Our pork tester not to determine halal or non-halal, says firm

The owner of the ‘Pork Meat Test’ gadget says the product is suitable for use ‘as a screening mechanism’ for dubious food items.

PETALING JAYA: The owner of the “Pork Meat Test” gadget today clarified that its product doesn’t determine the status of a food item as “halal” or “haram” and only detects the presence of “pork protein elements”, if there is any.

Iftitah Solutions (M) Sdn Bhd, which owns both the Rapidtest brand and Pork Meat Test, said this a day after the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) said it would only accept the results from the Chemistry Department as proof of the presence of pig DNA in food products.

Iftitah CEO Abdul Syukor Othman, in a statement today, said, “Jakim is an authorised body to determine the ‘halal’ or ‘haram’ status and the Department of Chemistry Malaysia is a party to be referred to in determining the content of a product.”

He said their product was based on the principle of immunochromatography and was a low-cost method to deliver simple and fast results compared with DNA testing.

Immunochromatography is a simple paper-based device used to detect the presence (or absence) of a target analyte in a liquid sample (matrix) without the need for specialised and costly equipment.

He also said the product was suitable for use “as a screening mechanism” for dubious food items and could assist overseas travellers too.

“The test conducted is an individual endeavour to enhance their confidence in a product which previously did not have any self-executing test mechanisms. But the test results are only to determine the presence of pork elements not ‘halal’ and ‘haram’ status,” Abdul Syukor said.

Jakim issued the statement following claims that a gadget could detect the pig DNA in food in 10 minutes.

Its director-general Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim had said that such a claim could cause confusion in society.

“Consumers should be careful and should not be confused by this equipment,” he said.