Is E401 Halal or Haram?

featured - Is E401 Halal or Haram

Have you ever wondered about the permissibility of E401 in Islamic dietary laws? In this post, we’ll explore sodium alginate – its sources, uses, and rulings from religious authorities. By the end, you’ll have a clearer understanding of if this food additive is halal or haram.

Key Takeaways

📌 E401, also known as sodium alginate, is a food additive used as a thickener and stabilizer in various food products.
📌 E401 is considered halal (permissible) in Islamic dietary laws as it is derived from seaweed and does not contain any animal components or involve slaughtering.
📌 It is generally recognized as safe for consumption and approved by regulatory authorities such as the U.S. FDA. E401 can be found in baked goods, sweets, ice cream, and canned products, among others.

What is E401?

E401, also called sodium alginate, is a popular food thickener and stabilizer. It forms gels or emulsions that give texture to recipes. As a vegetarian ingredient, it’s ideal for halal and kosher cooking.

Chemical Structure

Sodium alginate is a salt of alginic acid, derived from brown seaweeds. Its monomers are α-L-guluronic acid and β-D-mannuronic acid linked together. The sodium ions interact with these to produce a flexible gel.

What Is E401 Made From?

Like its cousin alginic acid, sodium alginate is sustainably obtained from kelps through hydrolysis. Common sources include kelp species Laminaria hyperborea and Saccharina latissima, which are farmed off Scandinavian coasts.

Possible Side Effects

In the amounts generally used, E401 is safe for most people. Rare cases report mild digestive issues that resolve to stop consumption. No adverse effects are associated with permissible dietary intake levels.

Regulations and Guidelines

Sodium alginate (E401) is an authorized food additive in the European Union and is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA for use as a thickener, stabilizer, texturizer, and firming agent in various food products such as condiments, confections, gelatins, puddings, processed fruits and fruit juices, and other food categories.

Dosage and Administration

The use of sodium alginate as a food additive is regulated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the FDA. The EFSA has concluded that there is no need for a numerical Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for sodium alginate, and that there is no safety concern at the level of the refined exposure assessment for the reported uses of sodium alginate as a food additive.

Is E401 Halal or Haram?

Since sodium alginate comes from seaweed without animal components or slaughter, it is deemed halal (allowed) by Islamic jurists. Some Malaysian fatwas even confirm its permissibility. So foods containing this emulsifier can fit into a halal diet.

Find out more:
Is E400 Halal or Haram?
Is E402 Halal or Haram?


In the culinary realm, E401, or sodium alginate, sourced from brown seaweeds, adds texture and stability. Halal-approved, it weaves through various delights without the complexities of animal components.

From baked goods to confections, E401 invites you on a halal journey, embodying the harmony of science and tradition. In the realm of halal or haram, E401 gracefully leans towards the former, echoing the divine wisdom — Allahu A’lam, Allah Knows Best.


What is the source of E401?

It comes from sustainably harvested brown kelp or seaweed varieties via hydrolysis.

Is E401 safe for consumption?

Yes, the FDA, EFSA, and other agencies sanction E401 as generally recognized as safe in food.

What are some common food products that contain E401?

Find it in baked goods, sweets, ice cream, canned products, and more – wherever texture or stabilization is desired.

What is the CAS number of E401?

The Chemical Abstracts Service number for sodium alginate is 9005-38-3.

Is E401 banned in any country?

No bans exist according to our research, though some locations regulate its use in certain commodities.

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