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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Mealworm of the millers – beetle larva considered as food, approved by the EU Council

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The Council of the European Union has approved the addition of the mealworm larvae to the “novel food” catalog. This is the first insect in the ranking conducted by the European Commission.

Dried yellow worms may soon be available in stores whole or in powdered form, as an ingredient in pasta, cookies or organic cutlets.

Tuesday’s decision of the Council follows an evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Earlier this year, he recognized that the larvae were a rich source of protein, fat and fiber, and thus could serve as a “sustainable low carbon food source”.

The ecological “delicacy” is not recommended for everyone, however. It can cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to shrimp and mites.


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Beetle larvae with food

The mealworm of the millers is a beetle from the nigger family. Its larvae reach a size of up to 30 mm. The delicacy of the menu of the future is usually found in food products – for example, in unsanitary warehouses of grain and flour.

Beetle larvaeShutterstock

The term “novel food” in EU jargon refers to products that were not used on a large scale for human consumption in the EU before May 15, 1997. This can be, for example, newly developed or “innovative” food, or food produced with the use of new technologies and production processes.

Novel foods also include traditional food from third countries, i.e. consumed outside the European Union, which has not been placed on the EU market on a massive scale.

The catalog of “novel foods” is kept by the European Commission. The mealworm larva is the first insect in this comparison.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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