News From : DagangHalal.com (05 Oct 2010)
PUTRAJAYA: The ever-increasing demand for halal products has spurred the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to set up a multi-million ringgit laboratory that is able to carry out sophisticated and advanced tests to determine the halal worthiness of any product.
The laboratory, estimated to cost around RM21mil will be ready by 2011 and will see close collaboration between the department and University Putra Malaysia (UPM), which is renowned for its tests, research work and development for halal products.
The high-tech facility will be placed at the Halal Management Complex at Bandar Enstek, located in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.
Jakim director-general Datuk Wan Mohammad Sheikh Abdul Aziz said the laboratory, once in operation, would expedite tests being conducted on products before they could be certified as halal, adding customers’ concern has resulted in many companies applying for halal certification from the department.
He said that in 2005, Jakim had received 716 applications for its halal certification while last year, the number of applications received surged to 1,743. Currently, the department has to depend on the Chemistry Department to help carry out tests before it could issue a halal certificate.
“In issuing halal certification, we need to really ascertain that all the ingredients used by manufacturers are genuinely halal, as stipulated by the (Muslim) religion. This has to be adhered to strictly by companies wishing to obtain our halal certificate.
“The reason why a lot of companies are clamouring for Jakim’s halal certification is because of the expanding market comprising Muslim consumers. Even non-Muslims have started to become discerning and concerned about the types of ingredients that are used in food, medical and cosmetic products.
“Once we have the laboratory, Jakim will be able to conduct tests with utmost precision, effectively and efficiently,” he told reporters Tuesday after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Jakim and UPM.
The MoU allows close collaboration and co-operation between the two parties to develop the halal laboratory. Wan Mohammad signed on behalf of Jakim while UPM was represented by its vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Dr Nik Mustapha Abdullah. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin witnessed the signing ceremony.
– Star Online