In 2010, there were about 44.1 million believers of the Islamic faith in Europe and Russia, which is about 6 per cent of the total population. It has been predicted that by the year 2030, the percentage of Muslims will have increased even further, to 8 per cent.¹ This trend plays a very important role for gelatine manufacturers in Europe as specific requirements have to be met when producing gelatine for the halal market.
Food and pharmaceutical manufacturers serving Muslim consumers must therefore be inspected by recognized Islamic certifying bodies. Once the factory has been approved by an Islamic certifying body, a certificate is issued that shows that the end products are thus “halal”. To achieve this, manufacturers must ensure that only approved raw materials are used and that prohibited additives are not used. Also, preventing cross contamination is essential in the production of halal certified food or pharmaceutical products. Production methods have then to follow strong hygiene, safety and quality rules in order to guarantee to consumers the highest level of quality and integrity of the final product. Any question on the certification scheme should be addressed directly to the certification bodies.
A growing number of European gelatine manufacturers have now extended their product range. This allows them to offer both consumers and the processing industry gelatine and gelatine products that are halal certified and have been produced on site in modern facilities according to European guidelines and safety standards.
In this way, both manufacturers of foods, beverages and dietary supplements and the pharmaceutical industry can offer products that meet the needs of this growing demographic group. In addition, certification facilitates the export of products to Muslim countries.
Today, many supermarkets in Europe already sell a large range of halal products including halal gelatine. This depends of course on the country and region. There is also a growing number of specialised halal shops which serve all customers who set a high value on halal food.