Cricket flour is used in several foods produced in the EU

Cricket flour, to be precise partially defatted meal of cricket Acheta domesticus will be found in many foods produced in the EU, from bread and biscuits to soups and meat dishes.

Cricket flour is a new product in Romanian shops, after the European Commission approved the marketing of a new insect-derived food, cricket flour. As far back as 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations proposed that insects should be the "food of the future". It looks like the future they've been talking about has arrived and insect consumption is becoming a European reality. Although for us Europeans, insect consumption is extremely low, two billion people in other parts of the world consume insects as food. Those who have visited Asia more Asia Express-style know that street food there means insects of all kinds.

Cricket flour new ingredient in food production

However, there are a number of discussions and "concerns" about it being an insect-derived product that we are not used to and which we are likely to find in many products from now on. That's because in early 2023, the European Commission authorised the placing on the EU market, for five years from 24 January 2023, of partially defatted cricket meal Acheta domesticusproduced by the Cricket One company in Vietnam. It can be used as an ingredient in the production of multigrain bread and buns, biscuits and breadsticks, cereal bars, dry pre-mixes for pastries, biscuits, filled and unfilled pasta products, sauces, processed potato products, legume and vegetable preparations, pizza, dough products, whey powder, meat substitutes, soups and concentrated soups or powders, cornmeal snacks, beer-like beverages, chocolate confectionery, nuts and oilseeds, snacks other than potato crisps and meat preparations.

Cricket flour has a potential allergen warning

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), in its scientific opinion, concluded, on the basis of limited published data and studies on insect-related food allergies in general, and based on evidence that Acheta domesticus contains several potentially allergenic proteins, consumption of this new food could trigger sensitisation to the proteins Acheta domesticus. EFSA also considered that the consumption of partially defatted Acheta domesticus (cricket meal) may cause allergic reactions in people allergic to shellfish, molluscs and mites.

Cricket flour - on product labels "partially defatted Acheta domesticus powder".

European Commission regulations clearly stipulate the obligation to mention the presence of insect powder as an ingredient in the content of products and the potentially allergenic nature. So from now on we will be able to find on product labels, a new ingredient "partially defatted Acheta domesticus powder" and a warning that this ingredient may cause allergic reactions in consumers with known allergies to shellfish, molluscs and shellfish products, as well as mites.

The new ingredient is the result of a series of successive treatments: a 24-hour fasting period for the insects to empty their digestive tract, freezing, washing, heat treatment, drying, oil extraction (mechanical extrusion) and grinding.

Cricket flour - the nutrient-rich alternative, a new protein powder?

Cricket flour is a new product, but it seems just as nutritious - full of vitamins, minerals, protein, fatty acids and prebiotic fibre as other coconut, almond flours we already eat.

Cricket flour is an excellent source of nutrition and contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein - with almost triple the amount found in beef and double that of chicken. In addition, cricket flour is also a rich source of calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin B12, B2 and essential fatty acids.

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