Sugar alcohols, commonly known as polyols, are used as sweeteners and bulking agents. They naturally occur in foods derived from plant products such as fruits and berries.
These sweeteners are added to foods like cookies, candies, and ice cream to give them a sweet flavour without the undesirable side effects of regular sugar. They serve as healthier substitutes for ordinary sugar.
However, as tasty and nutritious as these sweeteners may be, their halal status has always been a concern to Muslims and Halal-aware consumers. In this article, we will answer the big question - is sugar alcohol haram?
What is sugar alcohol?
Sugar alcohols are a kind of carbohydrate produced naturally in fruits and other plants. They serve as addictives and sweeteners. They are used in making edible substances like ice cream, gum, candies, and cookies.
Despite containing calories, they are less caloric than table sugar and hence a healthier option. However, this doesn't make it wise to overdose on it. The most common sugar alcohols are erythritol, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, and sorbitol.
Is sugar alcohol halal?
The simple and correct answer to this would be YES! Here is a host of reasons why this sweetener is considered halal;
Sugar alcohol has no alcohol
Alcoholic fermentation used to make beverages like beer and wine is not entirely how sugar alcohols are made. Like kombucha, their process is different, not even made similar to gin, vodka, or whiskey.
What we typically refer to as "alcohol" is not used to make sugar alcohol. Thus, sugar alcohols have zero alcohol content. Likewise, the alcohol known as ethanol or ethyl alcohol is absent.
However, the compounds used have similar functional groups and are therefore referred to as alcohol, despite having different properties.
Muslim countries' approval of its consumption
Islamic nations, like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, famous for the consumption and selling of strictly halal diets, have approved these sweeteners for usage as food in the country.
The governments of Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offer regulatory data for several sugar alcohols.
It leaves no intoxication effect
According to Islamic law, sugar alcohol is also considered halal because it does not contain alcohol. Numerous scholars agree that sugar alcohol has no intoxication or other adverse effects.
From a natural origin
Many Islamic scholars hold that sugar alcohol is halal because it is produced naturally and is found primarily in plants. They are usually made from sugars and starches and have no trace of an animal enzyme.
Sugar alcohol, such as sorbitol, is obtained from corn syrup, while mannitol is from seaweed.
Process of making sugar alcohol
The method of making sugar alcohol is a popular one. It is often related to a lot of chemistry. It is also a fermentation process. It starts with the breaking down of carbohydrates by yeast into a substance used to start alcoholic fermentation.
Fermentation is a naturally occurring process, and the carbohydrates used are often glucose, fructose, and sucrose, all known for their remarkable sweet taste. The end product is not just sweeteners but one rich in calories and suitable for human intake.
Alcoholic fermentation is a natural process used for many of man's essential functions and is hence halal! The halal to the haram ratio of sugar alcohol depends on the ingredients and the processes involved in its making.
Benefits of sugar alcohol
This sweetener is known to have a lot of beneficial roles. Some of them include the following;
- Less energy-dense
- Easier control of blood sugar
- Decreased dental risk
- Reduced carbohydrates
- Safer heart health amongst other sugar-related diseases
- A better alternative for diabetic patients.
Yes, the sugar alcohol is halal! Islamic laws permit Muslims to consume sugar alcohol since it can be said to be halal from all studies and research.
Its rich health benefits and absence of alcohol make it suitable for the Islam diet. Visit Chewwies store for your delicious, gluten-free, and healthy products!