The Office of the Supreme Leader

The Use of Insect-Based Pigments in Foodstuff

Q.| Some of the beverages available on the market contain biological pigments derived from insects. There is, of course, no part of the insects in the beverages but only the pigments that have been harvested from the insects. Is drinking such beverages or any foodstuff containing such biological pigments permissible?
A.| If the insects from which the pigments are harvested partake of gushing blood (dam masfūḥ), the drinks or foods containing them are canonically inedible. But if there is any doubt that the insect may be of those animals that lack gushing blood (as most insects in fact are devoid of gushing blood), the drinks and foods containing the derived biological pigments are canonically pure and edible.
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