List of sneaky ingredients

Salaam sister,

In the book, I mention how I look out for sneaky ingredients when picking up food from the supermarket. Remember there may exist differences of opinion regarding some of them. As always, use your better judgement (and do your own research)!


An anti-caking agent made from the degreased steam extract from animal bones.


A red dyestuff consisting of dried bodies of female cochineal insects. Note: E124 Ponceau 4R is acceptable, although it is sometimes known as Cochineal Red A.


Gelatine is an odourless, tasteless, protein substance like glue or jelly, obtained by boiling the bones, hoofs, and other waste parts of animals. Vegetarian alternatives such as Agar Agar and Gelozone exist.


May be produced from animal fats, synthesised from propylene or from fermentation of sugars.


A flavour and improving agent manufactured from animal hair and chicken feathers.


May be made from animal fat. Often found in medicines.


An enzyme taken from the stomach of a newly killed calf used in the cheese-making process, like parmesan. Vegetarian cheese is produced using microbial or fungal enzymes, or chymosin.


During cheese making, a coagulum is formed by clotting milk with rennet. When the coagulum is cut, a watery liquid known as whey is released and drained off leaving the curd to be salted and further processed into cheese. Whey contains water, fat, protein, lactose, minerals and lactic acid. Cream, butter, cheese, drinks, syrups and powder are some of the products made from whey. If that’s your post-workout protein powder, there are many other delicious vegetal alternatives.


a resin from the lac insect

EMULSIFIERS (E470 to E483)

Haram if obtained from pork or non-halal sources.

You could also use practical apps such EWG's Healthy Living app which lets you scan more than 120,000 food and personal care products, offering ratings at your finger tips.

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