Regulation 2023/58, signed by Ursula von der Leyen on 5 January 2023, authorizes the placing on the market of frozen, paste, dried and powdered forms of larvae of Alphitobius diaperinus (little wrasse) as a novel food.
The European Commission (EC) has allowed beetle larvae to be added to food in the EU. This is made clear by COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2023/58 of 5 January 2023 authorizing the placing on the market of frozen, paste, dried and powdered forms of larvae of Alphitobius diaperinus (little wrasse) as a novel food . The Regulation is published in the Official Journal of the EU.
According to the document, on January 7, 2018, the company Ynsect NL B.V. (formerly known as Proti-Farm Holding NV) (‘the applicant’) has submitted an application to the Commission in accordance with the placing on the Union market of frozen, paste, dried and powdered forms of larvae of Alphitobius diaperinus (small borer) as new food. The applicant requested Alphitobius diaperinus larvae in frozen, paste (ground), dried and powdered (ground) forms to be used as a food ingredient in a number of food products for the general population and in powdered form in food supplements.
On 17 July 2018, the Commission requested the European Food Safety Authority to assess the frozen and freeze-dried forms of Alphitobius diaperinus larvae as a novel food.
In its scientific opinion, the European Food Safety Authority concluded that the frozen, paste, dried and powdered forms of Alphitobius diaperinus larvae are safe under the proposed conditions of use at the proposed levels of use. Therefore, the Authority’s opinion provides sufficient grounds to assume that, under the assessed conditions of use, the frozen, paste, dried and powdered forms of Alphitobius diaperinus larvae meet the conditions for placing them on the market.
In the said scientific opinion, the European Food Safety Authority also concluded, based on limited published evidence of insect-related food allergies, that consumption of the new food may cause primary sensitization and allergic reactions to mealybug proteins. The Authority recommended that further studies be carried out on the allergenicity of Alphitobius diaperinus larvae.
In response to the recommendation of the European Commission, it is currently investigating ways to carry out the necessary studies on the allergenicity of Alphitobius diaperinus larvae. Until the Authority evaluates the data obtained from the study, and given that, to date, the evidence directly linking the consumption of Alphitobius diaperinus larvae to cases of primary sensitization and allergies is inconclusive, the Commission considers that in the EU list of authorized novel foods should not include specific labeling requirements regarding the potential of Alphitobius diaperinus larvae to cause primary sensitization.
Dietary supplements containing the powdered form of Alphitobius diaperinus larvae should not be consumed by persons under 18 years of age and therefore a labeling requirement should be provided to inform consumers accordingly.
List of foods to which it is allowed to add frozen, paste, dried and powdered larvae of the small dark beetle:
Cereal Bars, Bread and Rolls, Breakfast Cereals, Oatmeal, Dry Baking Premixes, Dry Pasta-Based Products, Whey Powder, Soups, Cereal-Based Dishes, Pizza-Based Dishes, Noodles, Snacks, Chips , crackers and pretzels, peanut butter, salty sandwiches, meat products, milk and milk products analogues, chocolate confectionery, nutritional supplements.
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