Are Pop Tarts Halal?


Photo Courtesy: Mike Mozart

According to a Kellogg’s Consumers Affairs Representative, Pop Tarts are not halal certified.

Similar to many products we’ve covered on this site. We could not find a definitive answer as to whether Pop Tarts is halal or not. Our research showed people stating that it is halal, while others disagree. Therefore we decided to reach out to Kellogg’s to find out.

Here’s the email we sent to them to find out if Pop Tarts are halal or not:

Hello,

Hope Your day is going well.

I wanted to know if any of the Pop Tarts offered by Kellogg’s are halal? if not, what is the ingredient used that does not qualify it to be halal? I am mainly concerned with Pop tarts sold in Canada and US.  

Thank you, much appreciated!!  

HalalGuidance Team

They responded back by saying:

Hello,

We are aware of the growing interest in products certified as Halal and we will continue to evaluate Halal certification. At this time we do not offer Halal-certified products in the (United States / Canada) due to procurement of our ingredients and the manufacturing of our products.

Your interest in Kellogg’s* Pop-Tarts* Toaster Pastries is appreciated and we hope this information answers your question completely.

Thanks again, for the time you took to contact us.

Kellogg Consumer Affairs Representative

It was a helpful response, however we did find that the response was rather vague. This is because if a product is not halal certified, it does not mean that it is not halal. It just means that the company has not yet invested into halal certification.

We therefore decided to take a look into the ingredients of one of their most popular flavor, the Frosted Chocolate Chip Pop-Tarts.

Therefore, we decided to look into the ingredients list of one of their most popular flavors: Frosted Chocolate Chip Pop-Tarts.

Ingredients of the Frosted Chocolate Chip Pop-Tarts

According to their site, here’s a list of the ingredients in the Frosted Chocolate Chip Pop-Tarts (source):

  • Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron,
  • vitamin B1 [thiamin mononitrate],
  • vitamin B2 [riboflavin], folic acid),
  • sugar, dextrose,
  • soybean and palm oil (with TBHQ for freshness),
  • high fructose corn syrup,
  • bleached wheat flour, corn syrup,
  • whey, contains two percent or less of semisweet chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate, dextrose, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, milkfat, vanilla),
  • milk chocolate (sugar, milk, cocoa butter, chocolate),
  • cocoa processed with alkali,
  • molasses, salt, wheat starch,
  • leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate),
  • nonfat milk,
  • caramel color,
  • sodium stearoyl lactylate, soy lecithin,
  • natural and artificial flavors,
  • gelatin,
  • xanthan gum,
  • DATEM, yellow 6 lake, blue 2 lake, red 40 lake, egg whites, yellow 5 lake.

There are a few ingredients that raise eyebrows when looking at that list, whey and Gelatin. We could not find sufficient evidence that the whey was extracted from halal sources. Furthermore, we could not get a confirmation that the Gelatin used was extracted from beef, and not pork.

Why Do Some People Classify Pop Tarts as Being Halal?

On Kellogg’s main US site, they responded to a question stating:

What kind of gelatin do you use in Pop-Tarts?

NOUREEN A., Easton, PA (source)

Kellogg’s official response was

In the United States, the gelatin in Frosted Pop-Tarts® is derived from beef, and is used to help the texture of the product. Plain (unfrosted) Pop-Tarts® do not contain gelatin.

Gelatin derived from pork is found in the following in the U.S.:

-Kellogg’s® cereal products that contain marshmallow additives (Marshmallow Froot Loops cereal)

– All varieties of Rice Krispies Treats® Squares

Gelatin derived from beef is found in the following in the U.S.:

-All varieties of Frosted Pop-Tarts®

-All varieties of Frosted Mini-Wheats® cereal

-All varieties of Rice Krispies Treats™ cereal

-All varieties of Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies Treats™ Snap, Crackle, Poppers™

Some of our foods in the U.S. contain gelatin that is derived from either beef or pork; sourcing is based on availability in the marketplace. These include:

-All Kellogg’s® fruit flavored snacks

-All Krave Treat Bars

Please note that none of our equipment that comes in contact with the gelatin in Frosted Pop-Tarts® is used in the production of the other pastries. As a result, Plain (unfrosted) Pop-Tarts® do not contain gelatin. The pre-gelatinized wheat starch contained in some of our toaster pastries is derived from wheat and does not contain any gelatin.

This information applies to products sold in the United States. Products sold in other countries may have different ingredients and nutrition information.

Kelloggs (source)

They did confirm that the Gelatin is derived from beef. However, that may not be sufficient enough to classify it as halal since there is no information on whether the slaughtering of the animal was halal.

Final Thoughts

While the Gelatin used in Pop Tarts are from beef, it is unclear what the sources of whey are. Before making a final decision, we highly recommend that you do your due diligence and do your own research to determine whether you’re comfortable to eat it or not.

Everyone has a different threshold as to what they consider halal or not.

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