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Is cellulose gum Halal? Status | Evidence and FAQs

Suhel ahmad

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Every practising Muslim should be aware of food. They have to trade Halal foods from Haram foods. Cellulose gum is no exception. You have to decide about the food after knowing whether it is halal or not.

Here we explore whether cellulose gum is compatible with Islamic dietary principles. As a conscious Muslim, we will help you avoid the haram side of cellulose gum and accept the halal parts.

Introduction to cellulose

Cellulose gum or carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), is a popular food additive. It is also known as sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (SCMC). It is a derivative of cellulose, a natural compound found in plant cell walls.

Cellulose is used in a wide range of food products such as ice cream, yoghurt, sauces, dressings and baked goods to improve texture, viscosity and stability.

In addition to its application in the food industry, cellulose gum is also used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and various industrial products. It adds new dimensions to food and cosmetics, such as thickened and stable formulations.

It is recommended by regulatory bodies such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). However, it is necessary to know whether the cellulose is certified by a Halal certification body or not.

Ingredient of Cellulose gum

Cellulose as a component of gum serves various functions in different industries:

Food industry: Cellulose gum is widely used as a thickening agent, stabilizer and emulsifier in food products such as sauces, dressings, dairy products, baked goods and confectionery items. It helps improve texture, viscosity and mouthfeel and prevents ingredients from separating.

Pharmaceuticals: In pharmaceutical formulations, cellulose gum acts as a binder, disintegrant, and controlled-release agent in tablets, capsules, and suspensions. It helps in the binding of active ingredients and facilitates the disintegration of tablets in the digestive tract.

Cosmetics and personal care products: Cellulose gum is used as a thickener, stabilizer and emulsifier in cosmetics and personal care products. It helps to adjust the viscosity of formulations, increase stability and improve the texture of creams, lotions and gels.

Is cellulose gum Halal?

Yes, cellulose gum is halal. There is no controversy about the halal of cellulose gum as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care products. Because medicine has some latitude and exemption compared to normal food. Thus cosmetics are consumables unlike food.

cellulose gum is halal
Cellulose gum is halal

However, if Cellulose gum is used in food, there may be some differences regarding its halal. Because it is halal and haram depending on the ingredients of cellulose gum and the process of using it in food.

The use of cellulose gum in sauces, dressings, dairy products, baked goods and confectionery items is generally halal. So we didn’t think that there was so much complexity in the process of making food. So it should not be called haram.

Does cellulose gum have a halal certificate?

We did not find the halal certificate of cellulose gum in our search. So we feel it has no halal certification. But we have discussed above that this product has three uses. Among them, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals are halal. In terms of food use, there is nothing haram in the ingredients they are made of.

What is the halal certificate for products?

According to Islamic food principles, during the period of the halal certificate, the authority ensures through inspection and review that the principles of halal food, products, production, marketing, and serving are followed or not.

Halal certification ensures that no raw materials, ingredients, materials, additives, etc., which are not halal according to Shariah, can be used in the manufacture and packaging of food, consumer goods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Food or its ingredients must be hygienic. Ensure adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices and Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures in product manufacturing.

According to the policy, food must also be kept separate from haram items during preparation, processing, packaging, storage or transportation. Hala food and consumables cannot be kept with those foods which are haram according to Shariah.

Besides, the use of fat or any other prohibited animal parts in the manufacture of cosmetics like soap, shampoo, toothpaste and perfume has been banned. Any cosmetics that are harmful to health will not be considered halal.

How can a Muslim use cellulose gum?

Muslims can use cellulose gum in their food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and personal care products if it meets the requirements of halal consumption. Here are some guidelines for Muslims regarding the use of cellulose gum:

  • Halal Certification: Look for products that are certified as halal by reputable halal certification organizations. These organizations ensure that the ingredients used, including cellulose gum, comply with Islamic dietary laws.
  • Source Verification: If possible, verify the source of the cellulose gum. Cellulose gum derived from plant-based sources is generally considered halal. However, if it is derived from non-halal sources or processed with non-halal ingredients, it may not be suitable for consumption according to Islamic dietary guidelines.
  • Ingredient List: Always check the ingredient list on food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and personal care product labels. Cellulose gum may be listed under its common name or its chemical name, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). Ensure that the product does not contain any non-halal ingredients or additives.
  • Cross-Contamination: Consider the possibility of cross-contamination with non-halal substances during manufacturing or processing. If there are concerns about cross-contamination, it may be advisable to choose products with halal certification or contact the manufacturer for clarification.
  • Consult with Scholars: If there are any doubts or uncertainties about the halal status of cellulose gum or any other ingredient, consult with knowledgeable scholars or Islamic authorities who can provide guidance based on Islamic principles and rulings.


What to look for when determining whether cellulose gum is halal or not?

Muslims should look for products that are certified as halal by reputable halal certification bodies. These organizations evaluate products and ingredients to ensure they comply with Islamic dietary laws. Additionally, Muslims should verify the source of the cellulose gum and check the ingredients list for any haram substances.

How can Muslims confirm the halal status of cellulose gum?

Muslims can confirm the halal status of cellulose gum by checking the certificate, checking the product label, verifying the source of the ingredient, and consulting a knowledgeable scholar or Islamic authority if there is any doubt or uncertainty.

What if cellulose gum is not certified as halal?

If cellulose gum is not certified as halal or if its halal status is uncertain, Muslims may avoid products containing cellulose gum or contact the manufacturer for clarification. It is imperative to prioritize products that adhere to Islamic dietary guidelines.

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Suhel ahmad
Suhel ahmad

Suhel Ahmad is an Islamic scholar with special studies in Islamic Law and Fiqh. He writes to educate and inspire readers, making complex Islamic concepts clear and accessible. Suhail’s work bridges traditional knowledge with contemporary issues, offering practical guidance for Muslims worldwide.

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