30 Per Cent Of 100 Health Capsules Tested By USM Not Halal

PENANG, Nov 2 (Bernama) — Almost 30 per cent of 100
health products tested at Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM)
Pharmaceutical Science Studies Centre laboratary were found to be not
halal as gelatine from pigs was used in making the product capsules.

The centre’s dean, Assoc Prof Dr Syed Azhar Syed Sulaiman said the
products were tested since a year ago after they were delivered by the
National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau and the product manufacturers to
identify the source of gelatine in the capsules.

“Out of 100 products we tested, 30 were not halal because pig
gelatine was used in making the capsules. Pig gelatine is cheaper
compared to cow gelatine.

“However, this does not represent the overall situation where
gelatine capsules are concerned in Malaysia as manufacturers took
remedial action by changing to capsules made from cow gelatine on being
informed of the matter,” he told a news conference at the university
here Monday.

He urged the Health Ministry to make it compulsory for health
product manufacturers to ensure gelatine used in their products was

Meanwhile, a group of USM researchers headed by Associate Prof Dr
Gam Lay Harn has successfully produced a method, a first in Malaysia,
to identify gelatine source in medicine or health product capsules.

“By using specific bio-markers for every type of gelatine, we can identify whether the gelatine source is from a cow or a pig.

“This method is not only able to trace the source but also identify gelatine mixture from various sources,” he said.

He added that USM had filed to patent the findings of the research worldwide.