blog - Halal or Haram?
The Islamic dietary laws classify food as either halal (permissible) or haram (prohibited). Alcohol is considered haram but even though kombucha contains alcohol, it is still considered halal. Confused? Let’s dive a bit deeper and explain it properly.
Is Yugen halal?
Despite the fact that kombucha contains a very low amount of alcohol, Muslims consider kombucha halal because the alcohol is produced as a by-product in the fermentation process of the tea. This is a totally natural process that produces such a small amount of alcohol it would not be intoxicating. So, does Yugen Kombucha contain alcohol? Yes, but only 0,3%. Is this halal? Yes, because in 2015 a fatwa (non binding legal opinion on a point of Islamic law) passed permitting the consumption of low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as long as they contain 0.5% or less alcohol. Because most fermented foods contain only trace amounts of ethanol, they are permitted in Islam. The low content of alcohol is considered non-intoxicating.
Is every kombucha halal?
No, because not every kombucha is made in the same way. Alcoholic content can vary greatly depending on the recipe (amount of sugar) and fermentation process (fermentation time, temperature, yeast). At Yugen we make sure that every batch contains less than 0,5% alcohol. If you want to be sure the kombucha that you buy is considered halal, look for a label on the bottle or contact the brand directly.
Is homemade kombucha halal?
As with all fermented foods, a small amount of naturally occurring alcohol is typically present. Fermentation is a chemical process that’s more than 10,000 years old, that breaks down sugars and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol as by-products. In fact, alcohol is naturally occurring in a lot of foods, such as bananas, grape juice, vinegar, pickles, bread, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
In kombucha the yeast consumes the sugar and converts it to alcohol. In the second part of the fermentation the bacteria convert much of the alcohol to acetic and other organic acids.
Depending on the fermentation process and recipe it is easily possible to reach alcohol content higher than 0,5%. In fact, most homemade kombuchas which are made according to a traditional recipe will contain around 1% to 2% alcohol. This is because it’s made in a far less controlled environment and it’s far more unpredictable. If you want to be sure you drink kombucha which is considered halal, best to stick with a reputable brand.
Besides the very low alcohol content Yugen kombucha is also made with plant-based ingredients only. Our kombucha is 100% vegan and doesn’t contain any other haram ingredients like gelatin (often used to clarify beverages).
So, all those who follow halal guidelines can happily and morally enjoy our kombucha and all of the wonderful benefits it has to offer.