SFA approves 16 species of insects for consumption in S’pore, including crickets & worms

Insects approved for importation into Singapore for consumption with immediate effect: SFA

Singaporeans have new food choices to tickle their palates as 16 species of insects have been approved for consumption in Singapore.

This was announced in a trade circular from the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) released on Monday (8 July).

Some of the insects now allowed are crickets, grasshoppers, locusts, mealworms and silkworms.

SFA allows certain species of insects to be imported into Singapore

The SFA circular said Singapore would allow the import of insects and insect products “with immediate effect”.

This will apply to species that “have been assessed to be of low regulatory concern”.

The products can be used for human consumption, or as animal feed for food-producing animals, SFA added.

List of approved species includes crickets, worms & moths

The full list of approved insect species includes a few varieties of crickets, worms, moths, and even the honey bee:

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 such as China and Malaysia.

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

SFA approval of insects was delayed till 2024

The move comes one year and nine months after SFA said it was seeking feedback from the food and animal feed industry in October 2022.

The public consultation exercise, which was from 5 Oct to 4 Dec 2022, received 53 responses.

In April last year, SFA confirmed that it would approve insects for consumption in the 2nd half of 2023.

While this timeline was delayed to 2024, the approval is finally here.

Many benefits to eating insects: FAO

SFA had previously 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.

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

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

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Featured image adapted from Singapore Food Agency.

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