Are you one of those people who, in the candy section of the store, feels like they’ve arrived in dreamland?
Do you try all the new tempting, colorful products or stick to your favorite brands?
Be that as it may, few can resist sweets.
Whether it’s a childhood habit or we’re influenced by the advertising campaigns that surround us from all sides, we all like to treat ourselves to something sweet from time to time.
However, while for some people enjoying sweets is easy, and the only thing they have to worry about is whether it will affect their weight, for those who adhere to special diets, this can be pretty challenging.
If you follow a halal, kosher, or vegan diet, you must know all the ingredients in your food to ensure it’s right for you.
When it comes to sweets, finding all the ingredients in a product can sometimes be complicated.
There are often confusing names or codes on the ingredient list, and few people know what they stand for, so it’s essential to research them.
Also, sometimes manufacturers don’t disclose all the ingredients they use, and unwanted products can remain hidden from the consumer.
Consuming haram, i.e., forbidden food in Islam, is considered a major sin.
If we know that, it’s clear why it is essential for Muslims who adhere to the halal diet to know precisely what ingredients their food contains.
That’s why in this article, we dealt with the question of whether the famous Mars chocolates are halal or haram in Islam.
We’ve tried to find out all the ingredients that go into Mars bars, and we’ve looked at some of the controversies surrounding this product that surfaced in the public eye a few years ago.
Is Mars Chocolate Halal or Haram?
We won’t keep you in suspense – Mars chocolate bars are halal.
However, this only applies to the original Mars bar, which is even halal-certified in the markets of some countries.
On the other hand, Mars Protein Chocolate Bar is haram because it contains several ingredients that are not allowed for Muslims, but we will discuss that later.
Let’s first look at the composition of the Mars bar.
Mars chocolate bar is famous for its distinctive nougat, caramel, and chocolate taste.
Mars chocolate bar contains sugar, glucose syrup, skimmed milk powder, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sunflower oil, milk fat, lactose, whey powder (from milk), palm fat, fat-reduced cocoa, barley malt extract, emulsifier (soya lecithin), salt, egg white powder, and natural vanilla extract.
All these ingredients are halal.
Even vanilla extract, which is sometimes considered dubious because it can be produced by mixing vanilla beans in ethyl alcohol, is considered halal by many Muslim scholars. In addition, natural vanilla extract can be made without the use of alcohol, using vegetable glycerin.
Regarding the halal status of industrial sweets, the two most undesirable ingredients are gelatin and alcohol.
Alcohol is haram in Islam, which is why liquor candies and other sweets containing alcohol are considered haram.
It’s not the case with the Mars chocolate bar because it does not contain alcohol.
Most Muslim scholars believe that even the use of vanilla extract produced with the help of alcohol is not haram because alcohol does not affect the end products and does not cause intoxication.
Gelatin is also haram in Islam because it is obtained from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of pigs, cows, or other animals.
Mars chocolate bars do not contain gelatin, so they are safe for people following a halal diet.
In some countries, Mars chocolates have officially received confirmation of their halal status from halal food certification organizations.
However, we mentioned that the product Mars Protein Chocolate Bar is haram.
In Qatar, several years ago, the import of these chocolate bars was prohibited, even in non-commercial quantities, because they contain a bovine protein from a non-halal source.
At the same time, in Qatar, The Public Authority for Food and Nutrition called for the ban of these chocolate bars, declaring them haram.
The list of ingredients of Mars Protein Chocolate Bar includes, among other things, emulsifiers E471 and E476. These additives are mushbooh, which is the Arabic word for suspicious.
These additives can be of plant origin and, therefore, halal. But, on the other hand, they can be of animal origin, which, if they come from a pig, automatically classifies them as haram food.
If they come from some other animal, they can be halal and haram, depending on whether the animal was raised and slaughtered according to halal standards.
The manufacturer’s official website says that the emulsifier E476 is soy lecithin, which means it is halal.
However, for the emulsifier E471, there is no official data on plant or animal origin.
What are Mars Bars?
Mars chocolate bars have been produced since 1932 in Slough, England.
Mars chocolate bars are available in different packages, from the classic 51g chocolate bar, through the Mars Chocolate Duo package and various Fun Size packages to the Mars Chocolate Snack Bars package.
In addition to the original Mars chocolate bar, there is also a Mars protein Chocolate Bar.
Other flavors are available in different markets, such as Mars Delight, Mars Choc Brownie, Mars Ice Cream bars, Mars Dark Noir, Mars Maple, and Mars Honeycomb.
Mars chocolates experienced a lot of negative publicity in 2007 when the manufacturer announced that they would no longer be safe for vegetarians because they would use rennet. Rennet is a chemical sourced from calves’ stomachs used to produce whey.
Therefore, these products would no longer be suitable even for a halal diet.
The Vegetarian Society and several other groups condemned the decision.
However, the company quickly realized that it had made a mistake.
Furthermore, they realized that if they decided to take this step, they would lose many customers. Therefore, they admitted that they were wrong and gave up their plans.
What Makes a Product Halal or Haram?
Many religions have their dietary principles, including Islam.
The words halal and haram are Arabic terms that refer to what is permitted and what is forbidden.
In Islam, halal is all that is permitted or legal, while haram is all that is forbidden, i.e., illegal, which in this religion is considered a sin that will be punished.
The terms halal and haram refer to food and all other aspects of human life.
Regarding food, Muslims have strict and precise rules about what is halal and what is haram.
Alcohol is haram, and therefore all food containing alcohol is haram, too.
Also, pork and pork by-products are haram.
As for the meat of other animals, haram is:
- all animals for which both water and land are the natural environments of life, such as crocodiles or frogs
- raptors with claws
- monkeys, dogs, and snakes
- carnivores with fangs and claws
- rats, mice, and other pests
- animals used for transportation by man
Muslims can eat the meat of other animals, such as poultry, cows, or sheep, but only if those animals were raised and slaughtered according to halal principles.
Among other things, this implies that an adult Muslim must slaughter them, that he must do so while pronouncing the name of Allah, that the animal must not suffer and that the animal should be drained of blood because blood is also haram.
In Islam, food containing additives from non-halal sources, such as additives from processing alcohol or non-halal meat, is also haram.
Muslims follow the halal diet primarily because it is the law of their religion.
Therefore, knowingly consuming haram food is a major sin for Muslims unless their lives are threatened by starvation or similar circumstances.
However, many non-Muslims follow a halal diet. The reason for this is that this type of diet is primarily considered healthy and high-quality.
In this article, we answered whether Mars chocolate is halal or haram.
The good news for lovers of this sweet is that the original Mars bar is halal because it does not contain any haram ingredients.
There is no alcohol or forbidden animal products in this chocolate.
In some markets, Mars chocolate bars also carry the Halal Certified Product mark, which means that local Halal certification organizations have officially approved them as suitable for Muslims.
On the other hand, Mars Protein Chocolate Bar is haram, and in some countries, it is even prohibited for import.
The reason for this is that this chocolate bar contains additives that may be from non-halal sources.
There is no official information on the manufacturer’s response to the origin of these additives, so people who follow a halal diet are advised to avoid Mars Protein Chocolate Bar even in countries where it isn’t officially banned.
We hope this article has been helpful to you and cleared your doubts about the halal status of Mars chocolates enjoyed by candy lovers worldwide.