January 22, 2022

Beyond Going Long

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EU approved, insects can appear on our plates

EU approved, insects can appear on our plates

So far, we know edible insects mainly from tasting booths, where, after a proper expert interpretation, the “most brave” decide to crush the crunchy and good-natured worm between their teeth. The market for this food commodity, which is already operating in our region, was supported by the European Union by withdrawing the first two applications for the inclusion of a certain type of insect in the list of approved foods. In June, mealworm larvae were dried.

Although the approval of European lawmakers alone does not mean anything revolutionary, the direction is clearly defined. A planet with a growing population needs more and more high-quality animal protein. At the same time, it is not only about feeding people living on poorer continents, but also striving for more sustainable agriculture and ensuring a healthy diet, including Europeans. While other emerging food alternatives, such as algae, microorganisms or artificial meat, face production limits, this is not the case with insects and this is a huge advantage.

Also green for the Slovak market

Responsibility for the introduction and safety of new types of foods in Slovakia rests with the Public Health Office of the Slovak Republic, which has provided us with current information. “Until November 22, 2021, two types of insects were allowed – dried ordinary turtle larvae [povolené vykonávacím nariadením Komisie (EÚ) z 1. júna 2021] And types of frozen, dried and crushed grasshoppers [povolené vykonávacím nariadením Komisie (EÚ) z 12. novembra 2021]. They have been authorized in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on new foods and may be placed on the market as new foods. Dried grasshopper larvae and frozen, dried and powdered grasshopper species may be placed on the EU market entirely or in powdered form, and may also be part of permitted food classes at well-defined maximum levels. Both types of insects have been licensed based on a scientific evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which concluded that dried and frozen pigeon larvae, dried and mealy plovers are safe for the suggested uses and amounts. At the moment, only the permitted insect species listed above can be presented on the market in the Slovak Republic, the use of which must be in accordance with the terms of use in accordance with the Federation’s New Food List. Nationally approved insect species will not be approved for consumption.” Dasha Rashkova, a spokeswoman for ÚVZ SR informed us. She added that ÚVZ SR had no information that any type of insect was used in Slovakia to prepare meals in public catering establishments.

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in food today

What do these signals from the European Union mean in practice? How can it affect business in this sector and enrich our food system? The owner of the largest insect farm in the Czech Republic, Ivan Babuchek, provides an interesting look at this topic for Life magazine. Its plant in Jaromice nad Rokytnou produces 5.5 to six tons of insects per month, 20 to 25 percent of which are supplied to the food industry, and this share is still increasing. The inclusion of two insect species in the European Union’s list of foods approved for their activity is not important.

“As primary producers, we do not make food or insect products, we only produce and supply them for processing in live form. From a layman’s perspective, it is like a pig farm and a slaughterhouse. We are pursuing an amendment to the veterinary law in effect since January last year, which allows us to keep Insects for further processing – either in animal feed or in food. A farm wishing to produce insects for food must be registered with the State Veterinary Administration and comply with certain obligations.” Explains Ivan Babushek.

You can find more pictures of edible insect in the gallery

One locust has passed and the other has not

From the point of view of processors, this is also not a turning point, since the possibility of producing insects for food has been in Europe since 2015. “We knew it simply at the time. This won’t end until a decision has been made on all requests to include insects in the list of approved foods sent to EU soil. Six years later, things are finally starting to move and so far three cases have been resolved. Plus To the approval of the application for the inclusion of heat-treated mealworm and food locust for a French and Dutch company respectively, the fire locust was rejected because the applicant did not submit all the documents.In the approved cases, this is the final opinion that allows this type of insect to process and place products on it like others. who comply with the general conditions, Adds Ivan Babushek.

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