Now what is the Islamic view on E120?
Well from what can be found from within ahadeeth, locusts are the only permissible ‘insect’ that can be consumed, and is mentioned exactly by name.
Some scholars therefore deem ALL other insects as haram because they cannot be slaughtered in accordance to shari’ah, due to their small size and because they are ‘bloodless’ which means even if somehow slaughtered at the throat, the blood will not flow.
Imam Malik, rahiemahullah, has classed all other insects in the same category as locusts, making their form of slaughter by boiling, roasting, or piercing it with a stick/needle until it is dead, while saying the name of Allah over it.
Most people pose this question in regards to snails and their permissibility of consumption and this same information is brought up. However, shuyukh who present Imam Malik raheimahullah’s argument also are sure to mention that the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wasallam never ate snail, therefore assuming, perhaps because they cannot be slaghtered and do not fall under the category of locusts. Also, the Imam is the only one to hold this viewpoint.
With that its really up to you to draw your own conclusion on eating foods with E120. And even if you follow Imam Malik’s route with this one, it’s most definite that they are not slaughtered in accordance to shari’ah (Allah’s name being recited over it). On top of that, to me it doesn’t really seem that a chemical process is taking place, since some people say that when a strong chemical process takes place the substance is an entirely different thing… all that’s being done is that the color is being extracted from the insects. Allah knows best!!
This is someones screen-shot of an article from when the FDA finally decided that ingredients labels should include E120 specifically rather than hiding it under “artifical flavors”. There is an image of the insect in the article, which can be found here.
Source : http://isithalal.blogspot.com/search/label/E120