Is E238 Halal or Haram?

featured - Is E238 Halal or Haram

E238, also known as calcium formate, is a common food additive used as a preservative and calcium enrichment. But is it halal? Let’s dive into the details.

Key Takeaways

📌 Sodium Formate’s Role: Sodium Formate (E237) is a food preservative that helps keep our food fresh by preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and molds.
📌 Halal Status: E237 is generally considered Halal because it’s made through a synthetic process and doesn’t involve any Haram (forbidden) elements.
📌 Safe Usage: When used within specified limits, E237 is safe for consumption, and it plays a crucial role in preserving various food products.

What is E238?

E238 is the food additive code approved by the European Union for calcium formate. It is a calcium salt derived from formic acid and used as a preservative and calcium supplement in food.

Chemical Structure

e238 calcium formate chemical structure

The chemical structure of E238 is Ca(HCOO)2. It consists of one calcium cation (Ca2+) and two formate anions (HCOO-).

What is E238 Made From?

E238 is typically produced by the reaction of calcium hydroxide with formic acid. The formic acid can be obtained from different sources:

  • Natural fermentation of carbohydrates
  • Chemical synthesis from carbon monoxide and sodium hydroxide
  • Oxalic acid reacting with glycerol

So E238 does not have to be derived from animal sources.

Possible Side Effects

E238 is considered safe for consumption in the approved dosages. There are no known major side effects. High doses may cause mild gastrointestinal issues in sensitive individuals.

Regulations and Guidelines

The Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) level for E238 or Calcium Acetate is not well-established.  However, Sulfur dioxide-sulfites (E 220-228), including E238, were re-evaluated in 2016 by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), resulting in the setting of a temporary ADI of 0.7 mg SO2 equivalents/kg bw per day pending the availability of new data required for concluding on their safety.

Dosage and Administration

The typical usage level of E238 is between 0.1-0.4% of the food product weight. It is directly added to foods including:

  • Baked goods – improves dough handling
  • Processed meats – control pH
  • Cheese – controls pH and texture
  • Canned fish – prevents spoilage

Higher dosages of up to 1.1% are allowed in nutritional supplements to provide calcium.

Is E238 Halal or Haram?

To ascertain the halal or haram status of a substance, it is crucial to examine various key factors, such as its origin and the method of production.

E238 does not originate from animals or their by-products. Its manufacturing process is entirely synthetic and does not involve the use of any substances that are considered haram (forbidden) under Islamic law. Consequently, E238, as a preservative, is considered halal.

Find out more:
Is E237 Halal or Haram?
Is E239 Halal or Haram?


In your quest to understand what’s in your food and whether it aligns with your dietary preferences, we’ve explored E237 (Sodium Formate). It’s more than just a food additive; it’s a preservative that safeguards the freshness of various food products.

Now that we know it’s generally considered Halal and safe for consumption within defined limits, we can make informed choices about the foods we eat. Remember, being informed empowers you to make the best decisions for your dietary needs.

So, whether you’re seeking Halal products or simply curious about what’s in your food, HalalGuides.Info is your trusted companion on this journey.

Allahu A’lam (Allah Knows Best)


What is the source of E238?

E238 can be derived from carbohydrate fermentation, chemical synthesis, or oxalic acid. It does not have to come from an animal source. Check with the manufacturer for the specific source.

Is E238 safe for consumption?

Yes, food-grade E238 is considered safe. It is approved for use in many countries with an established acceptable daily intake level. Mild gastrointestinal side effects may occur at excessive doses.

What are some common food products that contain E238?

E238 is found in baked goods, processed meats, cheeses, canned fish, and some supplements. It is used for preservation and calcium enrichment.

What is the CAS number of E238?

The CAS registry number for calcium formate is 544-17-2. This provides an unambiguous chemical identification.

Is E238 banned in any country?

No, E238 seems to be approved for use in food products in most major countries, including the EU and USA. No bans could be found in the research.

Latest posts by herry (see all)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top