The European Union (EU) approved use of partially defatted powder of Acheta Domesticus (the house cricket) to the region’s food market.
European Union Commission Approval for Cricket Flour
The European Union’s Commission approved an application from Cricket One Company in 2019, allowing food producers to use the powder in a variety of foods, such as pizza, pasta, nuts, snacks, sauces, meat preparations, soups, bread, crackers, cereal bars, baked goods, biscuits, potato products, vegetable dishes, whey powder, maize snacks, beer-like beverages, and chocolate.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) provided a scientific opinion confirming the safety of the new insect powder, leading to its approval for use in the EU’s food market. They approved the production process, which involves a 24-hour fasting period for the insects, followed by freezing, washing, thermal processing, oil extraction, and finally, transformation into dried powder.
The introduction of house crickets into European kitchens will not be the only new addition to the food market.
On January 6th, the E.U. Commission also approved the use of frozen, paste, dried, and powdered forms of Alphitobius diaperinus larvae, commonly known as the lesser mealworm, in consumer food products.
Italy and Insect Flour
“It’s fundamental that these flours are not confused with food made in Italy,” Francesco Lollobrigida, the agriculture minister, said.
“What the decrees provide for is a label with the origin of the product, the risks associated with consumption and the quantity of insect meal present, but we have also provided special shelves where they can be displayed inside the shops..those who want to choose crickets, larvae and locusts can go there and those who don’t want to, as I imagine most Italians, can keep away.”
Oh, No You Don’t….
Three government ministers in Italy called a press conference in Rome to announce four decrees aimed at cracking down on the use of insect-based flours in Italian cuisine, reflecting a fear of associating insects with traditional Italian food.
Francesco Lollobrigida, the agriculture minister, emphasized the importance of avoiding any confusion between these new flours and traditional Italian cuisine.
Italy is fiercely opposed to the increasing use of flour made from crickets, locusts, and insect larvae in cooking. As a result, the Italian government has decided to ban its use in pizza and pasta and require that it be segregated on supermarket shelves.
The new regulations will require that insect-based foods, wherever they are sold, to be clearly labeled and separated from other food products.
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