|Thursday, November 26|
Identifying Australians barriers to accepting edible insects as an emerging protein source
* Indee Hopkins, School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University
Jessica Danaher, School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University
Asgar Farahnaky, School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University
Harsharn Gill, School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University
Lisa P. Newman, School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University
Increasing global populations and the limitations on finite resources will place greater pressure on an already strained food system and of particular concern is protein. Insects offer a nutritious and sustainable protein source, yet despite a rich history, Australians have been hesitant in adopting the practice. This study aimed to identify barriers and explore possible factors that may motivate Australians to accept edible insects as a new source of protein. Participants (n=601; 76.2% female, 23.8% male; aged 18-35 years 40.8%, 36-54 years 43.6%, >55 years 15.6%) completed an online survey investigating Australian consumers barriers to eating insects and what potential motivating factors may overcome these obstacles. Results indicated participants cited lack of opportunity (56.3%) and disgust (17.7%) as the main barriers to previously eating insects. The outcomes of this study indicate that by providing Australians with an increased opportunity and improved accessibility to insect-based products, it may be possible that a higher proportion of Australians would be accepting of eating insect-based products. Consumer focused food product and process innovation for developing new appealing food products containing insect ingredients is required as this may improve the palatability and acceptance of edible insects as a protein source.
Entomophagy and the law: challenges and opportunities of the regulatory framework in the EU and around the world
* Nicolas Carbonnelle, Bird & Bird LLP, Belgium
Human consumption of insects is commonplace in many parts of the world, but is relatively innovative and disruptive in others, including Europe and North America. The introduction of insects in the diet of the average consumer poses legal questions regarding the way insects and the ingredients derived from insects should be regulated. From production rules, including the definition of the substrates that can be used to grow insects intended for human consumption, to food information and safety, through hygiene rules, the insects production and supply chain is a completely new territory for most Western regulators. In the European Union, a detailed set of regulations has classified edible insects in the category of novel foods, which entails that insects intended for human consumption may not be placed on the market without being granted a marketing authorisation first. A thorough safety assessment, centralised at EU level, forms integral part of the approval process. Once approved by the European Commission, a product may be placed on all EU markets. This authorisation scheme is accompanied with a regulatory data protection regime that grants market exclusivity to the holders of authorisation under certain conditions, thereby structuring the emerging market of edible insects in the EU and impacting its organic growth. This presentation compares and puts into perspective the regulations applicable to edible insects around the world, to the purpose of devising what a global level playing field could look like for insect-based foods.
Clarifying Regulatory and Safety Landscape of Insects as Food and Feed in North America
Cheryl Preyer, NACIA, United States
Keith Driver, Enterra
* Gabe Mott, Aspire Food Group
As the association that brings together Industry Players with interests in North America, The North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture (NACIA) provides a high-level overview of its Strategic Plan. Highlighted is an update on efforts to provide a consolidated safety standard for North America. This document, developed in partnership with agencies in Canada and the United States, will provide clarity to the Insects as Food and Feed Industry throughout North America. While Insects produced as Food or Feed in North America must adhere to their home countries’ manufacturing safety requirements, the industry and regulators have been lacking comprehensive standards specific to the Insect Agriculture Industry. This resource closes the gap providing clear direction for industry members as well as regulatory bodies throughout North America.