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Is GNC Pro Performance Whey Protein Halal?

(there is an updated topic regarding Ultimate Nutrition's Halal Protein Powder... Please read it here)

Assalaam aleykom WBT :)

I was searching thru the Internet, as well as asking people at IFANCA regarding the Halal Whey Protein. From my searching, I think besides relying on IFANCA's halal certification, we can obtain the answers from the manufacturers of Whey Protein products... but of course, the 'right' sort of questions need to be asked :)

A few months back, I got into a bit of an argument of whether the GNC Pro Performance Whey Protein was a halal protein or not a halal protein supplement. Since they don't have halal certification for that particular product... I had to ask the manufacturer (GNC, USA). From them, I obtained this information:
  • No animal rennet (or other animal based enzymes are used) during the Whey extraction process.
  • The equipment used for the production of the GNC Pro Performance Whey Protein is the same equipment used to process other products that has animal derived ingredients. But, these equipments are thoroughly washed between processes.
Final Verdict? For me... since there's the equipment issue... to be safe, I treat it as haram. But again, if there is any other hukum (ruling) saying other wise, I'd appreciate the input and feedback :D Anyway... continuing my post....

Ever since my GNC Pro Performance Whey Protein case, I started to get a bit careful when even considering buying protein products, especially because the manufacturers are mostly (if not all) non-muslims. So, before even buying the product, the best thing to do is to ask :)And one thing might help also... get the Product Code before you ask the manufacturer, as manufacturers normally check based on product codes (for GNC at least).
Some useful questions that I could think of:

1) Is there any animal derived ingredients used to make the whey protein?
  • Asking this way, might be more understood by the manufacturer. Because, for one thing... if you know some animal 'parts' were used... there is a high probability (maybe even 100% probability) that the animal ingredient is non halal. This is due to the fact that the manufacturer is normally non-muslim, so if any animal ingredients are used, they would surely not have followed the Islamic way of obtaining it (by first slaughtering and then deriving).
  • But then again, there are some differences of opinions regarding this issue. I will not discuss it here because my knowledge in the field is almost non-existent! :D
2) What sort of enzyme, agent or catalyst is used during the extraction of whey from milk?
  • As some may know, whey is the by product when making cheese (if my memory serves me correctly). But anyhow... in order to extract they whey from the milk (to make cheese), a catalyst is used. It can either be animal based (enzyme), or fungal based. If it's the latter, then Alhamdulillaah! But if it's the former... then most probably it would be haram, as, again, mostly non-muslims are doing this process. And I highly doubt that the animals are slaughtered properly before making use of these enzymes (I think they use something called RENNET... which is derived from the inner stomach lining of calves... You can check this further by surfing the net)
3) Is there any alcohol involved during the whole process?
  • IFANCA has a guideline I think... regarding permissible amounts of alcohol in food. You can check at the IFANCA website at
  • But normally, I don't think any alcohol is involved to make Whey Protein. But I can't be sure about other products. It won't hurt to ask though :D
4) Since you (the manufacturer) say that the enzyme being used is not of animal origin, is the whey protein product being processed on the same equipment used to process other products that contain animal based ingredients?

  • I relate this question with my GNC Pro Performance Whey Protein. At first, the manufacturer told me that they used fungal based enzymes... which made me happy! But after asking about the equipment... unfortunately they use the same equipments that they use to process other products (that has animal derived ingredients).
  • Again I state my stand that since the same equipment was used... I consider it haram. Because I am afraid of some 'contamination'. This is my stand...
Well... these are some questions that I had to ask. And alhamdulillaah... the manufacturer answered. But of course, you need to give them the complete detail of the product at hand (in my case, the Product Code and Product name). You can get these info from the store... in my case GNC Live Well. :)

I hope this post (for those who have found it), can be of some help. InsyaAllaah, if we strive hard enough, and ask the right questions... we are able to avoid the haram products and supplements.

I have come to know about one protein powder... from ULTIMATE NUTRITION (refer to my previous post...). But again, I only see the halal certification for their NATURAL flavor. They have other flavors such as chocolate, vanilla... and... others I guess. Maybe some more research needs to be done :)

Anyway... hope this has post been of use.
Jazzakallaah Khair.
Assalaam aleykom WBT.


azwad said...

If there's a halal certificate, the hukum is clear. It is harus to trust the certification.

I'm a bit musykil with your reasoning on the usage of same equipment that is being used for other animal derived ingredients.

You said the equipment is washed. Should the animal derived ingredients contains pork, than washing is not enough. If it only contains animals other than pig but not slaughtered according to Islamic hukum, then a proper washing is enough. Such animal derived ingredients is not halal but is not mughallazzah. I doubt that such contamination would exist in modern food technology.

What I don't know is pork a main animal derived ingredient?

This is an issue of Usul fiqh of which my knowledge is very limited to my personal reading since I'm usually focusing on financial products.

Great topic Pian. Thanks!

This is what we all should do. Point out, read, ask and discuss to find answer. This is not a debate. InsyaAllah!

:: azrul hazri jantan :: said...

Power aa mamat..
Kalau la topic Phd ko pasal whey protein nie,aku gerenti setahun siap..hehehe...

Alfian_Troxion said...

Azwad: Actually, if there's halal cert... mmg i trust 100% insyaAllaah. Tapi of course kena ada badan yg luluskan la. Not like the HA LAM ALIP LAM that we have on certain products here in Msia. Those I try to avoid :D But for products macam protein powder, or any other foreign products... IFANCA kasik halal on a product basis. sama macam kat sini gak la kot.... so kalau a particular product takde sign... so I treat it as non halal je la :D

As for equipment... mmg lembu is considered as non mughallazah. But I just try to be safe. lebih2 lagi, protein powder ni bukan la keperluan sangat... meaning kalau tak makan pon tak mati insyaAllaah. leh je makan telur atau ikan tuna. hehehe.

Its just that, kata la ada residue benda2 dari produk lain yg guna animal derived ingredient. And takut2 la tercampur... walaupun sikit. So takut2 jadik haram kat situ la. Cuz even tho lembu, sebab x sembelih... so still haram.... So i just want to be extra safe to avoid such cases :D

I dont know the hukum about berapa banyak an impurity has to be to be considered haram... but as someone yg takde knowledge lagi dalam benda2 ni... to be safe... just dont consume la :) Especially in the case of this powder... sebab I can live without it :D Just 4 convenience sake :)

Anyway, thanks for the comments bro! :D

AHJ: Hahahahaha... betul mat. Aku rasa 1/2 tahun dah siap tesis bab 4 :P

whey protein side effects said...

Whey protein is a good muscle enhancer but if not taken properly it may cause your kidney and liver to malfunction. Seek professional advise first to know the right amount of intake for your body type.

whey protein dangers said...

Your site is very useful for those who wants to eat whey protein to enhance their muscles. However, it will also be smart if people will know the limits when it comes to taking too much whey proteins.

Muhammad Shopi Musa said...

how about GNC product such as pills that is vegeterian .? is it still considered as halal .?

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