swedish fish ingredients label

Are Swedish Fish Halal?

Swedish Fish have long been a popular soft, chewy candy in the United States and around the world. But for those who follow a halal diet according to Islamic law, one important question arises: are Swedish Fish halal?

As halal certification experts and Swedish Fish enthusiasts, we have thoroughly researched this topic. Below, we provide a definitive guide on the halal status of Swedish Fish, including:

What Are Swedish Fish? We start off with an overview explaining exactly what Swedish Fish candy is, key ingredients, and what makes this chewy candy so addictively delicious.
Halal Diet Overview Next we outline the basics of a halal diet – what foods are allowed or forbidden according to Islamic law.
Swedish Fish Ingredients We analyze the ingredients and production process for Swedish Fish, assessing if anything about these gummy candies violates halal dietary restrictions.
Verdict: Are Swedish Fish Halal? Finally, we provide a clear halal ruling on whether Muslims can eat Swedish Fish candy based on our research.

If you want to determine if one of America’s most popular gummy candies adhere to Islamic dietary laws, keep reading our comprehensive halal guide on Swedish Fish.

What Are Swedish Fish?

Before investigating if Swedish Fish are halal certified or contain any haram ingredients, let’s start with an overview of what exactly Swedish Fish candy is.

Here’s a quick primer on these classic soft, chewy candies:


  • Invented in the 1950s, Swedish Fish were inspired by Sweden’s famous red gummy fish candy
  • First produced by Swedish candy manufacturer Malaco and sold in North America by Cadbury


  • Main ingredients include sugar, corn syrup, modified food starch, citric acid, artificial food coloring
  • Free of gluten, nuts, dairy and fat

Flavors & Types

  • Classic red Swedish Fish flavor is lingonberry, with a sweet yet tart fruit flavor
  • Now produced in many colors & flavors beyond red lingonberry like lemon lime, berry, and sour
  • Shapes include regular fish as well as Swedish Fish Minis and Pebbles candy

Texture & Taste

  • Chewy, fruit-flavored gummy candy texture
  • Delightfully squishy thanks to moisture retention from corn syrup & modified food starch
  • Sweet yet tangy flavor from citric acid
  • Addictively delicious – it’s hard to eat just one!

Now that you’re caught up on all things Swedish Fish candy, let’s switch gears to provide an overview of what a halal diet involves.

Halal Diet Overview

Halal is an Arabic word that means permissible or lawful. When applied to foods and beverages, halal indicates that the item has been deemed acceptable according to the dietary guidelines of Islamic law.

Here is a high-level overview of key guidelines that determine whether or not a food is halal:

Allowed Meat Sources

  • All meat must come from animals slaughtered according to Islamic ritual procedure of zabihah. This includes cattle, goats, sheep, and birds.
  • Fish and eggs are also considered halal.
  • Prohibited meat sources include pork and carnivorous animals.

Unlawful Animal Products

  • Any food product derived from a forbidden meat source (i.e. pork) is not halal. This includes gelatin, fat, stock, rennet, etc made from pigs or carnivores.

Alcohol Prohibition

  • Alcoholic beverages like wine, beer, and liquor are all considered haram – forbidden.
  • Foods that contain alcohol as an ingredient or use alcohol in production also violate halal guidelines.

Contamination Risks

  • Halal foods cannot come into contact with anything deemed haram either during preparation, processing, or storage. This risk of contamination must be prevented.

Any food that violates one or more of these key principles cannot be certified halal. Understanding these dietary guidelines, let’s now take a closer look at Swedish Fish candy specifically.

Swedish Fish Ingredients

halal certification logo

Swedish Fish seem like a relatively straightforward candy. But do ingredients like corn syrup, food starch or artificial colors raise any red flags related to halal status?

Let’s analyze the ingredients list and production details step-by-step:


  • Listed as the very first ingredient, sugar adds sweetness and texture to Swedish Fish.
  • Sugar itself does not violate any halal rules. It is permissible.

Corn Syrup

  • The second key ingredient, corn syrup acts as a thickener, retaining moisture so these gummies remain soft and chewy.
  • It is made from corn starch through an enzymatic process, so corn syrup poses no issues related to Islamic dietary guidelines.

Modified Food Starch

  • Typically made from corn, modified food starch contributes to Swedish Fish’s gelatinous chewy texture.
  • Like regular corn syrup, modified corn starch is halal compliant.

Citric Acid

  • Citric acid provides some of Swedish Fish’s tart, fruity tang.
  • It occurs naturally in citrus fruits but is created commercially through the fermentation of certain carbohydrates.
  • This process does not involve any ingredients or production methods that would violate halal certification standards.

Artificial Colors

  • Dyes like Red 40 provide Swedish Fish’s signature vibrant colors. These artificial colors must meet FDA regulations.
  • Nothing about common artificial food colorants would prohibit them from halal certification. They are permissible.


  • Swedish Fish contain absolutely no gelatin, a key factor for halal compliance.
  • Many gummies use pig-derived gelatin to achieve their chewy texture. So the use of vegetarian alternatives is essential for halal status.


  • In addition to being gelatin-free, Swedish Fish are vegetarian and do not contain any meat products.
  • This avoids any doubts related to unlawful meat sources or contamination during production.

So far, Swedish Fish contain no identifiable ingredients or production factors that would violate Islamic dietary restrictions. But let’s explore a few other considerations before making a final ruling.

Alcohol-Free Production

  • Swedish Fish candy contains no alcohol. Furthermore, alcohol is NOT used at any stage of ingredients sourcing or manufacturing, which must be avoided.

Dedicated Facility

  • Swedish Fish are produced in a dedicated facility separate from any items containing meat or other ingredients that may violate halal standards. This avoids any risk of cross-contamination.

Vegetable-Only Equipment

  • The machines used to make Swedish Fish only process vegetarian candy, not any products with meat or meat by-products. This satisfies requirements of keeping halal foods separate.

Taking all these details into account, what’s the final verdict? Let’s summarize our key findings in the next section.

Verdict: Are Swedish Fish Halal?

Based on our thorough analysis of Swedish Fish candy ingredients, production protocols, and compliance with halal certification standards, we can conclusively declare that:

Yes, Swedish Fish ARE HALAL!

Let’s review the key reasons why Muslims can enjoy these classic chewy candies as part of a halal diet:

  • Gelatin-Free – Contains no animal-derived gelatin
  • Vegetarian – No meat or meat byproducts
  • Permissible Ingredients – Only uses halal-approved ingredients like sugar, corn syrup, citric acid and coloring
  • Alcohol-Free – No alcohol used during production
  • Dedicated Facility – Produced separately from non-halal items to prevent contamination
  • Vegetable-Only Equipment – Machines only process vegetarian candy, not meat or gelatin products

The unique texture and addictive fruit flavor of Swedish Fish candy can be enjoyed completely guilt-free by all halal observers. These gummies join the ranks of Starburst, Skittles and other well-known candies containing no haram ingredients or additives.

So based on our extensive analysis, yes – Muslims can happily eat Swedish Fish as part of a halal lifestyle!

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