Of the 6 successful insect Novel Food applications, Alphitobius diaperinus larvae, or lesser mealworm, are the first to gain EC authorization for use in food supplements. The larvae are also approved as ingredients in other foods such as baked goods, pasta, and meat alternatives.

Insects in food and supplements to be approved by EC

In June 2021, the first insect approval occurred for dried Tenebrio molitor larvae as a novel food, followed by the migratory locust in November 2021 and the house cricket in February 2022. Currently, 4 different insect species have novel food approval in various forms. Meanwhile, over 20 insect novel food applications await submission in the EU or risk assessment by EFSA.

Insect-based supplements represent an innovative alternative protein source. Predicting the future of these sustainable protein sources is challenging, as insects remain a niche food market in the EU. However, the multiple environmental benefits could lead to their increased popularity. Read the full article by HBW Insight, featuring a forward-looking appraisal of insects as a food source by Dr. Volker Schehlmann, a&r’s managing director.

The regulatory approval for Alphitobius diaperinus larvae in food supplements marks a significant milestone for the insect-based food industry. As more companies investigate this sustainable protein source, understanding regulatory requirements is crucial. a&r’s regulatory expertise can assist companies in navigating the novel food approval process and ensuring compliance with all relevant regulations.

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