France, kit to know if food is halal

Display sounds alarm if it does not follow Islamic rules

21 October, 12:43

    The kit to know if food is halal The kit to know if food is halal

    (ANSAmed) - RABAT - Two ex-students at a trade school in France have created a testing kit enabling Muslims to determine whether foods are halal, permissible for Muslims. One line means negative, two lines indicate a positive response - just like a pregnancy test.

    The two friends, a 25-year-old Algerian, Abderrahmane Chaoui, and a 27-year-old French national, Vital Julines, studied this simple system enabling someone to discover in 10 minutes whether a dish contains traces of alcohol or pork, which are banned for Muslims.

    The stick, similar to the one used in pregnancy tests, will be key for practicing Muslims. It has to be dipped into a small tube containing a sample of the food to be tested and lukewarm water. The first line appears in just a few minutes. If the second line subsequently shows, it means the dish is not halal.

    Packaged in boxes similar to the ones used for medicines, the kit is sold online by the firm Capital Biotech to ''discover products banned by Islam''. The test costs 6,90 euros.

    One of the test's creators, Abderrahmane Chaoui, warned however that a margin of uncertainly remains because ''there is no system to determine for sure how an animal we are eating was killed''.

    Meat qualifies as halal if the animal was slaughtered and bled to death.

    Nevertheless the test, which is about to hit the European market, is a step forward for Muslim consumers.

    The system elaborated by Biotem laboratories is based on the principle of immunochromatography, the specific union of certain antigens and their antibodies - a type of test often used in medicine.

    Abderrahmane Chaoui, said the kit should be used ''occasionally, to allay consumers' fears over a brand they buy more often, or when they are travelling and they find dishes which are not fully described by labels''.

    Inspired by recent scandals stretching from France to Europe, like Herta sausages certified as halal which later proved to be made with pork, the kit is likely to prove successful given that the market for halal foods is growing and has been estimated by Ecofin to be worth 5.5 billion euros in France alone.

    The two researchers are now working on their next kit, which they mean to determine whether meat has been slaughtered under Islamic rules. ''We will work from tests measuring blood oxygen'', they said. (ANSAmed)

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