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6th September 2021  Author: newprotein staff writer

2021: A Year to Remember for the Insect Protein Sector (And With 4 Months Still Left)


2021 will be a year to remember for the insect industry. The recent approval by the European Commission of the use of insect proteins for poultry and pigs was just the latest in a long list of important milestones.

Let's do a quick recap of the year so far. 

13 January: the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) publishes its positive opinion on the safety of dried Tenebrio molitor larvae, commonly known as mealworm (consumed as a whole or in powder form), with just a warning for possible allergic reaction. The opinion comes three years after the application was submitted by French Company Agronurtis in early 2018.

13 April: the EU Member States vote for the authorisation of insect processed animal proteins (PAPs) in poultry and pig feed. This represents an important amendment to Regulation (EC) No 999/2001, which banned the use of animal proteins as feed for all types of farmed animals. An exception had already been granted in 2017, with the authorisation of insect proteins as feed in aquaculture.

3 May 2021: following EFSA's approval, the EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed approves a regulation draft for the authorization of mealworms as Novel Food.

25 May: the EFSA publishes its positive opinion on the safety of frozen and dried migratory locust for human consumption. The original application had been submitted by Fair Insects B.V. (a Protix company) in December 2018. It's the second confirmation for an insect species in 2021.

2 June: the novel food authorisation of mealworms as Novel Food is published in the Official Journal of the European Union of the European Commission. 

22 June: the novel food authorisation for mealworm as human food comes into force. It is finally and officially legal to commercialise food products containing dried Tenebrio molitor larvae in the EU.

22 June: the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) of the European Parliament supports the 13 April authorisation of PAPs as feed for poultry and pig. 

7 July: the EFSA confirms the safety of frozen, dried and ground house crickets (Acheta domesticus) for human consumption. This opinion comes about two and a half years after Fair Insects B.V. (a Protix company) submitted the application in December 2018.

7 July: the EFSA confirms the safety for frozen and freeze‐dried mealworms. This is an addition to the opinion published in January, which was limited to thermally dried yellow mealworms.

17 August: the European Commission approves the use of insect proteins as feed for poultry and pigs. The day after, the approval is published in the Official Journal of the European Union of the European Commission. 

This is the story so far, but more is likely to come quite soon: before the end of the year, we can reasonably expect the final approvals of migratory locusts, house crickets and frozen and freeze-dried mealworms as novel foods.

Interested in insect protein for food or feed? Check our suppliers' page for this category.


    

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Date Published: 6th September 2021

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