The integrity of halal food products encompasses the whole supply chain, from farm to table. However, there are concerns on the authenticity of halal food products for consumption. As such, there is a need to enhance the integrity of halal products by leveraging expertise through an integrated approach of social and applied sciences in the ASEAN countries.
It is in this context that a project entitled “Safeguarding and Sustaining the Integrity of Halal Food” was initiated to generate high impact researches in the areas of alternative ingredients, authentication techniques, consumer acceptance and perception as well as the effect of halal slaughtering system on animal welfare and meat quality. Furthermore, the project is expected to contribute in providing a well-trained human capital in the halal food processing industry and a comprehensive database of halal food products and traceability system.
Specifically, the project is divided into five components, namely, 1) Comparative study on the consumers’ acceptance and economic impact of verified and certified halal food in ASEAN countries; 2)Development of authentication and analytical tools for halal food product verification; 3)Development of alternative ingredients and products for halal food processing application; 4) Welfare and meat quality of livestock slaughtered according to Halal method using restraining mechanism and different knife sharpness; 5)Development of database and halal traceability system for halal food products; and 6) Halal awareness and halal compliance training in food processing for ASEAN countries.
The project officially started in January 2015 and is expected to run until December 2017, with the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), being the lead implementing institution. Initial project partner institutions include the Tokyo University of Agriculture (Tokyo Nodai)) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
The overall aim of the project is to safeguard and sustain integrity of halal foods in accordance to the Toyyiban aspects. Specifically, this study seeks to:
- determine the effects of halal food products on consumers’ acceptance and economic impact of verified and certified halal food in ASEAN countries;
- develop reliable methods for halal authentication and verification;
- develop processes, products and alternative ingredients for halal food products production;
- determine the effect of restraining mechanism and different knife sharpness on the welfare and meat quality of livestock slaughtered according to halal method; and
- develop database and halal traceability system for halal food products; and
- develop modules and provide training on halal awareness and halal compliance in food processing for ASEAN countries.
The objectives of this project will be carried out by first embarking on studies of consumers’ acceptance and economic impact of verified and certified halal food products. In verifying halal food, analytical tools will be developed based on existing common analytical techniques for possible application in halal food authentication. Alternative ingredients will also be developed to replace non-halal ingredients. The project will also assess the effects of halal slaughter method on the welfare and quality of livestock. Moreover, database and halal traceable system for halal food products will also be developed. All the efforts in research and innovation of halal food processing will be enhanced through trainings on halal awareness and good manufacturing practices for food processing.
To date, training courses have been identified and corresponding modules are being developed. The UPM has also conducted a one-week training for each of the two batches of scientists from the Philippines.
- Revenue generation of approximately RM100 million when halal is implemented.
- Human resource capacity building – competent Halal Executives with knowledge in Halal Food Processing.
- Trade creation – The trade in Halal food is enormous with an estimated annual Halal food value of USD347 billion globally. Greater confidence will be created in the halal food industry thus opening more opportunities for ASEAN food manufacturers to penetrate OIC and EU Halal markets. This will increase per capita income for the ASEAN countries.
- Job creation – The creation of the halal network will strengthen bi-lateral trade between developed and developing countries, giving an immediate boost to the volume of halal products traded, which in turn will increase foreign exchange earnings and help create new jobs.