What is Halal?

Posted 10.15.13 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

Over the past few weeks we’ve posted several blogs related to features of new and improved Neocate Infant DHA/ARA, such as the addition of nucleotides and an increase in the amount of DHA. Some of you may have noticed a tiny symbol on the front of the new can label (see the picture to the right). This symbol indicates that this product is certified halal. So what is halal anyway?


Halal is an Arabic word meaning “lawful” or “permitted.” The basic explanation is that halal is a food which is considered “clean” by people who follow Islamic dietary laws. Halal foods are essentially any food that is not haram, which means “unlawful” or “prohibited” in Arabic. For Muslims, haram foods include:
   -swine/pork or pork byproducts
   -animals improperly slaughtered or dead before slaughtering
   -animals killed in the name of anyone other than Allah
   -alcoholic drinks and intoxicants
   -carnivorous animals, birds of prey and certain other animals
   -blood and blood byproducts
   -foods contaminated with any of the above

You can read more about halal and haram foods where we found the above information, here or here. After receiving many inquiries from customers around the world over the years about whether or not Neocate Infant is halal, Nutricia decided to have the new version certified halal by the Halal Food Council of Europe. While halal is similar to kosher, in that both are religious dietary laws, the two are not the same: halal certification does not equal kosher certification. You can read more about kosher and Jewish dietary laws here.

Hopefully this helps to clarify what halal means. What other questions do you have?


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Read Comments (5)

  • 2014-06-20 | FATIMA

    Is neocate Jr Halal?

  • 2014-06-20 | Rob

    Hi Fatima,
    At this time we have not sought halal certification for any of our other Neocate products. We will continue to evaluate this decision, especially as we receive questions from our customers about the halal status of other Neocate products. Neocate Infant DHA/ARA is made in the same facility as all other powdered Neocate products, using many of the same ingredients from the same suppliers, none derived from milk or dairy. I hope this helps!

  • 2016-08-11 | Bilal Nicholson


    Is there any porcine enzymes used in the production process or in the initial/reactionary phase?

  • 2016-08-11 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Bilal,
      No, we don’t use any components derived from pork, or any porcine enzymes, either in the production process for the individual ingredients use in Neocate or in the final production process. Thanks for your question!

  • 2016-08-12 | Bilal

    Many thanks for the prompt response, much appreciated!!!

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Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.