The new monosodium glutamate (MSG) produced by Ajinomoto is officially “halal” (allowed), according to a ruling by the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI) yesterday. At the same meeting, the Muslim authority reiterated that the earlier MSG product, which was recalled from shelves amid a widespread scandal in January, is still “haram” (forbidden).

KH Ma’ruf Amin, chairman of the ruling commission, revealed that the new product would have slight changes on its packaging in order to differentiate it from previous batches of MSG, which utilised pork-derived bactosoytone during the production process. It is forbidden for Muslims to consume any pig products under religious law.

“All participants to the meeting agreed that the new MSG flavour enhancer, which uses ‘mameno’ as supporting material, is declared being ‘halal’,” explained Ma’ruf.