Culinary in Islamic-Javanese Cultural Heritage from a Chemistry Perspective


  • Muhammad Zamhari



Chemistry, Food, Islamic-Javanese Culture, Nutrition


Food plays a significant role in the religious rituals of Java, specifically within the realm of Islam, where special foods are prepared and consumed during religious ceremonies and celebrations, imbuing spiritual practices with a unique cultural essence. Understanding the chemistry behind these foods is essential for comprehending their health benefits and their embodiment of noble values within Javanese and Islamic cultures. This article seeks to delve into the chemistry of various cultural heritage foods from an Islamic-Javanese standpoint. To achieve this, a thorough literature review was conducted, focusing on culinary practices embedded within the Islamic-Javanese cultural heritage and exploring the corresponding chemical explanations. The research employed a systematic and meticulous search across academic databases, online libraries, and search engines to gather a broad range of perspectives, theories, and empirical evidence. Food, as a reflection of culture, serves both practical and symbolic roles within a particular cultural community. It serves as a manifestation of the values, traditions, and identity of the cultural group, while also meeting the physiological needs of individuals by providing essential nutrients and energy. Beyond mere sustenance, food holds utilitarian value by ensuring survival and promoting overall well-being. By delving into the chemistry of these cultural heritage foods, this article aims to shed light on their significance within the Islamic-Javanese context, uncovering the intricate interplay between chemistry, culture, and spirituality.


Download data is not yet available.


Achroni, D. (2017). Belajar dari makanan tradisional Jawa. Jakarta: Badan Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa, Kementrian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.

Alfiah, Sunarya, & Werdiningsih, Y. K. (2023). Phonestemic Aspects of Java Traditional Food Names Based on Glutinous Rice. Paper presented at the 1st UMSurabaya Multidisciplinary International Conference 2021, Surabaya.

Allen, M. W., Gupta, R., & Monnier, A. (2008). The interactive effect of cultural symbols and human values on taste evaluation. Journal of Consumer Research, 35(2), 294-308. doi:10.1086/590319

Alzeer, J., Rieder, U., & Hadeed, K. A. (2018). Rational and practical aspects of Halal and Tayyib in the context of food safety. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 71, 264-267. doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2017.10.020

Ameenuddin, S., Sunde, M. L., & Cook, M. E. (1985). Essentiality of Vitamin D3 and its Metabolites in Poultry Nutrition: A Review. World's Poultry Science Journal, 41(1), 52-63.

Amrullah, Q. L., & Puspitasari, D. (2023). Representation of Cultural Identity of Bangkalan Community through Semiotic Analysis of Halal Culinary Tourism. Journal of Teaching and Education, 5(2), 227-243. doi:10.30650/ajte.v5i2.3595

Anam, C. (2017). Tradisi sambatan dan nyadran di dusun Suruhan. Sabda: Jurnal Kajian Kebudayaan, 12(1), 77-84. doi:10.14710/sabda.12.1.77-84

Anjum, F. M., Pasha, I., Bugti, M. A., & Butt, M. S. (2007). Mineral composition of different rice varieties and their milling fractions. Pak. J. Agri. Sci, 44(2), 332-336.

Arumugam, S., Pugazhenthi, G., & Selvaraj, S. (2023). Investigations on mechanical, thermal, wettability properties of processed banana leaves for sustainable food packaging applications. Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery, 1-11. doi:10.1007/s13399-023-04655-2

Bolotio, R. (2018). Thanksgiving and ketupat: local wisdom dimensions and ride of religious harmony in North Sulawesi. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 175(1), 012134. doi:10.1088/1755-1315/175/1/012134

Budiman, A., Wulandari, A., & Sukmawati, N. (2022). Selamatan Bayi Versi Orang Jawa: Kajian Linguistik Antropologis. SASDAYA: Gadjah Mada Journal of Humanities, 6(2), 117-134. doi:10.22146/sasdaya.v6(2).117-134

Chaudhari, P. R., Tamrakar, N., Singh, L., Tandon, A., & Sharma, D. (2018). Rice nutritional and medicinal properties: A review article. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 7(2), 150-156.

Cooper, C., Booth, A., Varley-Campbell, J., Britten, N., & Garside, R. (2018). Defining the process to literature searching in systematic reviews: a literature review of guidance and supporting studies. BMC medical research methodology, 18(1), 1-14. doi:10.1186/s12874-018-0545-3

Dam, R. M. v. (2020). A Global Perspective on White Rice Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care, 43(11), 2625–2627. doi:10.2337/dci20-0042

Dei, H. K. (2021). Advances in Poultry Nutrition Research-A Review Advances in Poultry Nutrition Research: IntechOpen.

Dewi, N. S., Jittanoon, P., & Wiroonpanich, W. (2020). Understanding healthy body and dieting of youth athletes among Javanese Muslim parents. Food Research, 4(Suppl. 3), 1-5. doi:10.26656/fr.2017.4(S3).S01

Djono, Sukmawati, F., & Salimi, M. (2023). Indonesian Culinary History and Values: Exploration Study in Solo City, Indonesia. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, 18(3), 961-969. doi:10.18280/ijsdp.180332

Eisenhauer, B., Natoli, S., Liew, G., & Flood, V. M. (2017). Lutein and Zeaxanthin—Food Sources, Bioavailability and Dietary Variety in Age‐Related Macular Degeneration Protection. Nutrients, 9(2), 120. doi:10.3390/nu9020120

Eko, B. S., & Putranto, H. (2019). The Role of Intercultural Competence and Local Wisdom in Building Intercultural and Inter-religious Tolerance. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 48(4), 341-369. doi:10.1080/17475759.2019.1639535

Erdiansyah, M., Meryandini, A., Wijaya, M., & Suwanto, A. (2021). Microbiological quality of tempeh with different wraps: banana leaf versus plastic. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 59, 300-307. doi:10.1007/s13197-021-05014-7

Fajriati, I., Ikhsani, A. Y., Monitasari, A., Zamhari, M., Kartika, B., & Subba, J. R. (2022). The Effect of Extraction Method on the Extract Yield in the Carotenoid Pigment Encapsulation for Halal Natural Pigment. Indonesian Journal of Halal Research, 4(2), 97-106. doi:10.15575/ijhar.v4i2.17188

Faris, S. (2016). Islam dan Budaya Lokal (Studi Atas Tradisi Keislaman Masyarakat Jawa). Thaqafiyyat: Jurnal Bahasa, Peradaban Dan Informasi Islam, 15(1), 74-90.

Fattal-Valevski, A. (2011). Thiamine (Vitamin B1. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 16(1), 12-20. doi: 10.1177/1533210110392941

Fibrianto, K., H. Syahrastani, Lutfiani A. Nisa, and Laila Y. Wahibah. (2019). The influence of food dimension (texture and volume) from processed rice (rice, lontong, and ketupat) to the perception of satiety and consumer satisfaction level. Advances in Food Science, Sustainable Agriculture and Agroindustrial Engineering (AFSSAAE), 2(1), 14-20. doi:10.21776/ub.afssaae.2019.002.01.3

Fukagawa, N. K., & Ziska, L. H. (2019). Rice: Importance for global nutrition. Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology, 65, S2-S3. doi:10.3177/jnsv.65.S2

Gentles, S. J., Charles, C., Nicholas, D. B., Ploeg, J., & McKibbon, K. A. (2016). Reviewing the research methods literature: principles and strategies illustrated by a systematic overview of sampling in qualitative research. Systematic Reviews, 5, 172. doi:10.1186/s13643-016-0343-0

Gertisser, R., Troll, V. R., & Nandaka, I. G. M. A. (2023). The Scientific Discovery of Merapi: From Ancient Javanese Sources to the 21st Century. Merapi Volcano: Geology, Eruptive Activity, and Monitoring of a High-Risk Volcano, 1-44. doi:10.1007/978-3-031-15040-1_1

Gupta, C. P. (2014). Role of Iron (Fe) in Body. IOSR Journal of Applied Chemistry, 7(11), 38-46.

Gupta, P., Toksha, B., & Rahaman, M. (2022). A Review on Biodegradable Packaging Films from Vegetative and Food Waste. The Chemical Record, 22(7), e202100326. doi:10.1002/tcr.202100326

Hasanah, U., Putri, E., Dewi, S., Santoso, U., & Supriyadi, S. (2022). Physical and chemical characteristic of young coconut leaves (cocos nucifera l.) as traditional packaging. Indonesian Food and Nutrition Progress, 17(2), 33-36. doi:10.22146/ifnp.46769

Higuera, V. (2023). Diabetes: Past treatments, new discoveries. Retrieved from

Jones, J. G. (2016). Hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism. Diabetologia, 59(6), 1098-1103. doi:10.1007/s00125-016-3940-5

Jouneghani, R. S., Hortência Fonsêca Castro, A., Panda, S. K., Swennen, R., & Luyten, W. (2020). Antimicrobial Activity of Selected Banana Cultivars Against Important Human Pathogens, Including Candida Biofilm. Foods, 9(4), 435. doi:10.3390/foods9040435

Julianto, T., Setiawan, R., & Harianja, R. F. (2021). Local-Social Wisdom in the Nyadran Tradition as a Means of Gathering. Budapest International Research and Critics in Linguistics and Education (BirLE), 4(2), 830-836. doi:10.33258/birle.v4i2.1862

Kang, M.-Y., Rico, C. W., & Lee, S.-C. (2010). Physicochemical properties of eight popular glutinous rice varieties in Korea. Plant Production Science, 13(2), 177-184.

Karaosmanoğlu, D. (2020). How to study ethnic food: senses, power, and intercultural studies. Journal of Ethnic Foods, 7(1), 1-7. doi:10.1186/s42779-020-00049-1

Khairani, L. (2021). Makanan dan Ekspresi Budaya Dalam Ritual Keagamaan Orang Jawa Deli di Desa Manunggal Kecamatan Labuhan Deli Kabupaten Deli Serdang. Seminar Nasional Teknologi Edukasi Sosial dan Humaniora, 1(1), 1094-1099. doi:10.53695/sintesa.v1i1.524

Khofifah, F. (2021). Tradisi Ingkungan di Desa Tirtosari Yogyakarta dalam Pandangan Akidah Islam. Academic Journal of Islamic Principles and Philosophy, 2(2), 173-190. doi:10.22515/ajipp.v2i2.4083

Kundu, A., Raha, P., & Dubey, A. N. (2021). Impact of Source and Method of Potassium Application on Dry Matter Accumulation and Partitioning of Potassium in Rice (Oryza sativa L.). Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 21, 2252–2263. doi:10.1007/s42729-021-00518-9

Laili, A. N. (2023, July 27, 2023). Brokohan Tradition: History, Values and Meaning in Tunggalpager Village, Mojokerto. Paper presented at the Proceedings of International Conference on Islamic Civilization and Humanities.

Lee, W.-H., Loo, C.-Y., Bebawy, M., Luk, F., Mason, R. S., & Rohanizadeh, R. (2013). Curcumin and its Derivatives: Their Application in Neuropharmacology and Neuroscience in the 21st Century. Current Neuropharmacology, 11(4), 338–378. doi:10.2174/1570159X11311040002

Lestari, N. S., & Pratami, K. E. N. (2018). Ayam Ingkung Sebagai Pelengkap Upacara Adat Di Bantul Yogyakarta. Jurnal Sains Terapan Pariwisata, 3(3), 306-320.

Li, S., Tian, Y., Jiang, P., Lin, Y., Liu, X., & Yang, H. (2021). Recent advances in the application of metabolomics for food safety control and food quality analyses. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 61(9), 1448-1469. doi:10.1080/10408398.2020.1761287

MacKay, D., Hathcock, J., & Guarneri, E. (2012). Niacin: chemical forms, bioavailability, and health effects. Nutrition Reviews, 70(6), 357–366,. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00479.x

Mariyono, J. (2014). Rice production in Indonesia: policy and performance. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 36(2), 123-134. doi:10.1080/23276665.2014.911489

Martins, A., Elyan, T., Pinto, C. A. S. d. O., Oliveira, A. C. d., Velasco, M. V. R., Guitiérrez, A. R. G., . . . Retuerto-Figueroa, M. G. (2020). Contribution of topical antioxidants to maintain healthy skin—A review. Scientia Pharmaceutica, 88(2), 27. doi:10.3390/scipharm88020027

Matres, J. M., Arcillas, E., Cueto-Reaño, M. F., Sallan-Gonzales, R., Trijatmiko, K. R., & Slamet-Loedin, I. (2021). Biofortification of Rice Grains for Increased Iron Content. Rice improvement, 471, 471–486. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-66530-2_14

McKenney, J. (2004). New perspectives on the use of niacin in the treatment of lipid disorders. Archives of internal medicine, 164(7), 697-705. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.7.697

Mibtadin, Rosidin, Rachmadhani, A., Khalikin, A., Reslawati, Suhanah, . . . Najib. (2023). Ruwahan Tradition, Spiritual Balance, and Religious Expression of Javanese People. Migration Letters, 20(3), 534-550. doi:10.47059/ml.v20i3.2936

Miller, M. D., Steinmaus, C., Golub, M. S., Castorina, R., Thilakartne, R., Bradman, A., & Marty, M. A. (2022). Potential impacts of synthetic food dyes on activity and attention in children: a review of the human and animal evidence. Environmental Health, 21(1), 1-19. doi:10.1186/s12940-022-00849-9

Mohammadi, M. A., Ahangari, H., Mousazadeh, S., Hosseini, S. M., & Dufossé, L. (2022). Microbial pigments as an alternative to synthetic dyes and food additives: a brief review of recent studies. Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering, 45, 1–12. doi:10.1007/s00449-021-02621-8

Mostafa, H. S. (2021). Banana plant as a source of valuable antimicrobial compounds and its current applications in the food sector. Journal of food Science, 86(9), 3778-3797. doi:10.1111/1750-3841.15854

Mrowicka, M., Mrowicki, J., Dragan, G., & Majsterek, I. (2023). The importance of thiamine (vitamin B1) in humans Bioscience Reports, 43(10), BSR20230374. doi:10.1042/BSR20230374

Nasir, M. A. (2019). Revisiting the Javanese Muslim Slametan: Islam, Local Tradition, Honor and Symbolic Communication. Al-Jami’ah, 57(2), 329–358. doi:10.14421/ajis.2019.572.329-358

Ningrum, W. O., & Adiyanto, W. (2022). Memahami Interaksi Tradisi Kupatan Pada Hari Raya Islam Di Desa Banjeng. Jurnal Komunika Islamika, 9(2), 66-76. doi:10.37064/jki.v9i2.14605

Normayanti, F. P., & Zamhari, M. (2022). Pengembangan Watak (Wayang Kertas Kimia) Sebagai Media Pembelajaran Ikatan Kimia Berbasis Pendidikan Karakter Dan Kearifan Lokal Untuk Peserta Didik SMA/MA. Journal of Tropical Chemistry Research and Education, 4(1), 10-21. doi:10.14421/jtcre.2022.41-02

Puglisi, M. J., & Fernandez, M. L. (2022). The Health Benefits of Egg Protein. Nutrients, 14(14), 2904. doi:10.3390/nu14142904

Rianti, A., Novenia, A. E., Christopher, A., Lestari, D., & Parassih, E. K. (2018). Ketupat as traditional food of Indonesian culture. Journal of Ethnic Foods, 5(1), 4-9. doi:10.1016/j.jef.2018.01.001

Rosydiana, W. N. (2023). Nyadran: Bentuk akulturasi agama dengan budaya jawa. HUMANIS: Jurnal Ilmu-Ilmu Sosial Dan Humaniora, 15(1), 15-23. doi:10.52166/humanis.v15i1.3305

Ruxton, C. H. S., Derbyshire, E., & Gibson, S. (2010). The nutritional properties and health benefits of eggs. Nutrition & Food Science, 40(3), 263-279. doi:10.1108/00346651011043961

Shastak, Y., & Rodehutscord, M. (2013). Determination and estimation of phosphorus availability in growing poultry and their historical development. World's Poultry Science Journal, 69(3), 569-586. doi:10.1017/S0043933913000585

Shofi, M. Q., & Maisaroh, S. (2020). Kajian antropolinguistik kue apem dalam ritual kematian (tahlilan) di lingkungan masyarakat desa Tambakberas Jombang. SASTRANESIA: Jurnal Program Studi Pendidikan Bahasa dan Sastra Indonesia, 8(2), 174-182. doi:10.32682/sastranesia.v8i4.1772

Sidhu, J. S., & Zafar, T. A. (2018). Bioactive compounds in banana fruits and their health benefits Food Quality and Safety, 2(4), 183–188. doi:10.1093/fqsafe/fyy019

Sobaya, S., Pusparini, M. D., & Achiria, S. (2023). Javanese local wisdom values for development from an Islamic perspective. Journal of Islamic Economics Lariba, 9(1), 57-78. doi:10.20885/jielariba.vol9.iss1.art4

Sunarti, L., & Fadeli, T. R. (2021). Preserving Javanese identity and cultural heritage in Malaysia. Cogent Arts & Humanities, 8(1), 1-12. doi:10.1080/23311983.2021.1956068

Sunyoto, A. (2016). Atlas Wali Songo. Depok: Pustaka Iman.

Takeda, E., Yamamoto, H., Yamanaka-Okumura, H., & Taketani, Y. (2012). Dietary phosphorus in bone health and quality of life. Nutrition Reviews, 70(6), 311–321. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00473.x

Tian, X.-Y., He, D.-D., Bai, S., Zeng, W.-Z., Wang, Z., Wang, M., . . . Chen, Z.-C. (2021). Physiological and molecular advances in magnesium nutrition of plants. Plant and Soil, 468, 1-17. doi:10.1007/s11104-021-05139-w

Tsao, R. (2010). Chemistry and Biochemistry of Dietary Polyphenols. Nutrients, 2(12), 1231-1246. doi:10.3390/nu2121231

Van den Boogert, J. (2017). The role of slametan in the discourse on Javanese Islam. Indonesia and the Malay World, 45(1), 352-372. doi:10.1080/13639811.2017.1345166

Verma, D. K., & Srivastav, P. P. (2017). Proximate composition, mineral content and fatty acids analyses of aromatic and non-aromatic Indian rice. Rice Science, 24(1), 21-31. doi:10.1016/j.rsci.2016.05.005

Wang, P., Huang, J., Sun, J., Liu, R., Jiang, T., & Sun, G. (2022). Evaluating the Nutritional Properties of Food: A Scoping Review. Nutrients, 14(11), 2352. doi:10.3390/nu14112352

Wardana, A. A., Setiarto, R. H. B., & Wigati, L. P. (2023). "Lepet": Indonesian traditional food for Eid Al-Fitr celebrations. Journal of Ethnic Foods, 10(1), 29. doi:10.1186/s42779-023-00197-0

WHO. (2022). Physical activity. Retrieved from

Wijaya, S. (2019). Indonesian food culture mapping: a starter contribution to promote Indonesian culinary tourism. Journal of Ethnic Foods, 6(9), 1-10. doi:10.1186/s42779-019-0009-3

Wu, G. (2016). Dietary protein intake and human health. Food & function, 7(3), 1251-1265. doi:10.1039/C5FO01530H

Zhou, Z., Robards, K., Helliwell, S., & Blanchard, C. (2002). Composition and functional properties of rice. International journal of food science & technology, 37(8), 849-868. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2621.2002.00625.x

Zoidis, E., Demiris, N., Kominakis, A., & Pappas, A. C. (2014). Meta-analysis of selenium accumulation and expression of antioxidant enzymes in chicken tissues. Animal, 8(4), 542-554. doi:10.1017/S1751731113002395




How to Cite

Zamhari, M. (2023). Culinary in Islamic-Javanese Cultural Heritage from a Chemistry Perspective. Journal of Tropical Chemistry Research and Education, 5(2), 43–59.