Richard Scott – Editor, Personal Care Markus Steffen – BASF, Germany

With 1.8bn Muslims in the world (representing almost a quarter of the global population), more consumer goods manufacturers are looking for ways to make their products align with the lives of their users.

We often discuss the importance of ensuring that products fit the needs of modern lifestyles and this includes consumers who would like their products to align with their spiritual beliefs. Islamic certification bodies have in the past focused primarily on food and financial services, but there is an increasing demand for other products to be certified. BASF Personal Care Europe

now offers more than 830 certified ingredients for personal care products which have been certified according to the internatonal Halal standard HAS 23000:2. The portfolio of Halal ingredients

for personal care applications includes e.g. sugar-based surfactants, pearlisers, emollients, proteint derivatives and many more. Markus Steffen from BASF

(Quality Manager Europe) talks about the Halal certification process and overcoming challenges in guaranteeing Halal compliance and gives an outlook on the growing demand for certified ingredients.

PERSONAL CARE: How does BASF approach the Halal sector? What do you define Halal as meaning in the personal care industry? MARKUS STEFFEN: Based on the growing importance of Halal- certified products for the global personal care market and the fact that Halal certifications are increasingly becoming a customer requirement, BASF Personal Care Europe decided to ensure Halal compliance for its complete product portfolio step by step. Today, we offer about 830 halal- certified ingredients for personal care products from eight locations in Europe. To continue to meet the steadily increasing requirements of the certifying bodies, BASF Personal Care Europe undertakes significant actions in shaping the produced product portfolio per site. Ensuring the ritual purity of products is crucial to comply


with the HAS 23000:2 standard. To secure this, Halal certified products must be traceable from the raw material sources through production to the final goods. The production facility must not be contaminated and prevent contact with haram materials (= prohibited/unlawful according to Islamic Sharia law) or najis (= things or persons regarded as ritually unclean). Halal certification secures business opportunities, especially in countries with a high Muslim population, and opens up new markets.

PCG: Has certification criteria become more consistent and clear? MS: Strict guidelines around raw material purchasing, manufacturing and filling must be followed along the entire value chain in order to ensure product purity in compliance with Islamic law. As mentioned before, to comply with HAS 23000:2, it is crucial to ensure the purity of products. Production lines carrying Halal-compliant ingredients must be separated from those carrying products that have come into contact with substances considered to be impure under Islamic law, such as pork derivatives. In the specific production lines animal materials are strictly prohibited. Equally strict guidelines apply to raw materials – their origins must be fully documented to ensure the entire value chain is Halal compliant. We evaluate all materials used for Halal criticality. The update of the guideline for non-critical materials by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) published in 2020 brings clarity into what are critical or non-critical materials. To obtain halal certification,

production facilities must successfully go through an on-site audit to demonstrate that the facility, equipment, processes etc. are Halal compliant.


Growing demand for Halal-certified ingredients

Additionally, Halal assurance must be documented to prove that the products chosen for certification, as well as all raw materials (including process additives, solvents, auxiliaries, etc.), qualify for halal.

PCG: Are there any other regulatory challenges in this sector? MS: Beyond the process I just described, all certifying organisations require implementation of a Halal assurance system, stipulating detailed criteria like the implementation of the Halal guidelines in the company, training concepts, establishment of a Halal management team, raw material management, traceability and others.

Criticality of materials and

halal compliance are continuously monitored and rechecked at least once a year or when there is any change in the supplier or input materials. We have committed ourselves to this so that we can continue to comply with the criteria.

PCG: Which regions are requesting Halal products the most? MS: The driving force behind the growing demand for halal products is Indonesia, with more than 190 million Muslims living in the Asian island state. Malaysia, where 60% of the population is Muslim, also contributes to increased demand for Halal products. Starting in

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