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Perceived versus actual knowledge of alcohol and halal food among food technology undergraduate students in a Malaysian university

Anis Najiha Ahmad (International Institute for Halal Research and Training (INHART), International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia AND Universiti Putra Malaysia, Halal Products Research Institute, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia)
Tajul A. Yang (Food Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Wan Nadiah Wan Abdullah (Bioprocess Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)

Journal of Islamic Marketing

ISSN: 1759-0833

Article publication date: 14 September 2015

1381

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the perceived knowledge of the general concept of halal food and actual knowledge of halal food principles with emphasis on alcohol (alcoholic drinks and ethanol).

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional descriptive survey, using quantitative research methods, was utilized. A self-administered survey was distributed to 188 undergraduate students of the food technology programme at Universiti Sains Malaysia, and a total of 114 responses were obtained.

Findings

Results indicate that respondents believed that they have above average competence regarding the concept, sources, ingredients, processing and the overall production of halal foods (score: 3.75-4.18). In addition, all of the 114 respondents also agreed that alcoholic drinks are fundamentally prohibited in Islam. However, the survey also revealed that the respondents were less certain about the application of alcohol in halal food production. Respondents’ actual knowledge on these issues was low to average.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by its cross-sectional nature. In addition, the research was only conducted on undergraduate-level students of the food technology programme, and therefore, results derived might not be generalized to the other segments of the population. The overall uncertainty and misconception about the application of alcohol in halal food highlights the need to improve the knowledge of these undergraduate students to more than a mere theory of the concepts of halal and haram.

Originality/value

No previous study has been conducted to explore the issue pertaining to alcohol in halal food, and this paper categorically strives to fill this gap.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Prof Dr Munirah Ghazali for her kind technical support. This research was funded by USM Research Grant 1001/PTEKIND/815059.

Citation

Ahmad, A.N., Yang, T.A. and Wan Abdullah, W.N. (2015), "Perceived versus actual knowledge of alcohol and halal food among food technology undergraduate students in a Malaysian university", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 294-313. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIMA-10-2013-0069

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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