August 4, 2022

Anyone have a Beetle Burger? A French company authorized to cook with buffaloes

A French start-up specializing in using insects to make sustainable food has received the green light from the European Food Safety Agency to produce human food from leaf beetles.

The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has authorized the French company Ynsect to use the insect as a source of protein to create its food products, including hamburgers and energy bars.

This means that the buffalo beetle is the fourth beetle to be approved by EFSA and the second insect to receive approval from Ynsect. Last year, the start-up obtained approval for the mealworm.

The green light from EFSA means European Commission approval is expected in the coming months, paving the way for a large-scale sale in the EU.

Products using proteins from the sclera – bark beetle larvae, to be precise – can now be marketed in France, the DGCCRF having shown tolerance, pending a final opinion.

Pending the green light from Brussels, some European countries have been authorized to take “transitional measures” allowing the production and marketing of insect proteins. However, while this was allowed in the Netherlands, it was not in France.

This is how Ynsect has already been authorized to start producing insects for human consumption, since it acquired the Dutch company Protifarm in 2021.

The Buffalo beetle is already present in hamburgers, cereal bars and granola sold in Austria and Denmark. Protein levels are thought to be similar to those found in steak.

He also considered using it for other sustainable green food products, including dog food as well as human products.

Ynsect now wants to accelerate its production. Production at its Dutch site should increase to 20,000 tonnes per year, compared to 1,000 tonnes today.

His farm in Dole, in the Jura, will now be transformed into a human food production line when the construction of a giant farm in Amiens is completed.

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