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Three tips to help spot halal Korean instant noodles

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, June 21, 2017  /  11:08 am
Three tips to help spot halal Korean instant noodles

Instant noodles of various brands are displayed in a supermarket in Seoul, South Korea, on May 13. The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) recently announced that several Korean instant noodles contained pork without displaying a clear label, despite a 2016 regulation stipulating the requirement.  (Shutterstock/File)

Along with the wave of Korean pop culture that brought music, TV series, fashion trends and makeup to Indonesian audiences, Korean cuisine is making headway in popularity, including packaged food products.  

Scenes in Korean drama programs in which characters enjoy a bowl of noodles have inspired some viewers to do the same. 

On social media, the "Samyang Challenge" trend quickly took hold, which saw people devouring the South Korean spicy "fire noodles" as fast as they could. 

The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM), however, recently announced that several Korean instant noodles contained pork without displaying a clear label, despite a 2016 regulation stipulating the requirement. 

The agency has subsequently revoked the distribution licenses for four instant noodles products, including Samyang's U-Dong and Kimchi-flavored instant noodles, Nongshims's Shin Ramyun Black instant noodles and Ottogi's Yeul Ramen. 

Here are three tips to ensure Korean food is halal, as compiled by Antara news agency.

Spot the halal logo

Several products are clearly labelled halal by displaying a logo depicting a green and white image of a mosque and the word "HALAL." 

Samyang's spicy Buldak used for the Samyang Challenge has a halal and non-halal version. Samyang Buldak products that do not contain the halal logo are presumed to be haram, according to Instagram account @jeomsimid, or Jeomsim ID, which imports Korean products into Indonesia.

Read also: 5 Korean restaurants in Jakarta to try this weekend

Read the food label

It may be useful to learn some written Korean words to make sure of the food composition, which may not all be translated into Indonesian or English on imported products, according to Jeomsim ID.

"I always avoid the words 돼지 고기 (dwaeji gogi) [which means] pork and 술(sul) [which means] alcohol," said Hafifah Rizky, a fan of Korean food. 

In addition to pork and alcohol, ensure that there is no 돈지 (donji), or lard, written on the back of the packaging. Some dessert products may also contain gelatin, which is made from pig parts. 

 

Banyak yang bilang kalau mie goreng pedas yang paling lagi nge-hits sejagat raya ini halal, apa benar ?? Yuk kita lihat langsung tulisan komposisi mie tersebut dalam hangeul (huruf korea) Waduh ada 돼지 고기 = PORK nih :( Dari awal menjual mie ini, kami sudah mengatakan bahwa status mie instan ini HARAM !! Karena memang pada kemasan yang kami jual tertulis "돼지 고기" Namun semuanya dikembalikan lagi ke kalian. Mau percaya mie ini halal atau haram yaa terserah kalian ^^ Untuk memastikannya, kamu bisa beli dan lihat langsung adakah tulisan 돼지 고기 [dwaeji gogi] di kemasan mie buldalkbokkeummyeon yang kamu beli. *mie buldalk yang kami foto adalah produk yang kami jual. Namun kami tidak menutup kemungkinan bila diluaran sana terdapat mie buldalk tanpa komposisi PORK *jangan mudah percaya dengan komposisi makanan import yang sudah ditranslate karena tidak semua bahan makanan tersebut dialihbahasakan. So, kalian harus lihat baca langsung komposisinya dalam bahasa sumber #makanankorea #halalkorea #miekorea #ramyeon #jualsnackkorea #snackkoreamurah #buldalk #firenoodles #reviewjeomsim

A post shared by Korean Snack Importir (@jeomsimid) on

Get help from technology

An application called Halal Korea, available for Android and iOS devices, helps ensure that food is halal, which works by scanning the barcode of a South Korean product. 

Users can choose from various filters to be detected, including halal certification, artificial ingredients, alcohol, pork and pork derivatives. 

The scan gives a green display when the ingredients are safe to eat and red when there is any undesirable ingredient.

The application is also able to notify the user if the food is produced in a factory where other food products that are not halal are also processed, which could leave undesired traces. 

Products that do not contain pork may also be marked "contains traces of pork" by the application, according to Antara news agency. (liz/kes)

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