The first insect declared safe for human consumption at European level! Flour worm can be used for pasta and biscuits


The larvae of the flour beetle may be used as such or dried, as ingredients for curry or in the form of flour for the preparation of biscuits, pasta and bread.

Flour worm is safe for human consumption, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has decided. It is the first opinion given in the case of a ‘new food’ which is represented by an insect. The decision of the European body can thus open the doors to the sale of this type of product in all supermarkets in Europe.

However, those with different allergies to insects, such as shrimp or mites, will stay away from the new food… from the flour worm.

The dry yellow worm or “Tenebrio molitor larva” is safe for human consumption, EFSA reported wednesday in Parma, Italy, after a study on the insect. The Agency’s opinion could lead to approval at European Union level after the French company that grows flourworms, Micronutris, has applied for a permit for the production of insects for consumption.¬†.

New foods are seen as alternatives to high-carbon food sectors (as with the use of beef).

What are flour worms – the first EU-approved insect food

It is the flour beetle, with glossy, brown or black wings, popularly called “morar”, and scientifically “Tenebrio molitor”.

The larvae of the flour beetle may be used as such or dried, as ingredients for curry or in the form of flour for the preparation of biscuits, pasta and bread.

The main components of this insect are proteins, fats and fibres, providing for the future a potentially sustainable and low-carbon food source.

The opinion expressed by EFSA on Wednesday is only a first step in the process at which authorities will decide whether or not to approve the sale of snacks, protein bars, cookies and other foods containing insects among the ingredients.

So EFSA’s decision will boost businesses targeting insect breeding, which according to research firm Arcluster will grow tenfold to more than $ 4.1 billion globally by 2025. Insects are becoming a more sustainable source of protein thanks to their less environmental impact and high nutritional value, attracting funding from investment funds and the attention of food giants such as Cargill Inc. and Nestle SA, Bloomberg reports, according to Agerpres.

“It helps create a new source of protein for the whole world in a sustainable way. We are very happy with the nutritional value,” said Helene Ziv, risk manager at Cargill.

This is EFSA’s first assessment of insect risk as a new food, given that the Authority has 14 other requests in insect analysis, from crickets to provides. The approval issued for the flour worm offers marketing opportunities, argues Andrea Germini, team leader at EFSA.

Europe is a leader in insect-growing start-ups, having included insects on the list of sustainable foods. European authorities have allocated funds for research and production facilities, and the Community bloc already allows insects to be used to feed fish, dogs and cats.

Several EU Member States, including Finland, Belgium and the Netherlands, already allow the sale of insect-containing foods in shops. About 2,000 insect species are used in the diets of about two billion people worldwide, but many consumers in Europe will have to overcome that revulsion, the “ick factor,” as Niccolo Manzoni, director of the French firm Five Seasons Ventures, calls it.