Francesco Lollobrigida

Insect flour, green light in Italy: where it is found and how it will be used

No to cultured meat, yes to insect meal.
This is a contradiction that has been debated for days in Italy, ever since the four decrees of the Ministry of Agriculture regulating and marketing food products based on insect flour were published in the Official Journal on 29 December.
Needless to say, the news soon spread on the Internet, generating tensions within the Ministry, forcing Minister Francesco Lollobrigida to have to clarify the position and intervention of the Meloni Government.
If the authorization to market products with insect flour came from Europe, thus binding every country, Italy intervened by imposing "stringent rules", in reality already foreseen by European legislation.
Faced with such news, it is natural for people to wonder where and in which foods the presence of insect flour could soon be found.
It is therefore appropriate to clarify and understand how it will be used.
Here is everything you need to know about insect flour and the rules for using it.
read also Cheap supermarkets, the 2023 ranking of the most convenient Insect flour, green light in Italy: which insects and where can they be found? It is therefore official in Italy it will be possible to produce, see and purchase foods with flours with the four types of insects – in frozen, dried or powdered form – already authorized for human consumption in 2021 in Europe.
Specifically, the four approved types are: larvae of the lesser mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus); yellow mealworms (Tenebrio molitor); migratory locusts; house crickets (Acheta domesticus).
The European decision to open up to the sale of these foods is the result of the community regulation on novel foods, in force since January 2018, which recognizes four types of insects as novel foods and traditional products from third countries.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) explained that the flours of these insects can be used in foods such as: bread; cookies; bars; bakery products; pasta; pizzas; soups; drinks like beer read also Why does olive oil cost so much? Insect flour, how it will be used: the rules of the Ministry The provisions established by the four decrees wanted by the Minister of Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida, concern the conditions of use and the labeling of foods based on insect flours, although the regulations already Europeans require the indication of the ingredient both in the sales name, for example "biscuits with cricket flour", and in the list of ingredients with the specific name of the ingredient and its percentage.
National provisions have established that the following must be reported on the packages: the type of insect present; the quantities used (up to a maximum of 10%); the country of origin of the flour, currently three flours produced by three companies are authorized in Europe: a French, Dutch and Vietnamese information relating to risks linked to allergic reactions.
In fact, insect flour must be reported compulsorily because it is an allergen like crustaceans and molluscs.
In fact, the words already appear on the packaging: "people allergic to crustaceans, molluscs or dust mites may also be allergic to insects".
The only difference between Italian and European legislation is that the decrees establish that the products in question must be put on sale in separate compartments, indicated through specific signage.
A decision that is ambiguous, as it could constitute discrimination in sales or it could prove to be an excellent marketing strategy to attract the attention of the most curious to the new products, encouraging their consumption.
At the moment.
therefore, only one question remains unanswered: will the EU authorize sales in separate departments, with the risk of food discrimination? In fact, one could object that since flours are as authorized as vegetable flours, they should not be placed in different departments.
According to the experts who followed the process of the Italian flour decrees, Europe authorized them with a "silent consent", 90 days having passed since the Italian government's notification to Brussels.
Yet, the possibility that the European Union decides to reawaken and challenge this government decision should not be ruled out.
However, the fact remains that consumers will be thoroughly informed about the presence or absence of insect flour in foods and decide whether to purchase them or not.
read also Cultivated meat: how it is made, pros and cons and the reasons for the ban in Italy

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