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EU: Green light for insect-based products

On May 4, 2021, the Member States of the European Union gave the green light to Agronutris for the marketing of insect-based products intended for human consumption. Therefore, Agronutris becomes the first European company to be authorized to sell insects on the European market.

This authorization follows the filing of a Novel Food application made by Agronutris at the start of 2018 and the favorable opinion of the EFSA1 obtained in January 2021, which concludes that Tenebrio Molitor, raised and produced according to the Agronutris process standards, is a safe food for human consumption.

This vote is the last step in the authorization process initiated by the company several years ago. The publication of this decision in the European Official Journal in a few weeks will mark its definitive entry into effect. The regulation grants the possibility of selling Tenebrio Molitor in its whole dehydrated form or in powder, incorporated up to a limit of 10%, in processed products. They can then take the form
of energy bars, cookies, ready meals or pasta preparations.

A breakthrough for the entire sector
"Agronutris is proud to be the first insect producer to have demonstrated the safety and nutritional value of its insects, and thus obtain regulatory authorization allowing it to market insects as ingredients throughout Europe," says Cédric Auriol, co-founder of Agronutris.

Since 2018, the new Novel Food2 regulation has harmonized the marketing authorizations for novel foods at European level, including insects. Always avant-garde, Agronutris applied for approval early on.
Today, it has been rewarded for the efforts made to obtain unprecedented scientific data on the breeding and processing of the mealworm.

In accordance with the data protection mechanism provided for in European legislation on Novel Foods, Agronutris, therefore, benefits from 5 years of exclusivity to market its products in Europe. "The green light given by the EU Member States represents a major milestone for our company, but also for the insect production sector as a whole," says Cédric Auriol, co-founder of Agronutris.

This authorization also benefits companies wishing to use the ingredients developed by Agronutris in the manufacture of their own products, thus facilitating the sale in Europe of foods made from dried Tenebrio Molitor. Other insect-producing companies must seek Agronutris' agreement for the use of its process in order to comply with the characteristics described in the regulations. Finally, obtaining such approval opens the way to wider marketing of edible insects in Europe, for all producers who wish to obtain their own authorization.

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