Is Mono and di-glycerides (E471) permissible?
The emulsifier mono diglycerides is an emulsifier made from animal or plant fat and is used in frozen products, cakes, snacks etc.
If this emulsifier is made from animal, would it be permissible to use a product containing it?
Is it necessary to find out whether it is from animal or plant?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Mono and di-glycerides are fatty substances that are used as emulsifiers. Emulsifiers are compounds used to keep oils or fats and water dispersed in one phase (i.e., they prevent oil and water from separating). Often in the ingredients it is listed as E471.
Mono and di-glycerides can be derived from animal or vegetable sources. When derived from vegetable sources, they are halal. When derived from animal sources, it is generally not permissible unless it is know for sure the animal is Halaal.
Muslim consumers should avoid products containing mono- and diglycerides unless they are labeled as 100% vegetable mono- and diglycerides. Mono- and diglycerides are used in a wide variety of products, including baked goods, peanut butter, margarine, shortening, and other products.
We would suggest that you read the ingredient list of any product before purchasing to ensure that there are no haram ingredients in the product. At times, the ingredient list will mention if the mono and diglycerides are from vegetable sources etc. If its source were not mentioned, we would recommend calling/emailing the company and researching the source of the ingredient before consuming it. Abstaining from haram food is one of the utmost important facets in the life of a Muslim, great care and precaution must be taken.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best.
Mufti Arshad Ali
Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)