Is E133 Halal or Haram?

Is E133 Halal or Haram

E Numbers

E numbers, where E stands for Europe, are codes assigned to specific substances permitted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to be used as food additives. The first E number was assigned to food coloring agents in 1962. Subsequently, more substances like preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, and gelling agents were added to the list.

Though most of the first food additives are no longer allowed to be used in processed foods, there is still a long list of food additives in use – more than 1500 food additives are utilized in the food industry. Though these food additives are often sourced from natural resources, many are manufactured synthetically.

These food additives have erected the multi-billion processed food industry and play a critical role in preserving food for longer durations. However, there is a controversy regarding health safety associated with their use.

Also, Muslims worldwide, particularly in the UK, are concerned about their halal or haram status as Muslims are cautious about consuming halal food only. In this blog, we will discuss the halal and haram nature of E133 — blue coloring agent – so keep reading.


E133 is a blue coloring agent obtained from a petroleum source. It is a synthetic organic compound with a color index of 42090. Globally, it is present in foods, beverages, dietary supplements, and pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. It is soluble in water and therefore does not require any alcoholic solvent for its dispersion in food or other product.

E133 Products

E133 is present in dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetic products. The coloring food additive is also present in food items like:

  • Juices
  • Soft drinks
  • Candies
  • Ice creams
  • Canned Peas

Islamic Injunctions about Halal and Haram

According to the teachings of the Holy Quran, carrion, i.e. dead meat, the blood (of haram and halal animals), and swine (pig) meat, are haram. And also, if you slaughter any halal animal and dedicate it to others than Allah, it is haram.

The 157 verse of Surah Al-Ar’af prohibits Muslims from eating impure animals such as insects (some exceptions like locusts) and reptiles.

“Those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel; for he 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); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honor him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper.” (Surah7 verse 157.)


Is E133 Halal or Haram?

Coal tar is the primary source of E133 and doesn’t require any alcoholic or pork-based glycerin solvents, so it is halal. Any product containing E133 is halal as long as all other ingredients are halal. However, there are some concerns about its health safety as E133 causes allergic reactions. Due to these allergic reactions, E133 is no longer in use in several European countries like Norway.

Food labels of the products may show other names for this synthetic and halal blue dye. Be on the lookout for the following names in your food, pharmaceutical or cosmetic product, as this terminology often indicates E133.

  • Acid blue 9
  • FD&C blue no 1

Though it often causes allergic reactions when used in food products, it is a pharmacologically inactive substance and therefore is completely safe when used in medications.

Over to You

Holy Quran and Sunnah are the two primary sources of guidance for all Muslim populace. In light of the Quran and Sunnah, E133 in food indicates haram food. Based on halal and haram principles, Islamic scholars deduce the halal and haram nature of modern substances like food additives.

E133 is a blue dye, and Islamic scholars of almost every school of thought consider it halal. (Source:

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