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EU clears producers to add crickets to foods including pasta and cereals

It is the third insect to be added to safe ingredients list


The noise cicadas make is to attract females

The noise cicadas make is to attract females

The noise cicadas make is to attract females

Crickets could make their way into cereals, pasta and soups after the EU branded the insects safe for human consumption.

It brings to three the number of insects on the EU’s list of approved “novel foods” after grasshoppers and mealworm.

The European Commission said today that “house crickets” (Acheta domesticus) in frozen, dried or powder form are safe to eat, following a study by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The study says there are “no safety concerns” with the consumption of crickets, within certain limits, adding that they have “a high-protein content”.

But experts say the insects can trigger allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to certain shellfish, mites or snails.

Allergens must be clearly labelled on any products, the EU said.

The European Commission made the announcement following an application by Dutch firm Fair Insects BV.

Fair Insects intends to market the crickets as an ingredient in breakfast cereals, pasta, baked goods, soups and meat products.

Protix, Fair Insects’ parent company, also markets insect-based animal feed, pet food and fertilisers.

This week the firm announced it has raised €50m in equity to boost international expansion and research and development.

Last year the bloc gave the green light for Fair Insects to market grasshoppers (Locusta migratoria) for human consumption.

It followed the approval of dried yellow mealworm, a larva from the Tenebrio molitor beetle, marketed by French insect producer Agronutris.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization says insects are a nutritious food source rich in fat, protein, vitamins, fibre and minerals.

Crickets are eaten regularly in Thailand, Mexico, Laos, Cambodia and Ghana and are already on the market in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Switzerland.

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Some EU countries already sell insects as food, but a 2018 EU law requires firms to get authorisation to market whole insects for human consumption.

“It is up to consumers to decide whether they want to eat insects or not. The use of insects as an alternate source of protein is not new and insects are regularly eaten in many parts of the world,” the Commission said on Friday.

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