UK halal authority welcomes new test from France

French entrepreneurs have launched a halal test, which has been welcomed by the UK halal trade.

Frenchmen Jean-Francois Julien and Algerian-born Abderrahmane Chaoui, who founded the company Capital Biotech, designed the halal test which can test for traces of pork in food.

The test, which looks similar to a pregnancy test, was designed for Muslims concerned about the presence of pork, but can also be used by halal slaughtermen concerned about the quality of their meat, the company reported.

The test could also prove useful for unlabelled products, Chaoui told news site. “While travelling, if you go to a restaurant or order a meal to takeaway, the products aren’t always labelled.”

The testing kit has been welcomed by the British Halal Food Authority (HFA), who told “This is indeed very beneficial development in the halal industry; however, since Muslims observe zero per cent tolerance of pork or porcine materials, it would be really important to know the detection limit or sensitivity level of this test product – that is to say, whether this test is able to detect up to 25ppm or 500ppm, for example.

“Among advantages in terms of assurance to manufacturers or suppliers, it might also give rise to an ideology of ‘cure rather than prevention’ – leading to disposal of products where pork is detected. HFA encourages and calls for a pork-free environment for halal production. Having said that, this test product is likely to be extremely helpful in reducing the risks involved in the complex supply chain, where pork can still be detected in products manufactured at a pork-free facility.”

To be certified halal, animals must be slaughtered by strict religious methods, which involves the draining of all blood from the carcase. Capital Biotech revealed plans to release a second halal test which could test blood oxygen levels in meat.

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