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8 Feb, 2023 13:19

Italian bakery to make bread with insect powder

The ingredients will include processed crickets, the restaurant owner says
Italian bakery to make bread with insect powder

An Italian bakery plans to sell loaves of bread made with powder from processed crickets.

The news comes after the European Commission ruled last month that partially defatted and powdered house crickets (acheta domesticus) can be marketed and sold as ingredients in food in the EU. The powder is sometimes used as an additive to make the products richer with protein.

Enrico Murdocco, a chef who runs Tellia, a local restaurant chain in Turin, told Italian media on Monday that he experimented with a mixture of Sicilian grain during baking tests to “soften the flavor” of the insect power.

Newspaper Corriere della Sera quoted him as saying that he was especially happy with “the crust and the range of flavors.” He said the taste reminded him of hazelnut.

Murdocco expects EU regulators to allow a local farm, which imports cricket powder from Vietnam and sells it as animal food, to also make powder tailored for human consumption. “I want to put my bread in production at the beginning of March,” the chef explained. He added that due to the higher production costs and because the bread would be custom-made, the price would be around €18-20 ($19-22) per kilogram. “I am aware that it will be a niche product.”

Processed crickets are already used as ingredients in some EU countries. Falco, a company based in Alife, southern Italy sells crackers made with cricket powder. “You may be creeped out by the thought of eating insects, but cricket is actually the new health food that can be conveniently hidden in delicious products,” the company says on its website.