E numbers are common ingredients found in many sweet treats – in fact, they’ve become quite controversial over the years, as they’re artificial chemicals. Amongst them, E471 continues to concern Muslims and vegetarians alike – is E471 halal or haram, for example? In this guide, I’ll take a look and break down everything you need to know.
What exactly is E471?
E471 is an E number, or artificial additive, that can serve as a thickener or emulsifier in the production of sweets, crisps, cake mix, jellies, and various types of candy.
In particular, E471 is a mixture of multiple fatty acids brought together as a synthetic, or artificial, whole.
Muslims need to be especially careful when consuming E numbers, as they can be derived from haram animal produce. While some products containing E numbers may be suitable for vegetarians, they are not necessarily suitable for Muslims to consume.
As a result, it’s always a good idea to trust an openly halal manufacturer or producer.
Is E471 halal?
E471 is derived from soy fat, which means it’s made from plant-based ingredients. Therefore, E471 is halal.
Confusion arises, however, when E471 is used in products where other E numbers of ingredients are derived from animal fat. In these cases, you may find that the food product (such as a bag of crisps) may be haram – despite the fact that it contains E471.
Unfortunately, E471 is typically used alongside other E numbers regardless of their halal or haram status. Again, it’s a good reason to stick to halal producers you know and trust!
Should I avoid E numbers?
If you are unsure whether or not E numbers are halal or haram, it is safer to avoid eating or drinking anything containing these additives just to be sure. However, there are many everyday foods that contain E numbers – meaning it’s best to check ingredients on a case by case basis.
Many people also avoid E numbers because some can cause allergies – and some sweets containing E numbers can even over-stimulate children who eat them.
E471 is one of many different artificial ingredients you’re likely to find in mass-produced food and drink. The good news is, it’s halal – but be careful to check other ingredients in any food and drink you consume in case of haram additives used alongside. Always check the label, and a halal certification certainly helps, too!