Are Jet Puffed Marshmallows halal? You may always have this question on your mind when you’re a Muslim living abroad and wondering if your kids should enjoy this sugary treat.
Marshmallows are one of the best treats to bring with you on any camping trip or when spending time in the great outdoors.
Kids and adults alike love this snack, and it works great on top of hot cocoa or straight from the package. But, what about its permissibility?
Halal and Haram are terms used to describe what is allowed or forbidden in Islam. Many many rules and regulations govern food.
But the main rule is that Halal food must come from an animal slaughtered in a specific way, and it shouldn’t contain alcohol or pork.
In the case of marshmallows, a better question would be, “Do Jet Puffed Marshmallows have pork gelatin?”
Jet Puffed Marshmallows are not halal and not safe to eat for Muslims because they contain pork gelatin.
Tip: Always look for "halal" certification on the product and avoid it if you're in doubt or an ingredient seems weird.
What’s Halal and How to Decide About Jet Puffed Marshmallows?
Halal food is considered to be the way of life in Islam. It means that it must meet five principles:
- It should not be harmful to people or animals
- It should not spoil or cause decay
- Its ingredients are pure
- It must be produced in a halal manner
- It’s recognizable by its ingredients, package, or label.
The Arabic term halal has the same meaning in Judaism as “kosher.”
In Islam, it also refers to a way of slaughtering an animal that complies with Islamic law, including all steps of takhbib (slaughtering), including:
- Cutting an animal
- Draining blood from meat
- Salting the meat
Whenever people talk about what they eat or drink, the term “Halal” comes up.
Since what you eat can profoundly affect your mind and soul, Islam forbids eating anything that could be considered harmful to either.
When a Muslim requests halal fare, it’s understood that the item in question should not contain pork or alcohol.
So, based on these principles, you can check any food for its “permissibility” in Islam, including Jet Puffed Marshmallows.
Are Jet Puffed Marshmallows Halal and Safe for Muslims to Eat?
The basic ingredients in a marshmallow are sugar, water, and gelatin.
Ingredients are blended and beaten until a solid, but airy consistency is achieved.
When you talk about marshmallows and whether or not they’re halal, it all comes down to the gelatin they use.
For the most part, collagen tissues from pig skins and cowhides/bones are used to produce gelatin.
The animal by-product is an important component of the food manufacturing process.
It’s utilized as a thickening and gelling agent in a broad variety of foods, including jellies, biscuits, candies, yogurt, ice cream, and cakes.
Unfortunately, most marshmallow brands, including Jet Puffed Marshmallows from Kraft Foods, use pork gelatin, making this spongy candy “haram’ for Muslims.
What Other than Jet Puffed Marshmallows May Not Be Halal?
Numerous popular American food items contain pork ingredients, such as baked beans, hot dogs, sausage, and potato salad.
Marshmallows, jelly beans, and other gelatin-based foods frequently include pork byproducts and are therefore not considered Halal.
Alcohol can even be present in vanilla extract and toothpaste!
What’s more, Muslims shouldn’t consume meat that has come into touch with pigs.
For instance, they shouldn’t consume pizza with pepperoni removed, a dish without ham, or pasta prepared with wine.
So, fellas, you better learn to read labels thoroughly if you want to survive in any European country while avoiding “pork” or “wine”.
An Important Consideration
The pork itself is considered haram, but some people think it’s “okay” to use pork gelatin, as it undergoes a transformation (istihalah).
The problem is that there’s no way to confirm if the transformation is full or not.
That’s why most Islamic scholars firmly believe that you should avoid using pork gelatin in any form.
What to Remember When Looking for Halal Marshmallows?
Bear in mind that many popular marshmallow brands in the United States and other Western nations include pork gelatin, making them inappropriate for Muslims.
The most common brands include Campfire, Jet-puffed Kraft, and Kroger.
Can You Go Kosher?
The kosher mark is meant to show that the food is pure and not prepared with pork, which is forbidden in the Bible.
However, there appears to be a disagreement regarding gelatin.
Due to the lack of a global standard for ‘kosher gelatin,’ it’s not always possible to swap kosher marshmallows for halal ones in North America.
Certain kosher certifications (such as Ko Kosher) permit using gelatin from pigs.
When unsure what’s in it, it’s better to play safe and avoid it. Ideally, you should always look for halal-labeled shops and products.
If you want to go with a kosher product, you’ll be better off going with a vegan one.
Tip: Try marshmallow fluff or marshmallow cream in recipes because most of them don't contain gelatin.
A Quick Look at the History of Jet Puffed Marshmallows
A century ago, confectioners produced marshmallows by whipping a mixture of starch, sugar, and gelatin into a foam.
This was a tedious procedure that required a great deal of priming.
First, each confection had to “sweat” for several hours in order to produce its delicate exterior, after which it was dusted with starch.
In the 1950s, a Doumak candy company executive started driving the marshmallow slurry through tubes.
It was then treated to 200 pounds per square inch of gas pressure, extruded into long tails, and finally chopped into bite-sized pieces.
Doumak inflated the sweet like a tire, enclosing nothingness in a sugar structure.
Kraft Entered the Fray
In the late 1950s, Kraft began extruding its own marshmallows.
But its most innovative touch may have been the space-age name given to the production process: Jet-puffed!
As if the marshmallows had blasted from a rocket-ship engine!
Marshmallows by Kraft Foods have come to symbolize all that is happy and carefree about being a child.
As children, we adored marshmallows, whether we were roasting them over a campfire or immersing them in hot chocolate.
Renowned for their soft, pillowy consistency, you can now find these sugar treats in a wide range of shapes and textures.
S’mores, made by toasting marshmallows over a fire and stacking them with graham crackers and chocolate, are by far the most popular way to consume marshmallows.
Because of gelatin, they’re not for Muslims. And the use of animal products literally throws them out of the vegan universe!
Tip: Avoid food products with "E" numbers because they're likely to contain gelatin.
Should You Really Eat Jet Puffed Marshmallows?
Is Jet Puffed Marshmallows halal? You already know the answer, don’t you?
But, ultimately, it comes down to, “should anyone over-indulge in a sugary treat like marshmallows?” We don’t think so.
Since Kraft Marshmallows use gelatin, an ingredient derived from animals, they are not suitable for vegans.
They have lots of bad stuff, like sugar, artificial tastes, and colors.
Let’s talk more about the ingredients in Jet Puffed Marshmallows to decide whether they’re healthy or not.
Sugar, Corn Syrup, and Dextrose
In addition to ordinary sugar, Kraft marshmallows also contain corn syrup and dextrose as additional sweeteners.
Corn syrup is just sugar separated from corn starch and liquefied.
Dextrose is a basic sugar derived from either corn or wheat. It shares the same chemical makeup as glucose.
Added sweeteners in any food product are never good due to their association with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer.
Modified Corn Starch
The addition of modified corn starch improves texture and consistency. Your body absorbs it rapidly, resulting in fluctuating blood sugar levels.
Rapidly rising and falling blood sugar levels might produce drowsiness and increased hunger, making you want to consume more food than usual.
The moment you hit a “crash”, you crave the same “sugar treats” again.
So, do you get the idea why you just can’t stop relishing those marshmallows once you start?
This synthetic food additive is also present in Kraft marshmallows to assist the components to combine properly.
As a food additive, it’s deemed safe by the FDA. But, make no mistake; it’s still artificial.
So what, you may ask? Well, keep loading up on this additive and you’ll develop irritation to the skin, eyes, throat, nose, and respiratory tract.
Natural and Artificial Flavors
Halal or not, why would you want to eat something packed with so much stuff prepared in a lab?
Artificial flavors come from petroleum and many other inedible sources.
And while natural flavors come from veggies, fruits, bark, herbs, edible yeast, poultry, seafood, and anything fermented, it happens in the lab.
Not healthy, guys!
Tip: Avoid regular marshmallows and try marshmallow flow to fill your cupcakes or whip some up to use in place of frosting.
Some people worry about halal food because they believe it will improve their health.
And others simply want to make sure that the food is legitimate and free of pork or alcohol. Are Jet Puffed Marshmallows halal?
Well, no, it’s not!
But, whatever your reason for checking its permissibility, know that over-indulgence in this sugar treat is going to land you in the hospital, if not in hell!