Warning: E120

E120(i) Carmine
E120(ii) Cochineal extract

Found in: Skittles and M & M’s and many others. (Always check the ingredients!)

Please check the food labelling for Cochineal, carmine and E120.
Natural red food colour isolated from the insects Dactylopius coccus, living on different species of succulents. E120(i) is the pure colour, whereas E120(ii) is the crude extract.

Cochineal, Carminic acid, Carmines, Natural Red 4

An expensive red colouring, not suitable for Muslims and Vegetarians as it is extracted from the crushed carcasses of the female Dactylopius coccus, a cactus-feeding scale insect, which are killed by either immersion in hot water or by exposure to sunlight, steam, or the heat of an oven. The variety in the appearance of commercial cochineal is caused by these differing methods. It takes around 70,000 insects to make one pound of cochineal.

The water soluble form is used in alcoholic drinks with calcium carmine, the insoluble form, being used in a wider variety of products. Together with ammonium carmine they can be found in alcoholic drinks, bakery products and toppings, biscuits, desserts, drinks, icings, pie fillings, variety of cheddar cheese, sauces and sweets.

Islamic Ruling: those that have no blood in them are considered Haram, such as a hornet, fly, spider, beetle, scorpion, ant, etc.
Allah Most High says:
“for he (the Prophet) commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure)” (Surah al-A’raf, V: 157)
Thus, animals that don’t contain blood such as spiders and others are considered to be from ‘what is impure’ because a sound natured person would detest their consumption.

The only exception is that of a locust, for the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) clearly permitted its consumption, in the Hadith of Sunan Abu Dawud and Musnad Ahmad.

By Shaykh Asif of Halal or Haram Team

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