Global Bugs

Monthly Archive: December 2016

Three insects admitted in Switzerland as foodstuff on Friday 16.12.2016.

Swiss foodies will be able to buy insects such as mealworms, crickets and locusts for consumption, after approval from the government. The new revised food laws, which bring Switzerland into line with the European Union, will come into effect on May 1, 2017, the cabinet decided on Friday. From that date, all foodstuffs can be sold in Switzerland, as long as they are judged to be safe and respect legal regulations. Up to present, foodstuffs which were not specifically mentioned in Swiss law were banned. Mealworms, crickets and locusts, for example, could only be sold as pet food. From May next year insects can be sold legally throughout Switzerland. They will, however, be subject to an authorization to ensure their safety, the government said.

Source: The association Grimiam

EU agrees on insect protein for aquafeed

IPIFF, the European Umbrella Organisation representing the interests of the Insect Production sector for Food and Feed – welcomed the ‘green light’ given by EU Member States on the authorisation of insect proteins as fish feed.
The EU Member States representatives endorsed a European Commission proposal which was discussed today in a meeting of the EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF). The text is expected to be formally adopted during the spring 2017, which means that insect proteins should be effectively authorised for use in fish feed as from 1st July 2017. This is earlier than predictions from Dutch bank ABN Amro who forecasts Q3 2017 for approval of insect meal in aquafeed.

Reacting to Member States’ vote, IPIFF president Antoine Hubert said: “We are particularly pleased with the move made by EU institutions: the opening of this legislation is in our view a major milestone towards the development of the European insect production sector.”

IPIFF vice president Tarique Arsiwalla recalled the recent opinion from the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) dated from 8 October 2015, which concluded that insects fed with plant based materials entail no risks if insect producers comply with best hygiene practices. “This is precisely the case of the IPIFF members, who comply with very stringent risk management procedures, in accordance with the EU food and feed safety legislations,” explained Arsiwalla.

Looking ahead, IPIFF expressed the will to pursue efforts towards a possible authorisation of insect proteins to other non-ruminant species (e.g. pigs and poultry) or to allow to use other ‘high grade’ materials to feed their insects. “We will plead for further relaxation of EU rules, in case safety conditions associated with these new routes have been demonstrated,” explained Hubert. The recent ABN Amro report on this topic expects approval of insect meal for pigs and poultry in 2020.

“In the long run, these changes should contribute to alleviate European dependency on protein imports, whilst securing a promising source of protein for EU farmers & customers,” concluded the IPIFF chair.

Also outside the EU, the reactions are positive. Jason Drew, co-founder of AgriProtein (the world’s biggest fly-farmer, established in South Africa) said. “Yesterday’s move by EU regulators brings insect protein into the mainstream of ingredients permitted in animal feed. This is a big step forward for the environment and for world food security. Trawling the oceans to produce fishmeal is one of the most destructive activities on the planet. Replacing fish protein with insect protein in animal diets allows us to dedicate our oceans to production for human consumption alone.” Drew hopes that regulators now move to the next logical step: give insect protein the green light as a feed for all non-ruminants. He also states that post-consumer waste should be given the green light as insect-rearing material, which is done outside the EU. “Outside the EU, our fly-factories are already making a big dent in the waste-to-landfill problem,” said Drew.

FSA poses allergy questions over future use of insects protein.

A new report from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has highlighted the importance of considering how to balance the potential nutritional benefits of using insect protein against the need to manage the risks this may pose for “allergic consumers”.

The report, launched today during a food allergy and intolerance research programme workshop in London, seeks to “debunk some of the myths that exist” in relation the issue. In doing so, however, it devotes a concluding page to the potential impact of adding insect protein to the food chain.

The publication comes at a time when the use of insect protein by the animal feed industry in pig, poultry and fish diets is gathering considerable momentum. Delegates attending this year’s PROteINSECT conference in Brussels, for example, were told that the animal feed industry was now “ready” to address the use of insect protein in feeds. That, however, was before the FSA added its allergy observations to the debate.

“Novel foods such as insects could be the sustainable food of the future,” stated the FSA, “but what does this mean for food allergy? With the growing world population, the demand for animal protein is predicted to increase by 75% between now and 2050, and insects are promising candidates as an alternative sustainable food source.

“Given the novelty of insects as food in Europe, there is a need to think more about potential food safety risks and how insects can be prepared and eaten safely. Along with physical, toxicological and microbiological risks, a key issue for any new sources of protein is the potential to cause food allergies.

“From an allergy perspective the major risk associated with new foods like insects is that they can contain proteins that may elicit an allergic response in populations where they are newly introduced.

“With a growing number of insect products appearing on the market it is important to consider how we balance getting the benefits of new foods while managing the risks for allergic consumers. Making consumers aware there is a potential for allergic reactions, especially for those with an allergy to crustaceans, will be an important step.”

Source: PW reporter on November 04, 2016,