The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has approved mealworms as safe food for human consumption, providing a huge boost for the burgeoning edible insect industry.
The decision was made based on the work done by a French IPIFF Food Task Force and its members. However, the favourable assessment will have to be confirmed by the European Commission’s Health Directorate General, which will give the final authorisation for market approval in the European Union.
The announcement has been hailed as a giant leap forward for the industry, paving the way for future approvals of ‘defatted insect protein consumption’.
“This breakthrough is a major achievement that rewards the work that has been done for years by the entire European insect industry gathered under the IPIFF umbrella,” said Antoine Hubert, CEO of Ynsect. “We hope that this positive assessment will be the first of many.”
The yellow mealworm is the first insect to receive a positive safety evaluation for human consumption in the world, which recognises it as premium product, uniquely ‘food grade’ compared to insects used only in animal feed.
Yellow mealworm is expected to be mass farmed across Europe in the near future.