Since alcohol exists in small quantities in Halal food products, consumers are unsure of its legal values and whether it can be consumed. However, food producer claims that the fermentation processes itself are not unethical. In fact, the processes are essential in major industrial applications especially food processing and flavoring.
Alcohol is pervasive in the food industry in its indispensable role as food soluble, flavoring and preservatives. These distinctive features of alcohol as solvent agents are also extensively applied in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, drugs and antibiotics, and other industrial applications. The total value of the application of alcohol in these industries is in the billions of dollars considering that just in the soft drink sector alone, for example, Coca Cola reported sales of USD22billion in its 2004 annual report.(Alcohol is used as solvent in this industry).
Alcohol occurs as a result of the processes of fermentation and in industrial applications, fermentation has proven to be an economically and commercially viable mode to produce alcohol. The type of alcohol that is commonly extracted through this process for the food industry is known as ethanol, which in its purest form would be harmful for consumption. Thus, ethanol is always mixed with other substances to render it safe for consumption.