Starburst Candy: Halal or Haram? The Truth Behind the Wrapper

Syed Bukhari

Updated on:

Is Starburst Halal or Haram?

STARBURST

A Sweet Debate

The chewy texture and variety of fruit flavors have made Starburst a favorite candy among lovers for years. However, for individuals following a strict halal diet, there has been some question around whether Starburst products are permissible or prohibited to consume. This topic has sparked interest and debate given the ingredients list and manufacturing process may contain haram ingredients.

Is Starburst Halal or Haram?

Photo Courtesy: Karin Dalziel

Is Starburst HALAL or HARAM in UK and USA?

Through research and insights from Islamic scholars who help determine the halal status of foods, it’s been concluded that Starburst candies sold in the United Kingdom and United States are considered halal. While there may be trace amounts of alcohol from natural flavorings, it’s not enough to intoxicate or be impermissible. Of course, some still choose to avoid any product with alcohol content as a personal preference.

Overall there seems to be consensus around the halal permissibility of Starburst, but it remains an area of discussion. Reading labels and checking certifications can provide helpful clarity.

Who makes Starburst?

The candy brand Starburst is made by the Wrigley Company, a subsidiary of the American multinational Mars, Incorporated. With a global popularity spanning across grocery store shelves in various countries like the UK and USA, many consumers wonder if Starburst products are Halal. As someone who enjoys Starbursts myself, I looked into their ingredients and manufacturing processes. While gelatin is sometimes used in candy, Starburst does not contain this or other animal derivatives. Additionally, Mars states that their products are not cross-contaminated with non-halal ingredients. So based on my research, yes – enthusiasts like myself can keep enjoying these flavorful fruit chews guilt-free!

Is Starburst Halal or Haram?

Starburst is Partially Halal

Starburst in the US has gelatin from beef or pork, so it’s not Halal. 
Starburst in the UK has no gelatin, so it’s Halal.

Evidence

An official email from Starburst. 

Is Starburst Halal?

Is Starburst Halal or Haram?

Is It Safe For Muslims To Eat Starburst?

Muslims can eat Starburst only from halal places. The UK makes halal Starburst without gelatin. The US makes non-halal Starburst with gelatin.

Which ingredients does Starburst contain?

Starburst chewy candies are known for their flavourful, fruity profile – but some wonder if they contain controversial ingredients. 

List of Ingredients Used To Make Starburst – Are They Halal?

We looked up the ingredient list for Starburst candy and here’s what we found (source):

  • CORN SYRUP
  • SUGAR
  • HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL OIL
  • CITRIC ACID
  • ICING SUGAR
  • TAPIOCA DEXTRIN
  • NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURS
  • GELATIN
  • APPLE JUICE FROM CONCENTRATE
  • MODIFIED CORN STARCH
  • COLOURS (WITH TARTRAZINE)
List of Ingredients Used To Make Starburst – Are They Halal?

List of Ingredients Used To Make Starburst – Are They Halal?

What Kind of Gelatin is in Starburst?

Gelatin is commonly used as a gelling agent in chewy candies like Starburst. Traditionally derived from animal collagen sourced from animal bones, skin, and connective tissues, it sparks concerns for individuals seeking halal food products due to the potential presence of non-halal animal-derived ingredients. 

Starburst maker Mars Wrigley has confirmed their candies contain beef gelatin obtained from cows slaughtered per Islamic law to meet halal animal rendering standards. They verified this beef gelatin does not come into contact with any haram food or haram pork products during manufacturing. So for Muslim consumers aware that gelatin itself may be haram, Starburst can still be an option, as the type used aligns with halal requirements.

What do Islamic Scholars Think? 

Many Muslims today care about whether the food  products they eat are halal or not. They look for advice from Islamic scholars who know a lot about what Islam says about food.

Some Muslims are worried about Starburst candies because they might have some things that are not halal, like beef gelatin. They ask for help from experts who know the rules of Islamic food.

According to Islam QA:

“If the gelatin is derived from something haram, such as pork or the skin, bones etc. of pigs, then it is haram. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals – cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine” [al-Maidah 5:3]

It is not permissible to consume foods, drinks and medicines that contain gelatin derived from the skin of pigs or other impure substances, especially when alternatives are available in the form of animals which Allah has permitted. It is possible to manufacture gelatin from these animals that are slaughtered in the prescribed manner, and it will serve the same purpose in manufacturing medicine or food.

Which other Starburst Products are Halal or Haram?

  • Starburst Minis Fruit Chews – halal
  • Fave Reds Starburst Fruit Chews – contains gelatin
  • Airs Original Starburst Gummies – contains gelatin
  • Sours Gummies Candy – contains gelatin
  • Airs Sour Tropical Gummies – contains gelatin
  • Duos Fruit Chews Candy – contains gelatin
  • Original Gummies Candy – contains gelatin
  • Sours Mini Fruit Chews – halal
  • Starburst Jelly Beans – halal
  • Other: Sour Patch Kids – halal

Thoughts On Alcohol Presence in Starburst

The potential presence of alcohol used as flavouring or during processing raises questions around the permissibility of Starburst candy for halal consumers.

Islamic scholars have not reached a clear conclusion on trace levels and intoxication thresholds to determine if a food is halal or haram. There is some concern among people who choose to avoid any products that contain or imply alcohol, regardless of amounts. 

However, many experts discuss and research how food safety regulations strictly verify, audit and confirm permissible percentage levels through advanced chemistry and ingredient reviews. So most brands qualify for halal certification despite some ambiguous factors. 

Overall there is room for clarification on this topic as interpretations vary.

Does vegan Starburst exist?

The Starburst candy ingredient list does not currently meet vegan dietary restrictions against animal derived products. However, the brand recognizes growing interest from the vegan community and consumers with certain dietary requirements. While developing suitable options that adhere to strict vegan lifestyles remains challenging, Starburst strives to ensure their products can serve an inclusive consumer base. 

The company continues working to confirm, audit and validate recipes and production procedures to qualify for certification that more versions eliminate ingredients unacceptable to ethical and religious groups seeking to avoid all animal inputs. So while searching labels and asking questions is key for now, lead brands recognize shifting demand for suitable sweets.

The final decision is yours to make and we urge that you do further research before coming to your own conclusion.

We understand that everyone has their own threshold and this topic is rather controversial. We’re just sharing the information we found to help you in the process of making your own decision.

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