NIHT attends Halaal Week in Malaysia

The month of May began with a hive of activity on the Halaal calendar. The 4th and 5th of May saw the hosting of the 4th Annual World Halaal Forum in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.  IHI Alliance has formed a strategic partnership with the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) under the chairmanship of Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, founder of the Dallah Al Baraka Group.   This year, the forum took a different shape from the previous ones in that different modules concerning uniform Halaal standards, were discussed simultaneously. Unified Halaal standards formed the basis of discussions and the submissions made to the OIC meeting in Ankara, Turkey were discussed. On the 6th of May, the Executive Committee of World Halaal Council met at the Royal Bintang Damansaar Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.  

The World Halaal Council is a federation of Halaal certifying organisations world wide and the National Independent Halaal Trust is an Executive Member of the WHC.  Various issues pertinent to the membership of the next World Halaal Council General Assembly were discussed and it was decided that the venue for 2009 AGM would be in China.  

The 7th of May saw the opening of the Annual Malaysian International Halaal Showcase (MIHAS 2009). Numerous companies from across the globe who have their products certified as Halaal exhibit at this showcase and are able to market them to the multitude of buyers invited by MATRADE from all over the world. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the new Malaysian Prime Minister, opened the Halaal exhibition. On the 7th of May the World Halaal Research Institute hosted its summit at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The NIHT was the only South African Halaal certifying organisation to attend. The summit was opened by Datuk Jamil Khir Baharoom, Deputy Minister of Technology and a member of the Prime Ministers Department of Islamic Affairs. The idea of the summit was to galvanise academic and scientific communities to assist in developing the Halaal Sector. Various discussions and deliberation were undertaken to sustain and implement the standards and system of Halaal programmes world wide. Numerous challenges being faced by the Halaal Sector was discussed at length by the various academics. One of the most significant discoveries and breakthroughs was the design and development of the Porcine Gene Chip (PGC). This PGC is a specific and accurate DNA based detection chip that is designed for Porcine (pork) identification in food. With this PGC chip it would be possible to check any food product for pork ingredients. It adapts 2 molecular biology techniques; Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Nucleic Acid Hybridisation. The result can be detected by colourmetric method. It comes in a “Ready to use Kit” and the results are achievable within 4 to 6 hours. Head of the NIHT delegation, Hafez Moorad Booley was ecstatic and said, “This type of technological advances will assist us and be eneficial not only for Halaal certifiers but for vegetarians and vegans as well, it can be used across the Halaal food spectrum.” The scientist who developed and invented this Porcine Gene Chip (PGC), Professor Dr. Yaakob Che Man, is a director of  the Halaal Product Research Institute at the University of Putra, Malaysia. He won the Best Scientist Award for 2008 for this invention, from the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak which was awarded to him during the summit. Moulana Abdul Wahab Wookay, CEO of the NIHT said, “ that while the four days was gruelling and taxing, it was, very constructive due to the interactions with the food sector, from far a field such as Russia, China, Georgia, Uzbekistan and the USA.”