EFSA establishes the safety of an additional insect species as Novel Food
Alphitobius diaperinus larvae may soon be on our plates!
On July 4th, 2022, EFSA published a favorable Opinion on the safety of one more insect species as Novel Food: Alphitobius diaperinus (the lesser mealworm). The opinion concerns its larvae in four consumption forms: frozen, paste, powder, and dried.
The use of the Novel Food as an ingredient has been assessed in almost 30 food categories, including cereal bars, pasta, meat imitates, bakery products and food supplements. For each of them, maximum use levels have been proposed by the applicant for each of the four Novel Food forms (in terms of grams of novel ingredient per 100 grams of food). All applications refer to the general population, except the one referring to the food supplement category, which is limited to adults.
Although a history of safe consumption of the Novel Food could not be identified, the data provided allowed EFSA to conclude that the ingredient is not nutritionally disadvantageous and does not raise safety concerns; however, it is important to note that the Novel Food could induce sensitization to lesser mealworm proteins and could trigger allergic reactions in people allergic to crustaceans and dust mites.
Now that EFSA established that the ingredient is safe under the proposed conditions of use, it is up to the European Commission to consider whether to authorize its use.
There are currently three authorized species of edible insects in the EU, under different forms.
Orchidali helps you following international regulations on Novel Foods.