I ask because my sister recently purchased lots
of bags of sweets labelled as '100% HALAAL', from an islamic shop, but on
closer inspection of the ingredients, E120 is listed.
Cochineal, Carminic acid, Carmines, Natural Red 4
An expensive red colouring, not suitable for vegetarians as it is extracted from the crushed carcasses of the female Dactylopius coccus, a cactus-feeding scale insect, which are killed by either immersion in hot water or by exposure to sunlight, steam, or the heat of an oven. The variety in the appearance of commercial cochineal is caused by these differing methods. It takes around 70,000 insects to make one pound of cochineal.
The water soluble form is used in alcoholic drinks with calcium carmine, the insoluble form, being used in a wider variety of products. Together with ammonium carmine they can be found in alcoholic drinks, bakery products and toppings, biscuits, desserts, drinks, icings, pie fillings, variety of cheddar cheese, sauces and sweets.
It is one of the colours that the Hyperactive Children's Support Group recommends be eliminated from the diet of children.
Now I wonder why the sweets are labelled as halal?
I informed my sisters, and they dismissed it saying how can they
write halal if its haram, so it must be artificial and halal.
1. According to all 4 schools of thought (if possible - if not, then according to hanafi and maliki schools) is this ingredient halal?
2. Is there such a thing as halal cochineal? Surely the E number would be different if it was an artificial one?
3. If 'no' to both of the above, why on earth are they labelling 99% halal sweets as 100% halal?
I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now, maybe its not haram for all schools to eat crushed bugs
(PS the brand is 'happy confectionary LTD)