A few days ago, it became known that the European Commission (EC) supports the commercialization of the domestic cricket (Acheta domesticus) as food in the European Union (EU).
It is worth mentioning that it is the third insect authorized for consumption in the community market, after the approval received last year by the larvae of the flour beetle and the migratory locusts.
Cricket will be available frozen or dried, and also in powder form
Representatives of the European Commission announced that the Member States had already endorsed the authorization on December 8th, after a strict evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority, which concluded that the consumption of this insect is safe in uses presented by the requesting company. That way, products containing the new food will be properly labeled to point out any potential allergic reaction.
A nutritious and healthy food source
In recent years, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has concluded that insects are a nutritious and healthy food source that is high in fat, protein, vitamins, fiber and minerals. According to the agency, insects are a fundamental part of the daily diet of hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
The “Farm to Fork” Strategy
The European Commission is working through the “From Farm to Fork” strategy, with which it wants food production and consumption to be more sustainable and for this, there are insects.
In May 2021, dried yellow worms were also recognized as food, which means that they are authorized for sale in the European Union. In this regard, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) determined that, in light of the available scientific evidence, the new food does not pose a safety risk to human health.
The insect, consumed daily by millions of people, can be eaten whole as a snack or as an ingredient in various foods: in protein products, cookies or pasta. Likewise, it is also authorized for the production of animal protein, the so-called silkworms.
Costa Rica advanced with edible insects
Alejandro Ortega is a Costa Rican, Marketer, former fellow of the United States Department of State, with a focus on business communication and entrepreneurship, has always expressed that the option to manage the demand for proteins is the industrialization of edible insects.
He has a company in Costa Rica called Cric, which is in charge of all the processing of insects. Cric was selected by Forbes magazine as one of the 30 promises of Central America.
In the Netherlands, they started with an insect-based Bioplastic prototype, this aims to be a solution that will not generate any waste, that will have a highly sustainable, green production and that instead of generating waste, generates an input that can be used to feed other animals or even if it ends up in the sea, it does not create any problem, rather something totally organic, flexible material of high quality.
Also, they are focused on Europe to develop recipes, develop the entire commercial part and access manufacturing plants, germinated products, brand licensing and further capitalize on the FoodTech market, the most developed.
Will this be the future worldwide?
According to the United Nations, it is expected that by 2050, the population will grow to 9.6 billion, therefore, there is an expectation of a per capita demand for protein, which requires doubling the production of protein and food in a 60% of current levels, hence the issue of edible insects.