Flavors have complex formulation, production, and handling processes that adapt with the rapid pace of innovation. American Halal Foundation (AHF) certifies with companies in the flavor industry to inspire trust in their products to 1.9 Billion consumers globally. Flavors have a unique set of critical concerns and challenges as it pertains to halal. This page should give you a brief understanding of the juncture of halal and flavors and its opportunities and challenges.
Types of FlavorsThere are multiple categorizations of flavors, flavorants, and flavorings, but in this page we will discuss the following categorization in accordance Code of Federal Regulations (21CFR101.22):
- Natural Flavors
- Natural With Other Natural Flavors (WONF)
- Artificial Flavors
- Natural and Artificial (N&A) Flavors
Natural FlavorsAccording to the FDA:
“The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
Natural With Other Natural Flavors (WONF)WONF ingredients are natural flavors that are blended with other natural flavors to create a unique flavor profile. In terms of halal certification, they are similar to natural flavors, except the two components are independently evaluated for compliance with the halal standard.
Artificial FlavorsArtificial flavors impart a flavor without being derived from the natural sources listed under natural flavors. Commercially, they are produced by blending independent synthetically produced aroma chemicals that combine to give a unique flavor profile often similar to the natural flavor. In terms of halal, artificial flavors are assessed based on the composition of the aroma chemicals and the extraction process.
Natural & Artificial FlavorsNatural & artificial flavors, commonly denoted as “N&A flavors,” is a blend of natural and artificial flavors. Flavors Applications
Determining Halal StatusAs defined, several flavors may be considered halal or haram based on two critical criteria:
- Source of derivation
- Extraction/production process
- Flavors sourced from haram animals sources or produced with animal derivates would be considered haram (non-halal).
- Flavors utilizing ethanol in the extraction method with residuals above 5000 parts per million (PPM) would be considered haram (non-halal).