Thursday, April 9, 2015

Insects, like any other food

ANSES: The consumption of insects is a common practice in some parts of the world (Africa, Asia, Latin America), where it may become part of the traditional food culture. FAO estimates that "insects complement the diets of about two billion people" in the world and is in favor of the development of insects breeding on a large scale to meet the growing concerns over food security and protein supply.
Like all foods, insects can carry certain risks that must be controlled by the setting of specific standards to reduce the potential risks associated with the consumption of these products.
These hazards are mainly related:

  •     to chemicals (poisons, anti-nutrients, veterinary drugs used in farming insects, pesticides or organic pollutants in the environment or insect feeding...).
  • physical agents (hard parts of the insect as dart, rostrum, etc.).
  • to common allergens to all arthropods (mites, crustaceans, molluscs, etc.).
  • to parasites, viruses, bacteria and their toxins or fungi.
  • to breeding and production conditions for which should be defined specific supervision to ensure the control of health risks.
Moreover, in general, like other foods of animal or plant origin, edible insects may become, following an unsuitable preservation, unfit for human consumption.