Ophelie Artaud 5:00 p.m., January 30, 2023
A few days ago, the European Commission authorized the placing on the market of house cricket powder.
A news that has worried many Internet users, frightened at the idea that these insects can be found in everyday food.
But we shouldn't find it on our plates.
The announcement worried many Internet users on social networks: are we going to eat insect meal without our knowledge?
A few days ago, the European Commission gave the green light to the marketing of house cricket powder as food.
But can we find this kind of "flour" in everyday products without knowing it?
The European Commission actually accepted an application from the Vietnamese company Cricket One, dating from July 2019, which "concerned the use of partially defatted whole
(house cricket) powder" in different foods, including breads and multi-grain breads, dry biscuits, cereal bars, sauces, pizzas or even chocolate confectionery, can we read in the European Commission's 2023/5 implementing regulation.
Products that contain it will be "appropriately labelled"
A file that has been entrusted to the
European Food Safety Authority
(EFSA), whose role is to scientifically assess the potential danger of a food product in order to protect consumers.
After a year and a half of research, the authority validated that "the powder of partially defatted domestic crickets did not present any danger" and that it "meets the conditions for placing on the market".
It was therefore after these verifications that the European Commission approved the placing of this "flour" on the market.
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But don't worry, house cricket powder cannot be used in a food product without informing the consumer.
Indeed, EFSA has ruled that "foodstuffs containing partially defatted
powder should be appropriately labelled", as set out in Implementing Regulation 2023/5.
Indeed, this product could cause allergic reactions, especially for people who have an intolerance to crustaceans, molluscs or dust mites.
A niche market
But if the consumption of insects is widespread in certain countries of the world, in Europe, "very strong cultural brakes" persist, as Emmanuelle Ducros underlines in her column
Voyage en absurdie
on Europe 1. "For a product to be consumable by humans, it must be healthy, which is the case for authorized insects, and that it does not cause disgust. This taboo is the biggest handicap of insects as food", explains she.
If cricket powder is used then it will be a niche market.
Moreover, for the moment, only the company Cricket One has been authorized by the European Union to put it on sale.
It is also not the first time that the European Commission has given the green light to the consumption of insects: in July 2021, it authorized the sale of the mealworm, then in November 2021, of the migratory locust.
Until now, insect powder was only used for animal feed and in aquaculture.
It remains to be seen whether the French are ready to put it on their plates, which is (really) not sure.