I was speaking to my sister about this and that and as I was about to end my conversation when I mentioned that I was going to bake using my Snowflake easy mix whereupon she told me that it was haraam. I was shocked as the packaging suggested nothing haraam unless the colourant (which had E150 in brackets beside it) and raising agents were the haraam ingredients in the muffin mix.
E150 is responsible for the caramel colour that makes unhealthy goods look so appetizing. I didn’t think it was haraam because according to my knowledge caramel colouring is derived from products such as lactose (from milk), dextrose (usually derived from corn), starch hydrolysates (from corn or wheat), or malt syrup (in general derived from barley). So I didn’t find anything to make the muffin mix haraam, however Mu’allim Rashaad Sallie sent me the following information from the Jamiatal Ulama Gauteng…
SNOWFLAKE PRE-MIXES ARE HARAAM
In response to a query sent to the manufacturers of Snowflake pre-mixes the following reply was given:
Herewith the information you require
We were advised that all the flavoured premixes are alcohol based and
they contain Whey Powder
But the Flap Jack does not contain any of those.
If you need any more information, do not hesitate to contact us.
Muslims are required to exercse caution when purchasing food products.
I received this information from SANHA’s e-bulletin “Snowflake Cake Mixes are not approved by SANHA. The manufacturer is unwilling to divulge information and make the required disclosures.
The Golden Cloud cake mixes are certified Halaal by SANHA”.
I called Snowflake and they affirmed that it is indeed not halaal. I raised my voice in anger that the ingredients states nothing suspect but the E150.
Ingredients on the bran muffin mix is: “Cake Wheat Flour, Brown Sugar, Digestive Wheat Bran 23%, Raising Agent, Salt, Colouring (E150)”. That’s it. It stated nothing about flavourants which I learned they do contain which makes it haraam! The guy I spoke to sounded really surprised when I told him that no flavourants are stated on the packs!
I felt so foolish and angry with myself initially that I should have checked. But I did, and I didn’t find anything to be haraam. The lesson I learned is that here in SA where so much is being done to certify which foods are halaal and haraam or doubtful by organisations like SANHA or MJC and Jamiatal Ulama, we take for granted that we can just pick up almost anything we want and know that we are not eating haraam. On this pack, there was no such logo of MJC or SANHA, I didn’t notice but did read the ingredients and was certain that it was halaal. I am really grateful to organisations who go the extra mile in ensuring that we eat 100% halaal, tayyib (wholesome) food.
Recently SANHA and MJC have come under fire regarding the Early Bird Chicken Slaughtering Houses and the Orion Cold Storage Incident where MJC had some serious concerns as they had previously certified some of Orion Cold Storage’s products (not to be confused with Orion Cold Storage in Nova Scotia, Canada). That was terrible to be labeling kangeroo and Pork products as beef and in some cases labeling a wide range of non-halaal products as Halaal alledgedly on instruction of the owner, Patrick Gaertner. But that’s another story entirely.
So even though we have these organisations who certify, moral of the story… You must do your enquiries, and as the hadeeth of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) so beautifully puts it.. “Leave that which doubts you for that which does not”.
Shukr to Allah that I did not use the bran muffin mix and that only because I couldn’t find my cupcake pans! LOL! Seriously though, thank Allah for that. Allah forgive my negligence. This was definitely an eye opener!
UPDATE 10 Feb 2017
Snowflake Easy Mix (cake mixes) now certified Halaal. For updated post, you can read this https://www.ummulhasanaat.co.za/snowflake-cake-mix-now-halaal