The use of insects as a source of protein in food is beginning to gather momentum. This trend will be given additional impetus in Europe in the coming months with EU legislation set to change.
The food industry produces around 100,000 new products every year. This year, however, some of the more interesting new products presented at the Anuga Food Trade Fair in Cologne were insect-based foods.
While the packaging looks normal, the contents of small fried balls in one pack are made from insects while the spicy exterior crust of the balls obscures the contents, explains Patrick Hersche, the export manager of Micarna. The company is actually one of the largest meat and sausage producers in Switzerland, but is now entering the new segment of food insects.
“Alternative protein sources will gain in importance in the future,” said Hersche.
While they will not be available in the German market immediately, current legislation prohibits insects as foodstuffs, whereas in Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK, insect-based foods are tolerated. In 2018, however, the ban in Germany could change. The European Union will revise its legislation in the coming months and experts see no reason why insects should not be allowed.
“They have been eaten in Asia for a long time,” Hersche underlined.
“There will be some people who are disgusted by the idea. But this is not the case with snails. And these have long been allowed as delicacies.”
The Snackbox offered by Micarna will come with two sauces, the taste of which will be stronger than the solids which remains comparatively salty without the sauces.
The fried balls are thereby reduced to the function of protein suppliers. Protein is, however, an extremely important issues for consumers with protein heavy diets becoming extremely popular.