House crickets allowed as ingredient in foods under new EU rules

Under new EU rules, both house crickets processed into powder and grain mold beetle larvae will be allowed as ingredients in food, said an online announcement on Tuesday.

If insects are used, this must be included on the product’s list of ingredients, so consumers can decide for themselves whether to buy it or not, said the EU Commission website.

They could go into such products as nuts, snacks, pizza and pasta products, bread and rolls, crackers, sauces, meat preparations and soups, cereal bars, vegetable-based dishes, and chocolate confectionery.

After a lengthy approval process, the European Food Safety Agency has scientifically examined the consumption of the insects and classified them as harmless to health.

However, because allergic reactions could occur in sensitive individuals, allergy warnings are mandatory.

In its 2020 "Farm-to-Fork Strategy," the EU Commission called insects an alternative source of protein that could support the transition to a more sustainable food supply.

According to the Brussels-based agency, insect farming for food has a number of benefits. These include fewer greenhouse gases, less water, and land use, and less food waste.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization also describes insects as healthy food offering high levels of fat, protein, vitamins, fiber, and minerals.

The EU Food Authority is currently reviewing eight other applications for insect products.

Source: Anadolu Agency