Starburst, also famous as Opal Fruits in the UK, is the brand name of a juicy box-shaped candy. Wrigley Company, a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, manufactures the candies.
In the UK, the candy was introduced in 1960 when the original flavours were blackcurrant, lemon and lime, orange, and strawberry. Many new tropical flavours like banana, pineapple, mango melon, cherry, and kiwi are also available.
The juicy and fruity candy is a favourite of children and adults alike throughout the UK. Likewise, the Muslim populace of the country is also fond of the candy. But the question is whether the candy is halal or haram. In this blog, we will look up the ingredients of the popular candy to ascertain whether it is halal or haram.
Ingredients of Starburst
We will look at the ingredients included in practically every candy product because starburst products come in a wide variety. But some products may or may not include all of the following components. Therefore, it is always advisable to look up the ingredients mix of your product and then seek guidance from your local Islamic scholar.
- Corn Syrup
- Fruit Juice from Concentrate (Apple, Lemon, Orange, Strawberry)
- Citric Acid
- Artificial and Natural Flavours
- Colouring Agents
- Dextrose is a type of sugar found naturally in some fruits and honey but can also be made from cornstarch.
- Hydrogenated palm kernel oil or palm oil
- Food starch-modified
- Ascorbic acid (vitamin c)
- Titanium Dioxide
- Sodium Citrate
- Confectioner’s Glaze
- Vanilla Extracts
While looking at the ingredients list, many of them, like sugar, dextrin, corn syrup, ascorbic acid, dextrose, etc., are halal. Still, some like gelatin (generally derived from pork) and vanilla extracts (containing alcohol) are harams. Still, the nature of others, like colouring agents and natural and artificial flavours, is not known.
Islamic Verdict About Halal and Haram
Muslims worldwide seek guidance from Quran and Sunnah for leading their lives according to Islamic teachings. These two primary sources of advice contain timeless principles that modern Muslims can follow without hesitation.
Like its clear guiding principles for all aspects of human life, Quran has clear injunctions when it comes to whether a food or a particular act is halal or haram.
Allah (SWT), in Surah Al Baqarah, has clarified the halal and haram food for Muslims.
“He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 2:173)
(Source of above-cited Quranic Verse: https://quran.com/2/173?translations=84,17,95,101,22,20)
This Quranic verse is the guiding principle for distinguishing halal food from haram in Islam. According to this verse of the Holy Quran, carrion, i.e. dead meat, the blood, and swine (pig) meat, is haram. Furthermore, it is haram to slaughter any halal animal and dedicate it to someone other than Allah.
Are Starburst Halal or Haram?
As stated above, some starburst products contain haram ingredients like gelatin and vanilla extract. Yet the nature of some ingredients like natural and artificial food flavours and colouring agents are unknown.
It is haram if gelatin of starburst is present in any part of the pig. Similarly, if vanilla extracts contain any amount of alcohol, then it is also haram. And if any other haram ingredient is present in the candies, the candies will become haram.
Also, if the sourcing of gelatin from slaughtering halal animals according to the acceptable method, it is halal. Likewise, if there is no alcohol in vanilla extract, the candy will be halal; if all other ingredients used in candies are halal.
How to Recognize Halal Starburst
The best way to tell if the candy is halal or haram is to contact the manufacturer and inquire about all the ingredients used in the candy. Then seek the guidance of your local Islamic scholar about the halal and haram nature of the candy product.
Similarly, look up any halal certifications from Islamic scholars about a specific product.
In the light of the Quran and Sunnah, any product consisting of haram ingredients is haram, while if it consists of halal ingredients, then the product will be halal. Before taking a final decision about a product, it is advisable to look up its ingredient list and seek guidance from an established Islamic scholar who can make an informed decision based on the teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah.