On Wednesday, a European Union health regulatory authority gave green light to consumption of foods derived from a species of beetle, in a first step paving way for Brussels to take a decision to allow insects to become food in Europe.
The European Food Safety Authority concluded, after studying a request from French insect breeding company, Agronotris, that “mealworm” larvae “are safe for consumption, eir as a dried whole insect or as a powder.”
Protein rich in worms
Experts explained that “re is no nutritional harm from consuming” mealworms because of ir rich protein and fiber composition, but y called for more research into possibility of allergic reactions.
Crickets and grasshoppers
Based on opinion of European Food Safety Authority, European Commission is expected to present to Member States a draft proposal to allow placing of dried mealworms and derivative products on market, including conditions for ir sale. The sector hopes to have a final green light by mid2021.
The authority is looking into viability of crickets and grasshoppers for consumption.
1000 species of insects for consumption
It is estimated that 1,000 species of insects are consumed in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In European Union, insects that produce a few thousand specialized farms annually are used as food for farm animals, especially fish.
The European Trade Union of Insect Producers welcomed opinion of European Food Safety Authority, describing it as a “big step forward” encouraging “or European producers of worms and or types of edible insects” who also want to market food.
Powder into pasta and biscuits
The union indicated that insects can be boiled, fried, dried, smoked or ground into powder or flour for use in pasta, feeding bars and biscuits.
He emphasized that insectbased products that are rich in protein, minerals, vitamins, and fiber, as well as healthy fatty acids and omega6 and 3, can prevent nutrients deficiency in body, stressing that environmental impact of raising m on farms is limited compared to or protein sources.
The French company “Insect”, a pioneer in production of insect powder and insect flour for farmed fish, seeks that nutrition of athletes may be a suitable market for this product.
It seeks to use se ingredients in manufacture of “energy bars that help athletes regain ir energy and prepare for effort.” It aspires for this sector to represent “10% of sales volume in next five years”.