Asalamu alaikum. Peace be unto you. As you can tell by all the caps in my title, I LOVE gummy candy. The problem that my favorite candy indulgence gives me is the fact that most are made from gelatin, and most gelatin is derived from pork. Before I eat anything, I like to know exactly what I’m eating. I read the backs of packages making sure that pork is not an ingredient. You may do the same, but the word “gelatin” does give you much to go on, so you probably rip that pack open and munch away. I know some of you are wondering what gelatin is, so without giving you a science lesson (a subject that I am no expert in), I will give you a little background on gelatin.
Gelatin is used as a thickening agent in candies and other sweets. It is flavorless and colorless and is usually a by-product of meat. This is why meat-derived gelatin is most commonly used, but there are others. There is microbial gelatin (an artificially manufactured type), fish gelatin (found in kosher gummies), beef gelatin, and pork gelatin. Pork is the most commonly used because it is the cheapest. Therefore, if you find a pack of gummy candy with gelatin as the ingredient, it is safe to assume that it may be a pork derivative.
HOWEVER, before you get sad and depressed and punch your computer thinking all the world is lost, I have found gummies that we can eat. Haribo’s gummies are amazing. They have two packs that we can eat worry-free: Haribo Gold-Bears and Haribo Raspberries. These two types are manufactured in Turkey and imported here in the U.S. Just in case Haribo decides to come out with other lines from Turkey, check any packages coming from that location because they only make halal. We can also eat Sour Patch (all kinds), Swedish Fish, and Betty Crocker fruit snacks—all of which contain pectin (a fruit-derived thickening agent similar to gelatin). This is not an all-inclusive list of halal gummies. Therefore, if there is a brand that you love but don’t see listed, let me know, and I will investigate for you.
These are a few popular brands that we CANNOT eat:
Haribo (the non-Turkey manufactured lines)
Trolli (most, but not all)
These are some of the most locally available brands, but there are others. While I cannot think of everything, please feel free to send me your questions, and I will be happy to call, email, and hound them about the ingredients in their products for you.
"If we do not know that this thing is haraam, either from a clear statement [in the Qur’aan or Sunnah] to that effect or because it comes under a general shar’i prohibition, or by proper analogy that dictates that it is haraam, then it is halaal. This is the basic principle concerning food, drink, clothing and customs." -Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid