these markets can ensure that their products are competitive with Muslim consumers by getting Halal certification.
Halal certification also has major benefits for American dairy markets. North America is expected to make up a growing part of global Halal revenues due to increasing demand for processed food products, a larger Muslim population, and the increased purchasing power of Muslim consumers.
Some of the most important products to certify are cheese, yogurt, whey, and dairy desserts.
Most cheeses are made using the enzyme rennet as part of the curd-forming process. Some use vegetable or microbial rennet, which are Halal. Other cheeses are made with animal rennet, which comes from calves and must be certified Halal.
Thus, while many kinds of cheese made with vegetarian or Halal rennet are permissible for Muslims, many Muslims choose to avoid cheese unless they can be sure of the source of the rennet. Receiving a Halal certification for your cheese product makes it stand out in the market and assures Muslim consumers that every ingredient is acceptable.
Yogurt can also benefit from certification because some are thickened with gelatin. As gelatin is most often sourced from beef or pork (it can be replaced with fish-derived gelatin or comparable plant thickeners), it must be certified Halal. Many yogurts don’t contain gelatin and are considered Halal as long as they do not contain any other meat-derived ingredients or alcohol.
However, since many Muslim consumers are aware that yogurt is commonly thickened with gelatin that may not be Halal, attaining a Halal certification for any yogurt is worthwhile to alleviate any concerns. In addition, yogurt and fresh cheeses are traditional parts of Middle Eastern and North African diets. When immigrants from these regions and Muslim Americans seek out these products in the US, they will be looking for assurance that their favorite staples still meet the highest standards of purity.
Dairy-based desserts may have long ingredient lists and potentially contain gelatin, lard in crusts or pastry, or alcohol-based flavoring. Adding a Halal certification assures consumers that they can buy and enjoy ice cream, frozen treats, or cakes without having to read the entire ingredients list every time or reject the product entirely because they cannot be sure about the source.
Finally, tap into the huge whey protein market, estimated to be worth $2.46 billion in 2024 by Mordor Intelligence, by certifying whey protein Halal. Whey itself is Halal since it is derived from milk. However, it is a byproduct of cheesemaking, which may involve animal-based enzymes. As a result, whey requires certification to assure consumers that it was produced with a Halal form of rennet.
Most dairy products are processed to some degree. Any kind of processing introduces an element of doubt. How was the product handled? What was added? What else was processed there?
The only way to make any processed product completely free of the doubt for Muslim consumers is to get it certified Halal. Muslim consumers want to be able to enjoy the full range of delicious dairy-based products available, and Halal certification makes that possible.
Islamic Services Of America (ISA Halal) is a globally recognized symbol of Halal integrity. It provides Halal certification and auditing services to manufacturers in the US and Canada.
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