SFA Will Approve 16 Species Of Insects For Consumption In S’pore, Plus Silkworm Cocoons

SFA To Approve Certain Insects For Consumption In 2nd Half Of 2023

While the thought of eating insects may fill some people with revulsion, they’re actually said to be a good source of nutrients.

That’s possibly why the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) will approve 16 species of insects for human consumption here.

Source: Erwin on Pixabay

Also available will be silkworm cocoons, along with the silkworms themselves.

SFA held public consultation on move

From 5 Oct to 4 Dec 2022, SFA held a public consultation exercise on the regulation of insect products for human consumption here.

SFA Considering Allowing Insects For Human Consumption In S’pore, Seeks Public Feedback

They received 53 responses, reported The Straits Times (ST).

While some were sceptical, others were from industry players that expressed their concerns as they were planning to bring in insect products.

SFA will approve insects of 16 species in 2nd half of 2023

To that end, SFA has decided to approve 16 insect species for human consumption in the second half of 2023.

These include a few varieties of crickets, worms, moths, and even the honey bee.

Check out the full list here:

Source: SFA

SFA has noted that the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has promoted commercial farming of insects for human consumption and animal feed.

The FAO has said there are many benefits to eating insects.

This includes their high nutrient content, low feed requirement, and emission of fewer greenhouse gases.

Thus, it’s a way to feed the world’s population sustainably.

Silkworm cocoons will also be allowed

Note that silkworms, whose scientific name is Bombyx mori, are included in the list.

Besides the silkworm itself, their cocoons will also be allowed for human consumption, SFA said.

Source: David Clode on Unsplash

This is considering that they are being eaten in countries like China and Malaysia.

Silkworm cocoons are produced with silk threads, composed of proteins called sericin and fibroin.

Fibroin will also be permitted for consumption in Singapore as it has already been allowed in South Korea and Japan and is “generally recognised as safe” by the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).

Thanks to technological developments, silk threads can be turned into food and edible coatings, other than textiles, according to ST.

Approval needed to import black soldier fly larvae

However, SFA will draw the line at black soldier fly larvae.

Those interested in importing those into Singapore for human consumption will have to get approval from SFA under its novel foods framework, the agency said.

That’s because black soldier fly larvae are used in Singapore to process food waste, and there’s no known history of humans consuming it.

Imported & locally farmed insects must satisfy SFA conditions

SFA will approve insects for consumption subject to food safety requirements and conditions, according to the consultation document released in October.

For example, imported insects for human consumption will need to have health certificates proving that they were not harvested from the wild and that feeding substrates like manure and decomposing organic material were not used.

Source: cotxapi.com on Unsplash

Additional pre-licensing requirements for local insect farms include processes to kill pathogens before the insect products are deemed fit for human consumption.

All imported and farmed insects must be on the list of approved species.

Overcoming the ‘ick’ factor

As Singapore seeks to secure our food security, turning to insects is an interesting idea indeed.

After all, sustainable and cheap food production sounds like a good way to ensure Singaporeans will fill their stomachs for decades to come.

However, many of us will probably have to overcome the “ick” factor before letting bugs near our mouths.

Would you try eating any of these insects once they’ve been approved for consumption? Let us know in the comments.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from Erwin on Pixabay.

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