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Halal-Certified Culture Media for Microbial Testing

Producing food, beverages, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics for Muslim consumers comes with very specific challenges. Not only the products themselves must be “halal” (lawful) and thus comply with Islamic teaching. So too must everything that enters their production area, even substances that are not intended to come into physical contact with the product or any of its ingredients. This includes culture media to monitor microbial contamination in production environments. We have now introduced a range of halal-certified, dehydrated culture media for microbiological QC—in particular for air, surface, and personnel testing (environmental monitoring), as well as for aseptic process simulations (media fill trials).

Implications Your Culture Media Could Have for Your Halal Certification

Culture media risk carrying hidden non-halal ingredients into halal-certified production areas. Peptone media, for example, are primarily made of animal or non-animal origin materials but are nevertheless usually non-halal. This is because the peptone is treated in an early processing step with enzymes of porcine origin. If such media are not specially handled in halal-certified areas, this may compromise the status of the whole production facility and thus of all the end products manufactured in it.

Halal Certification of Products and Production Facilities

Independent institutions exist that review and certify manufacturing facilities, processes, and products for compliance with accepted halal reference standards. They are accredited by halal authorities and bodies such as MUI Indonesia, Jakim Malaysia, GAC GCC incl. UAE, and HAC Sri Lanka. The main organization under which most of the international accredited halal certification bodies around the globe work is the Halal Food Council.

Meeting the Needs of Halal-Certified Manufacturers

We have developed a range of fully halal-certified culture media that come with clear information about the origin and processing of each biological component. Manufacturers can use these products to prepare contact plates, dip slides, and other formats used for microbiological quality control (QC) testing in halal-certified production areas without implications for their halal status.

These halal culture media comply with both Islamic teaching and specified international regulations. They are:

  • Free of non-halal contamination
  • Certified annually according to JAKIM MS and MUI HAS halal standards
  • Compliant with ISO, EP, USP, JP, and FDA-BAM standards (if designated “prime”)

Our Range of Halal Dehydrated Culture Media

As a leading worldwide supplier of products and solutions for microbiological testing and monitoring in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food and beverage industries, we offer our culture media as powdered media (NutriSelect® media) or superior, low-dust granulated media (GranuCult® media).

Our growing range of halal-certified products currently includes:

  • Media for air, surface, and personnel monitoring (environmental monitoring)
  • Media for sterility testing in pharmaceutical production facilities
  • Media for sterility testing in beverage production facilities
  • Raw materials to produce dehydrated culture media

The culture media we offer are available in three QC levels, indicated by the brand extensions basic, plus, and prime. These reveal the degree to which they are compliant with international regulations. The prime level, for example, covers the full compliance spectrum of food, beverage, and pharmaceutical standards, including QC release under ISO accreditation for culture media described in food and beverage standards.

Halal Culture Media for Media Fill Tests

The performance of aseptic manufacturing procedures must regularly be assessed by so-called media fill tests (also known as a “process simulation tests”). In these microbiological simulations the pharmaceutical or beverage product is replaced by a sterile culture medium.

For media fill trials in halal-certified areas we now offer two culture media:

  • Vegetable Peptone Broth halal (GranuCult® prime) for use in the pharmaceutical industry, irradiated and triple-packed
  • Linden Grain Medium halal (NutriSelect® plus) for aseptic beverage bottling and ice-crusher installations (can also be used after freezing and thawing)

The formulation of the Vegetable Peptone Broth halal is prepared according to the recommendations of the current European and United States Pharmacopoeia (EP, 2.6.12. and USP, 61), but contains peptones of non-animal origin instead of the recommended peptones.

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