Issue No. 198 – June 2022 : Thul Qadah 1443

SANHA responds to the queries received on its announcement of Cadbury’s Lunch Bar, Chomp and P. S. chocolate ranges containing natural Tartaric acid/Cream of Tartar derived from wine source.

Has SANHA declared these products Haraam?

SANHA has not issued any announcement or pronouncement declaring Cadbury’s products Haraam. Declaration of Halaal/Haraam is deemed an extremely sensitive and critical matter in terms of the Shari’ah. SANHA has thus always adopted a cautious approach and accordingly advised its constituency of its finding of the use of an ingredient derived from wine source.

What is Tartaric Acid and Cream of Tartar?

When obtained from natural sources, it is a by-product of the wine-making process. The synthetic type is chemically produced through an enzymatic process. Tartaric acid has many commercial applications. The food industry uses it as a leavening agent, pH control agent, antimicrobial agent, anticaking agent, formulation aid, a humectant, processing aid, stabilizer, thickener and flavouring agent among others.

Cream of Tartar chemically known as potassium bitartrate is the raw unprocessed powdered form of tartaric acid. This acid is naturally precipitated during the winemaking process.

What is SANHA’s position?

SANHA only approves products that utilize synthetically derived Tartaric acid. Use of a wine derived ingredient is neither condoned nor permitted by SANHA.

There are those that maintain that all Tartaric acid is acceptable irrespective whether it is derived from a wine source or other. They aver that the process of transformation in production renders it Halaal.

SANHA has always adopted the universal rule that all ingredients used in Halaal product manufacture must not be derived from non-Halaal animal and/or Kham’r/wine source. We firmly believe that when there are abundant Halaal alternatives available, industry should not be allowed to use ingredients from non-Halaal animal and wine liquor derivation in the manufacture of Halaal products.

Is it about money since you do not certify Cadbury and do not receive funding from them?

The fact that we have been giving approval of Cabury’s products though they were never certified by us for the past many years without any payment whatsoever, destroys this fallacy.

SANHA is principled in its mission and service to the community. Eight years ago when the story broke in Malaysia about Cadbury’s products found to contain porcine ingredients, SANHA was the only certifying body that spoke out publicly against this untruth. Subsequent high level investigations by the Malaysian government confirmed the correctness of our stance. This was undertaken as a public service initiative in the interest of justice and our international followers once again without any payment arrangements. Click here to view :

Why did SANHA not highlight this previously?

Cadbury were using the wine derived Tartaric Acid prior to 2010 in Lunch Bar chocolates. As per SANHA‘s direction at the time, they changed the wine derived source and replaced it with a synthetic Tartaric Acid. This fact is recorded in our E-bulletin issued at the time.

Following Cadbury’s recent application to SANHA for Halaal certification and a detailed evaluation undertaken, it was found that this wine derived ingredient has once again been introduced. It was further identified that this ingredient was being used in the 3 products in question viz. Lunch Bar, Chomp and P.S. Notwithstanding communication with Cadbury over several months, they have been unable/unwilling to effect the change in formulation and remove the wine derived Tartaric Acid, hence our alert to consumers.

Did SANHA communicate their intention to notify its constituency to Cadbury?

Our numerous communications are recorded in writing. The last being our correspondence of 10th June  where a copy of the announcement with our publication date was communicated to them.

Why did SANHA not issue its announcement immediately when the ingredient was discovered?

Based on the very nature of legal proprietary information and confidential disclosures, due process must be followed. Also from an Islamic Deeni perspective, amaanah (trust) cannot be breached. Permission must be sought from the owner of such proprietary information before releasing same.

What about the status of all their other products going forward?

In light of the aforesaid we believe that their conduct has been mala fides resulting in our loss of confidence in their declarations and undertakings. Accordingly, we cannot foretell what the future holds.

The Acid Test of Cadbury Chocolate is in the Sweet Truth