• France's news in English

A Made in France 'Halal test' to check for pork

The Local · 20 Oct 2014, 13:57

Published: 20 Oct 2014 13:57 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Some have suggested it could be the latest "Made in France" success story.

Priced at €6,90 each or €125 for a packet of 25, a device, simply called "Halal test", is designed for use by Muslims who, under the dietary requirements of their religion are forbidden from consuming pork and alcohol, Le Nouvel Observateur reported.

In a similar style to a pregnancy test, the device consists of a strip which the consumer must put into a glass of warm water containing a sample of food. After a few minutes, the test will then show one of two options: either a single bar for a negative test or two bars for a positive one, which means there is alcohol or pork present.

The test was created by the company Capital Biotech, founded by Franco-Algerian duo Abderrahmane Chaoui, a graduate in business and entrepreneur Jean-François Julien.

While no test currently exists which allows Muslims to verify if food really is Halal - i.e. it contains meat from an animal slaughtered according to Islamic ritual, Chaoui, 25, says the test is important to confirm "the absence of food products forbidden by the Koran".

The tests will be especially helpful to Muslims when buying unlabelled food, the Algerian born Chaoui said.

“While travelling, if you go to a restaurant or order a meal to takeaway, the products aren’t always labelled,” he said.

The entrepreneurs are tapping into a potentially lucrative market. With France home to around six millions Muslims, the market for Halal food is estimated to be worth €5.5 billion a year.

Nevertheless, the business partners are optimistic that they will be able to one day create a test that will be able to determine how an animal was slaughtered based on the oxygenation of the blood.

Although Halal is a term normally applied to raw meat products, it can also refer to cooked meals, drinks, sweets and even cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.

Food falsely labelled as Halal has been at the centre of some scandals in France in recent years.

In January 2011 poultry sausages labelled as Halal from the company Knacki Herta were removed from supermarket shelves after tests revealed the presence of pork.

In deed the issue of Halal food has long been a contentious issue in France, with far right politicians repeatedly calling for public canteens not to serve Halal food and some conservative figures following suit.

Before the 2012 presidential election Nicolas Sarkozy, under pressure not to lose voters to the far-right National Front party jumped on the issue of Halal, saying that there should not be "alternative" meat options in school canteens.

Story continues below…

In March 2013, The Local reported how Jewish and Muslim parents in the south-western town of Arveyres were outraged when their children's school announced that the canteen would no longer be serving a substitute for pork.

More recently in July this year, a controversial ruling that ordered a French prison to serve up halal meals to inmates was overturned by a court in Lyon.

READ MORE: French court rules no halal meals in prison

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available