DENMARK – The International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF) has reaffirmed the need to establish EU food hygiene standards for the insect sector while fostering transparent communication along the food and feed chain, reports FoodIngredientsFirst.

During a workshop in Copenhagen, Germany, participants called for the need to focus on the main research gaps in order to broaden the regulatory options for using insects as food or feed at an EU level.

IPIFF and the Danish Insect Network (DIN) jointly organized a workshop which presented the IPIFF Guide on Good Hygiene Practices as a tool to support the implementation of EU food and feed safety legislation by insect producers.

Participants from across the EU and US, as well as Israel and Switzerland, explored possible avenues for fostering cooperation between operators throughout the food and feed chain.

“The European farming sector is looking for new protein sources to overcome the current protein deficit in the EU,” said Thor Gunnar Kofoed, Vice President of the Danish Agriculture & Food Council and Chair of the Copa-Cogeca Working Party.

“We do therefore welcome the emergence of the insect sector, as it can bring innovative and valuable solutions for the European livestock while providing an economically sound opportunity for farmers.”

The IPIFF Guide on Good Hygiene Practices seeks to support the insect sector in establishing risk management safety risks and foster transparent communication among feed chain partners.

This comes in the middle of research work analyzing potential use of new substrates such as former foodstuffs containing meat or fish, or other substrates, such as food losses from restaurants or catering firms.

To support its regulatory framework on insects as food, the EU is deliberating to include specific standards for insects as food in the EU food hygiene legislation (Regulation (EC) No 853/2004).

“The establishment of such EU hygiene requirements is crucial for our sector,” said Antoine Hubert, IPIFF President. 

“We need to facilitate the uniform application of the EU general legislation, while also ensuring that non-EU insect producers willing to place goods on the European market are subject to equivalent rules as those applied by European insect producers.”

The European Commission is also looking to specific rules for insect organic production destined to human consumption and/or for animal feed, something that IPIFF has welcomed.