Edible insects: the EU's first green light for the sale of flour moths as food arrives

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Elia Tabuenca García
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The food of the future arrives on European tables: the EU member states have in fact authorized the marketing of dried yellow mealworm larvae as food.

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What many call the "food of the future" is about to arrive on our tables. Yes, the first green light has arrived at European level for the inclusion of insects on the food market. And the first officially edible insect in Europe is the miller darkness, commonly known as a mealworm. Following the scientific evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the EU Member States have in fact authorized the marketing as food of dried yellow larvae of this insect.  

The novel food may be marketed as a whole dried insect, in the form of a snack, as a flour or as an ingredient for use in other food products. The formal decision by the European Commission will be adopted in the coming weeks and is part of the “Farm to Fork” strategy, which aims to make the food system more sustainable. The 2020-30 European action plan for sustainable food systems considers insects to be a source of low environmental impact protein to be promoted.

The authorization sets out specific labeling requirements regarding allergenicity, as EFSA has indicated that consuming miller tenebrione can lead to reactions in individuals with pre-existing allergies to shellfish and dust mites. Currently there are eleven applications submitted to EFSA regarding the sale of insects as novel foods. And like it or not, meal moths are the first insects we can eat.

Source: Efsa

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