Bread controversy – Animal Enzymes?

Bread controversy – Animal Enzymes?

On DeenPort Irfan Younas started a thread and posted two links to reports about bread manufacturers using animal enzymes in the production of bread. Here are the links: The Metro newspaper and The Vegetarian Society.

I decided to email Hovis about the matter, as we tend to use Hovis breads at home, here was my email:


We regularly purchase Hovis Soft White in our family. However, after reading this report and this from the Vegetarian Society has left me in some doubt. We are a Muslim family and therefore rely on vegetarian products in our home if we cannot get halal alternatives. Therefore please can you confirm that you do not use the reported enzymes in any of your products AT ANY STAGE OF THEIR PRODUCTION, whether they form the final ingredients or not.

As you can imagine this is a cause of great concern to my family and to other Muslim and vegetarian families up and down the country.

I look forward to your expedient response.

Best wishes

Masud A. Khan

Here is the prompt response I got:

Dear Masud

Thank you for your email. Please be assured we do not use any animal enzymes in our products. The enzymes we use are synthetic or vegetable based. Where we state vegetarian we are vegetarian

Julie Kralyic
PA to Marketing and Sales Directors

Hovis Court
PO Box 527
69 Alma Road
Berkshire SL4 3HD

Telephone: 08707 288888

Mazhar Iqbal on DeenPort wrote to Allied (Kingsmill) and got the following email back:

Response from Kingsmill/Allied Bakeries

Allied Bakeries

Dear Mr Iqbal,

We thoroughly check all of our ingredients including enzymes, to ensure that they are vegetarian. The only product that we produce that is not suitable for vegetarians has been fortified with omega 3 derived from fish and is clearly labelled as ‘not suitable for vegetarians’.

We follow all relevant legislation and the Food Standards Agency’s guidance on labelling products as suitable for vegetarian.

Flour naturally has enzymes present and so does yeast. Sometimes we add additional amounts of enzymes to balance out those in the flour, as this gives a more controlled and consistent dough. Any enzymes we use are suitable for vegetarians.

We hope this information clarifies the situation.

Yours sincerely,
Jodie Miller

If anyone else gets any responses from other bakeries, please email me: masud [at] and I’ll include them here.

2 thoughts on “Bread controversy – Animal Enzymes?

  1. As-Salaam’alaykum Masud Bhai,

    I pray that you are well and in the best of health, spirits and Imaan.

    The Vegetarian Society have posted an update on the same webpage to declare that they have received assurances from the following brands that their products do not use the animal enzymes.

    Vegetarian Society Update (

    “UPDATE: 29 April 2009

    To date, we have been assured by the relevant manufacturers that none of the following brands of bread use non-vegetarian ingredients or processing aids:

    Allinson, Burgen, Hovis, Kingsmill, Sunblest, Tesco own label, Warburtons.”

    I have personally written to Warburtons and am awaiting their reply, but I hope this helps in the meantime.

    Please keep up the good work,



  2. Hi. Have you sent this letter to any of the supermarkets producing own brand bread yet? Up until now I have been relying on Asda own brand wholemeal.
    I also have Muslim friends who would avoid bread if they knew it was not halal.

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