Is Kombucha Halal?
Just when you think you’ve finally got your head around kombucha, someone asks ‘Is kombucha halal?’ and you’re right back at square one. But it’s not as complicated as you’d imagine. Muslims consider kombucha halal even though the fermentation process creates a small amount of alcohol. Now you might be thinking that even a very […]
Just when you think you’ve finally got your head around kombucha, someone asks ‘Is kombucha halal?’ and you’re right back at square one. But it’s not as complicated as you’d imagine. Muslims consider kombucha halal even though the fermentation process creates a small amount of alcohol. Now you might be thinking that even a very small amount of alcohol is haram, but that’s not the case. So how is kombucha halal? You’ll find out here.
Is drinking kombucha halal?
Despite the fact that kombucha contains a very low amount of alcohol, Muslims consider kombucha halal because the alcohol is produced as a by-product in the fermentation process of the tea. This is a totally natural process that produces such a small amount of alcohol it would not be intoxicating. So, does kombucha contain alcohol? Yes, but a very small amount. Just like many fruit juices that contain naturally occurring alcohol. Did you know a ripe banana contains more alcohol than a bottle of Equinox Kombucha?
What’s the difference between tea fermentation for kombucha and fermentation for alcoholic drinks?
Fermentation is a chemical process that’s more than 10,000 years old, that breaks down sugars and produces carbon dioxide and ethanol as by-products. The same process is used to make both kombucha and alcoholic drinks, so how do they vary in alcohol content? And how is kombucha halal if it’s made using the same process?
Alcoholic drinks that are haram such as wine, use grapes that contain a higher amount of sugar resulting in a higher amount of alcohol. This is why wines with higher alcohol content usually come from sunnier climes, as these grapes have better growing conditions for a sweeter taste. Kombucha is a great alternative to wine because tea fermentation does not produce enough alcohol to intoxicate you whereas grape fermentation does.
Are fermented drinks halal?
Just because Equinox Kombucha is halal, that doesn’t mean all kombucha is, as alcohol content will vary from brand to brand, but most fermented foods are. Hmmm, confusing much? Let’s clarify.
Fermented foods and drinks were once an essential part of our diet, as it was very often the best method for long term storage. But the 50s gave us all a fridge and fresh foods from all over the world, which made fermented foods such as sauerkraut far less fashionable. But now, thankfully, we’re beginning to understand the positive impact fermented foods have on our health. And because most fermented foods like yoghurt and pickles contain only trace amounts of ethanol, they are permitted in Islam. Most plant products get the thumbs up too, which is great because Equinox Kombucha is 100% vegan and doesn’t contain any haram ingredients like pork or gelatin.
Does homemade kombucha contain alcohol?
Home brewers should proceed with caution! We know Equinox Kombucha is halal because we have strict measures in place, but your homemade kombucha may not be. Homemade kombucha often contains a higher amount of alcohol than shop bought, this is because it’s made in a far less controlled environment and it’s far more unpredictable. So much so that homemade kombucha will not be halal because its alcohol content can reach a whopping 3% – to put that into perspective, some beers contain 3.3.% and are considered haram. So if you’re unsure of the alcohol content of your homemade kombucha, it’s best to give it a miss.
So homemade kombucha is a no no, but is Equinox Kombucha halal? Yes, because it’s not intoxicating. It is however completely delicious, plant-based and wonderfully healthy. It’s the perfect alternative to booze as it only contains 0.5% or less alcohol. So it’s fine to buy or drink Equinox Kombucha if you’re a Muslim. Yay!