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Halal bread is bread that meets the Muslim definition of halal. Halal foods are ones that are permissible to eat for members of the Muslim faith. Foods that should be avoided are known as haram, and mashbooh is the term used for foods that are questionable. Often, unless an individual prepares the bread, or purchases registered halal bread, the bread will be considered mashbooh.
Products considered halal include all vegetables, milk and eggs from halal animals, and meat, including birds, that has been humanely handled and slaughtered, and have had all of the blood drained from them. Haram foods include alcohol, and any drugs that cause intoxication, blood, pork, and meat from animals that are not slaughtered in accordance with Islamic traditions. Any foods containing haram ingredients are also considered haram.
Mashbooh items contain questionable ingredients, like enzymes, emulsifiers, and flavorings. Unless it can be determined that these products are halal, they should be avoided. Manufactured bread and other processed foods likely contain these ingredients, making it difficult to find halal bread.
Making halal bread at home is simple, because the ingredients called for in bread are typically halal. Purchased breads may contain questionable, or mashbooh, ingredients. These ingredients are used to enhance texture and lengthen shelf life.
For individuals hoping to purchase halal bread, there are two different ways to ensure the products are halal. Look for the registered halal logo, which is the capital letter m inside a circle. Foods that are registered halal contain all halal ingredients. Another way to find halal bread is to read the ingredients on the label. Some smaller companies may not go through the expense of having their foods certified halal, however, that does not necessarily mean they contain mashbooh or haram ingredients.
Compare the ingredient lists to the list of foods that are considered halal. If there are ingredients that are not specifically mentioned as halal, contact the company for additional information. For example, some emulsifiers and gelatins are halal, while others are haram, it depends on how they are derived. Emulsifiers, preservatives, and other ingredients derived from animal sources are more likely to be haram, while vegan sources are typically halal.
Ask the company how often they change ingredients. If the company always purchases the lowest priced components, the questionable ingredients may be halal one time and haram the next. If the company makes their choices based on always purchasing from the same supplier or choosing vegan based products, the components will probably remain halal.