Conference discusses insects as food

18 Apr 2016

Sponsored by the Royal Entomological Society, the “Insects as Food and Feed: The Way Forward” conference was held recently at the University of Nottingham, celebrating the official launch of Woven Network.

Conference discusses insects as food

Sponsored by the Royal Entomological Society, the “Insects as Food and Feed: The Way Forward” conference was held recently at the University of Nottingham, celebrating the official launch of Woven Network. The event consisted of presentations from academia and industry on some of the key hurdles facing the industry, a poster session, an insect-based lunch, and plenty of opportunity for networking.

In the context of the Food Standards Agency’s recent call for information about insects for human consumption and the forthcoming ruling by the European Food Safety Authority on the legal position of insects in food and feed, efforts to develop knowledge on the feasibility of the consumption of insects in the UK are increasingly important, the organisation said.

The barriers to the use of insects as food and feed are now relatively well-documented, it notes. Such challenges include lack of a specific legal framework, the likelihood of consumer scepticism, and a lack of systematic safety evidence, in addition to questions about how insect production could be sufficiently scaled-up to meet widespread demand and ensure affordable prices for both consumers and retailers.

The conference presented contributions that positively approach the challenges faced thus far by asking participants to present ideas and data about the solutions or ways forward to current problems. Contributions were presented from those working across the diverse areas related to insects as food and feed: the social and natural sciences, commercial organisations, those in legal or policy-oriented roles, and other related fields.

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