Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Ruling on Ethyl Alcohol present in food products?

halal or haram?


I live in the USA and whenever I go to buy some manufactured food from stores, there is always ethyl alcohol listed as an ingredient. For example, I went to buy a chocolate cream pie that is pre-manufactured and packed, but when I read the ingredients, it said "Ethyl Alcohol!" I am not sure if it is used as a preservative, flavoring, coloring, etc. It doesn't mention the exact use or amount. It just lists it under the 2% or less category in the ingredients.

Also, sometimes, I go to bakeries, and they use vanilla or vanilla extract in their cakes and the ingredient list mentions that the vanilla or vanilla extract contains alcohol. There are no halal bakeries for cakes where I live as it is not an international state or city, so there are no alternatives. Also, most foods in supermarkets contain ethyl alcohol, whether it is chocolate, cakes, etc.

Is it permissible to eat such foods with ethyl alcohol as an ingredient, or cakes that contain vanilla or vanilla extract with alcohol?

Thank you


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7 Responses »

  1. Even if someone here permits you to consume those cakes, you should not. Ethyl alcohol is a poison which is harmful, along with so many of the other ingredients those cakes contain like titanium dioxide, red 40, lecithin, gums, etc.
    it might not be intoxicating in those amounts but it surely harms the body and disrupts hormonal regulation leading to cancer and many other diseases. The regulatory authorities won’t label those ingredients as harmful but they are banned in Europe which proves they are harmful.
    Best solution is make your own cakes. And spread the knowledge. Most people are not aware of what they are eating.

    • What if I already bought some food with ethyl alcohol? Do I throw it away? Is it haram to eat? What if i find out after buying it? I can't return food items? You also didn't address the alcohol present in vanilla and/or vanillin. Is it haram to eat cakes baked with it? Even if I want to make cakes at home, the vanilla extract has alcohol, so I can eat the cake I make at home, or buy at the store?

      • I can understand how throwing away food is never desirable. But it’s better to throw something away than to harm your health.
        Vanilla is an ambiguous substance most of the time. It’s hard to know what has been put into it so generally it’s best to avoid it.
        Surprisingly, cakes taste almost the same without vanilla flavors. One just has to build up the taste and change their old taste that we have become habitual to. I personally would always recommend home made cakes without vanilla and other harmful ingredients.
        If you get deeper into healthy foods, you’ll be amazed how many harmful foods we eat without knowing. For example the milk in stores has been known to be a possible cause of autism, type 1 diabetes, hormonal disruptions and more.
        We are in a huge battle that mostly appears invisible. And censorship is at its peak.

        • Hello,

          I want to thank you for your previous reply, and want to ask you about something else.
          What if the alcohol was not present in food, but in other substances? Is that haram if I cross-contaminated food? For example, I have a hair product that contains benzyl alcohol, if I brush my hair with it or wipe if off something and it touched my hand and then I ate food without washing my hand in between but it has kind of dried off my hand or evaporated, yet the smell is still there, is that haram and nullifies my prayer for 40 days, or because this is intoxicating or made for consumption it is ok? Thank you.


  2. Asalamualaykum Tala,

    I don't think that anything you have done so far is nullifying your prayers, because you didn't have knowledge on the issue and Allah is most Merciful. I would avoid the alcohol in the future, and refrain from anything doubtful. If you have doubt about the hair product contaminating your food as you state, then in the future, wash your hands before eating, which is a good habit to get into anyways. Also, on the issue of vanilla in food products, you cannot use vanilla extract, but you may use what is known as "vanilla flavoring." Many companies sell it and I myself use it in yogurt. It tastes delicious Alhamdulillah and "softens" the taste of any food even without sugar.

    Best 🙂


    • Hello,

      What if the product says vanilla, vanilla extract, vanillin, artificial vanilla, or natural vanilla flavour, but does NOT say alcohol? Do I assume the vanilla ingredient has no alcohol and eat it, or will it be haram if I eat it? It has Kosher sign on it the U inside a circle and a D

      • Asalamualaykum Tala,

        I would be careful about the one that says "Vanilla Extract" because that usually contains the ethyl alcohol. The others you can either research or give your best effort. Allah is Most Merciful.



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