KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has called for enhanced research and development (R&D) and innovation in halal industry, especially in relation to ingredients for halal products.
The deputy prime minister said this was necessary as producers sought alternatives for use in such products to replace typically non-halal ingredients.
He noted that any new halal product would have to undergo rigorous R&D and must be scientifically proven as halal.
“This sector is important as it’s one of the major components, critical for the sustainablity of any halal industry,” he said when opening ‘Halal Ingredients Asia (HLIA) 2015’ event here today.
Ahmad Zahid said the halal ingredient sector had been identified as one of the most critical bottlenecks within the halal value chain.
Ahmad Zahid said besides limited R&D, halal ingredient companies had to contend with limited raw materials for the production of halal ingredients.
Citing halal gelatine as an example, he said that the supply for the item was still low and that more than 90 per cent of gelatine was animal-based.
“This substantial gap offers trade and investment opportunities for industry players,” he added.
Gelatine is one of the most commonly used items, especially in the production of food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.
Ahmad Zahid said currently there were 188 companies exporting halal ingredients in Malaysia.
HLIA 2015 is seen as a convergence point for halal ingredient players and professionals to discuss, share and deliver industry insights, standards, technological advancements and alternative ingredients to enhace the halal ingredients sector.
It is hosted by the International Trade and Industry Ministry in collaboration with the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC). – BERNAMA