According to Halal Expo Europe, the global ingredients industry was estimated at $245 billion in 2015 across food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics products. In 2014, the 57 Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states imported in total $33 billion of ingredients across all categories, accounting for 13 percent of total ingredients demand.
The industry is highly sophisticated, with the leading players predominantly located in non-OIC countries, and there is a substantial range of ingredients that are sourced either from animals or that contain alcohol content. This is due to the lack of standardization of halal certification and enforcement in certain sectors.
The most notable haram ingredients include gelatin, lard, pepsin (which is used in dairy products, in particular cheese), and carmine (red coloring derived from insects). As consumer awareness increases and as OIC member states become stricter in their requirements for halal ingredients, there are substantial opportunities for halal ingredients manufacturers to address the global Muslim consumer market.
In this current environment, there is a high need for robust halal certification across the food value chain in order to ensure non-halal ingredients are not used. In order for this to happen food formulators and processors need to be aware of the source of many common food ingredients, such as flavourings, colourings and proteins, if they are to be used for halal packaged foods. A central information hub or database that can be referred to by consumers and suppliers alike should be established. So far the collation of this information is only happening on a local basis.
Organisations such as Muslim Consumer Group, attempt at enumerating halal ingredients for worldwide application, but is still predominantly North American in the products it lists. Collaboration between nations in the OIC in creating a standard global hub for information would aid not just consumers, but also facilitate the procedures of halal certification.