Halal Consumer - Issue 29 - page 18

A Closer Look at Labels
They are everywhere: in our
bread, ice creams, peanut
butter, salad dressings, margarines,
frozen desserts, bakery products,
beverages, sauces, syrups, and
drink mixes.
What are these elusive ingredients, why are they in our food,
and should we worry about whether or not they are halal?
What are Monoglycerides and Diglycerides?
“Made in part of fatty acids, they [mono- and diglycerides] are
similar to triglycerides, which are the predominant fat in food,”
says Dr. Javed Rashid, IFANCA halal auditor and a food scien-
tist, “except they are classified as emulsifiers rather than fats.”
To understand what emulsifiers are and why they are added to
commercially-produced food items, let us first consider what
happens when we add water to oil or oil to water. If you have
ever seen this being done, you know that the two liquids tend to
separate out and form two distinct layers, with the oil layer on
top and the water layer on the bottom.
The same thing happens when batter that contains both oil and
water is left to stand for a long time: the oil and water compo-
nents separate and the look of the batter changes from a smooth,
homogenous mixture to a not-so-smooth-looking concoction.
That is where emulsifiers like mono- and diglycerides come in.
By Humaira Khan
Mono- and Diglycerides
Summer 2014
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