A newly approved European Union (EU) regulation will allow food producers to introduce the partially defatted powder of Acheta Domesticus , commonly known as the house cricket, to a range of products, Olive Oil Times reported.
The European Commission (EC) had passed the application presented in 2019 by the Cricket One Company, the 17 January report said. The new regulation meant that food producers could use the powder in the production of several foods including pizza and pasta-based products, nuts and oilseeds, snacks and sauces, meat preparations and soups, multigrain bread and rolls, crackers and breadsticks, cereal bars, dry pre-mixes for baked products, biscuits, processed potato products, legume- and vegetable-based dishes, whey powder, corn flour-based snacks, beer-like beverages and chocolate confectionery.
The go-ahead followed verification by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which had approved the safety of the new powder, Olive Oil Times wrote.
EFSA also approved the powder production process, which includes a 24-hour fasting period for the insects before they are frozen, washed, thermally processed, have their oil extracted and then transformed into a dried powder.
On 6 January, the EC also approved the introduction of the frozen, paste, dried and powdered forms of Alphitobius diaperinus larvae, also known as the lesser mealworm, to the consumer food market, the report said.
Lesser mealworm larvae have also been found safe by the EFSA and, in the approved forms, were now allowed as ingredients in several food products. The powder of the mealworm larvae could also be used as a food supplement.
Food containing the insect products would require appropriate labels, the report said, as some researchers believed that these food items could cause reactions in consumers allergic to crustaceans, molluscs and dust mites.
The two insect preparations would join the list of EU-approved insect foods, including dried Tenebrio Molitor mealworm and the dried powder of the migratory locust, Olive Oil Times wrote.
In addition to the new approvals, eight other applications for insect foods had been presented to the EU and were currently being evaluated, the report said.
On its website, the EC said “the consumption of insects (…) contributes positively to the environment and to health and livelihoods.”
The EU executive branch also noted that insects “are a highly nutritious and healthy food source with high fat, protein, vitamin, fibre and mineral content. Therefore, they are an alternative protein source facilitating the shift towards healthy and sustainable diets.”
The new Acheta and Aplhitobius regulations are set to take effect at the end of this month.