1.1 Definition and Introduction
Edible insects are defined as all insects intended for human consumption. In France, the consumption of insects, also known as entomophagy, is regulated by the Novel Foods Regulation which came into force in January 2018 and states that insect food cannot be sold without authorization from the European Commission. Prior to this date, their consumption in France was prohibited.
There is a wide variety of edible insects (beetles, caterpillars, worms, grasshoppers etc.) and two main ways of consuming them: powdered or whole.
The world market for edible insects is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.7% between 2015 and 2025. Historically, the main consumer countries are South America, Asia and Africa. Recently, however, Europe and the United States have become interested in this new type of food. According to Insectes Comestibles, insects are consumed by 2.5 billion people worldwide.
In France, the consumption of insects is still in the beginning stages as the legislation is groping. However, many companies are entering the market, such as Micronutris which breeds insects and then sells them in the form of cereal bars, appetizers, crackers etc. France has thus become a pioneer in the breeding of insects for both human and animal consumption. Restaurants are also developing this trend by offering their customers insect-based dishes.
Human consumption of insects in France is expected to keep growing as it meets ecological imperatives while providing an extremely satisfactory quantity of protein.
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