Not all halal products may meet standards: Expert


products that have passed laboratory tests at the Halal Science Centre
at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. CHRIS V PANGANIBAN

Not all halal-certified food products sold in supermarkets in Qatar and
other Gulf countries comply with halal standards, according to a Thai
professor at a well-known university in Bangkok.

Winai Dahlan, Associate Professor and Director of the Halal Science
Center (HSC) of Chulalongkorn University, said many studies had shown
that food products exported to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
countries with halal certification may not have been processed
scientifically according to the required standards.

percent of processed food in Saudi Arabia comes from non-Muslim
countries,” Dr Dahlan said, replying to a query from The Peninsula,
during a visit to the HSC laboratories by 10 journalists from the
Middle East on a media familiarisation trip.

Muslims, we have to protect ourselves,” he said, explaining that there
was a need for greater scrutiny on the part of Muslim consumers to
ensure they were getting halal quality meat and food products,
especially since there were no established international Halal
standards yet for the estimated 1.8 billion Muslims around the world.

Dahlan said Thailand had been closely coordinating with the Gulf countries to develop collaboration on halal techniques.

the halal expert said, some GCC countries had realised that importance
of having the right halal technology, as in the case of the United Arab
Emirates, which held a halal trade fair during the recently held
GCC-ASEAN Joint Ministerial Conference in Bahrain.

part of its programme to offer food security to the GCC countries, the
Thai government has been actively promoting Halal products and the
country has now become the fifth biggest producer of halal products in
the world behind the United States, China and the European Union.

HSC, which was jointly established by the Chulalongkorn University and
the Thai government, is well-equipped with modern and advanced
scientific devices for analytical services and research to detect
contaminants detrimental to halal food manufacturing, including animal
fatty acids, animal proteins/DNA, gelatin, alcohol and microbial

the only centre for halal studies in the ASEAN region, the HSC offers
standardisation services, scientific devices, development and research
services, consumer protection services and food production system
development services.