Is E281 Halal or Haram?

featured - Is E281 Halal or Haram?

E281, commonly known as Sodium propionate, is a food additive that has sparked discussions and inquiries about its halal status. In this article, we’ll dive deep into understanding what E281 is, its chemical structure, its sources, potential side effects, and most importantly, whether it’s halal or haram.

Belangrijkste leerpunten

📌 E281, also known as Sodium propionate, is a food additive commonly used as a mold inhibitor in bakery products.
📌 Its Halal status is categorized as doubtful (syubhat) because of its association with E280, which has an uncertain Halal status.
📌 For individuals adhering strictly to Islamic dietary guidelines, it’s advisable to explore alternative options due to this doubt regarding its Halal status.

What is E281?

E281, or Sodium propionate, is the sodium salt of propionic acid. This white crystalline solid is known to be deliquescent in moist air. It’s primarily used as a mold inhibitor in bakery products and is represented by the food labeling E number E281 in Europe.

Chemische structuur

The chemical formula for Sodium propionate is Na(C2H5COO). It’s an anhydrous compound with a polymeric structure. This structure features trigonal prismatic Na+ centers bonded to six oxygen ligands provided by the carboxylates. A layered structure is observed, with the hydrophobic ethyl groups projecting into the layered galleries.

What Is E281 Made From?

E281, known as Sodium propionate, is a compound that results from a specific chemical reaction. At its core, this compound is the sodium salt of propionic acid. To produce Sodium propionate, propionic acid undergoes a reaction with a base. There are two primary bases used in this process: sodium carbonate and sodium hydroxide.

The choice of base can vary based on the desired production method and the available resources. When propionic acid reacts with sodium carbonate, it results in the formation of Sodium propionate and carbon dioxide.

On the other hand, when sodium hydroxide is used, the byproduct is water along with Sodium propionate. Both methods are efficient, but the choice often depends on the specific requirements of the production process.

Mogelijke bijwerkingen

While Sodium propionate is generally recognized as safe, it’s always essential to consume it within the recommended limits. Overconsumption might lead to potential side effects, though detailed studies are still ongoing.

Regelgeving en richtlijnen

Sodium propionate is currently an authorized food additive in the European Union under Annex II of Regulation (EC) 1333/2008 for use in several food categories (bakery and cheese products) up to 3,000 mg/kg.

Sodium propionate is also approved for use as a food additive in the US, Australia, and New Zealand, where it is listed by its INS number 281.

Dosering en administratie

While E281 is approved for use in various food products, it’s crucial to adhere to the recommended dosage. Overuse can lead to potential health risks. The maximum permitted levels (MPLs) of sodium propionate in foods range from 1000 to 3000 mg/kg.

The safety of sodium propionate (E281) as a food additive was re-evaluated in 2014 by the EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS), where no safety concerns for consumers were identified.

Is E281 Halal or Haram?

Despite the fact that the production process of E281 doesn’t involve any ingredients forbidden by Islamic law, It’s essential to be aware that E281 is sourced from E280, which has a doubtful or grey legal status.

Vervolgens, E281’s status is also syubhat (doubtful). For those who strictly adhere to Islamic dietary guidelines, it’s advisable to seek alternative choices.

Meer te weten komen:
Is E282 Halal of Haram?


In the realm of food additives, we’ve ventured into the intriguing territory of E281, Sodium propionate. We’ve explored its origins, chemical structure, sources, potential effects, and Halal status.

Yet, in the world of dietary guidelines, E281 remains shrouded in doubt. Its association with E280, which falls into a grey area of Halal, leaves us with questions.

In this complex landscape, we tread carefully, for those who seek to align their dietary choices with Halal principles. While the scientific world offers us insights into E281’s safety, the realm of faith reminds us to seek certainty.

E281 may stand as a useful preservative in the world of food, but it’s the journey toward clarity in dietary choices that truly matters.

Allahu A'lam (Allah weet het het beste)


What is the source of E281?

E281 is produced by the reaction of propionic acid with sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide.

Is E281 safe for consumption?

Yes, E281 is approved for use in various regions, including the EU, USA, Australia, and New Zealand. However, always consume within recommended limits.

What are some common food products that contain E281?

E281 is primarily used as a mold inhibitor in bakery products.

What is the CAS number of E281?

The CAS number for E281 is 137-40-6.

Is E281 banned in any country?

While E281 is approved in many countries, it’s essential to check local regulations as guidelines might differ.

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