Edible insects on the EU market

Since the beginning of our Valusect project – which focuses on yellow mealworm, house cricket and migratory locust – the legislation around novel food and insects in particular has seen some encouraging developments.

In the European Union (EU), whole edible insects and their derived ingredients can be lawfully placed on the market based on the individual applications submitted by insect producers. Between 2021 and 2022, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued a series of opinions regarding insects that could be authorised as novel food:

  • 1st EFSA opinion (January 2021)[1]: led to the authorisation of dried yellow mealworm as a novel food
  • 2nd EFSA opinion (July 2021)[2]: led to the authorisation of dried and frozen migratory locust as a novel food
  • 3rd and 4th EFSA opinion (August 2021)[3] [4]: led to the authorisation of frozen and dried house crickets and yellow mealworm
  • 5th EFSA opinion (May 2022)[5]: recommends the authorization of partially defatted house cricket
  • 6th EFSA opinion (July 2022)[6]: recommends the authorisation of frozen and freeze-dried formulations of the lesser mealworm

Market authorisations are granted to individual producers following the submission of an application to the European Commission (EC), the safety evaluation of the novel food by the EFSA, and a favourable vote given by the EU Member States (MS)[7]. Therefore, with these two recent positive opinions, new authorisations are expected in the following months after the vote from the MS, allowing for the introduction of the lesser mealworm and defatted house cricket on the EU market as novel food!

Our food habits as European citizens are presently shifting in an exciting way and, as Valusect, it is our role to help strengthen the transnational cooperation and exploitation of research on insects as resources for the development of (semi) finished food products.


[1] https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/6343

[2] https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6667

[3] https://www.efsa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/2021-08/6778.pdf

[4] https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6779

[5] https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2022.7258

[6] https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2022.7325

[7] https://ipiff.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/FAQs-Insects-as-Novel-Foods-in-the-European-Union-13-01-final.pdf

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