Dutch Retailer Jumbo Launches Edible Insects

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31 Oct 2014 --- Jumbo is the first supermarket chain in the Netherlands that will offer edible insects in all its stores. Besides being healthy, a meal made from insects is also claimed to provide the ability to do something about global food shortages, according to the company.

The supermarket chain will soon reveal the range. Jumbo stores in Groningen and Haren will start selling products made from insects from next Friday, with a retail price of EUR5.95-6.79 per serving. Products available will be "buggy balls” (mealworms), “buggy citizens” (buffalo worms) and “buggy crisps” (waxworm larvae). "These crisps come in the flavors pepper and salt," said Jumbo.

For a long time, many Dutch consumers wanted nothing to do with edible insects, but now this perception is changing. "Many people have become very excited and find them delicious. The insect product must then have been well prepared," Wageningen professor of entomology Marcel Dicke reportedly stated.

He noted a recent online survey which found that 70 percent of respondents are "definitely" or "maybe" able to consumer edible insects. Some 30 percent said they definitely do not.

In Belgium, according to the professor since the beginning of this month, it is possible to buy products such as insects and insect spreads citizens in the supermarket. In the Netherlands, edible insects are only available at wholesale, delis or over the internet. The insects bred for consumption are locusts, mealworms and buffalo worms.

Earlier this month, the Belgian food producer Damhert Nutrition launched the Insecta range to Belgian supermarkets; a line of burgers, schnitzels and nuggets, all created using Dutch bred buffalo worms. The buffalo worms reared specifically for human consumption are applied as an alternative high protein, meat substitute.

Insects are rich in protein, healthy and environment friendly with a small ecological footprint in production for food. Insects need far less space to grow and also do not leave any waste behind.

The production process for the Insecta products is simple: first insects are dried in the freezer, and then they are ground into a homogeneous paste, and finally the necessary ingredients are added in order to optimize the taste.

Several restaurants have been experimenting with insects for some time. But there are still many people who are averse to eating insects. A change in the eating habits of consumers is necessary.

Damhert are planning to expand breeding sites in Belgium and also develop production with crickets, grasshoppers and mealworms. The Insecta line includes a 150g of vegetable burger with buffalo worms, in a plastic tray held in a cardboard sleeve. Damhert Nutrition Insecta Nuggets With Buffalo Worms are 160g packs of buffalo worms nuggets with salt and white pepper. The ingredients are listed as follows: water, ground buffalo worms (14%), vegetable oil (sunflower oil) (14%), wheat gluten (13%), wheat flour (13%), salt, white pepper, chicken egg protein in powder, inulin, wheat starch, potato fibers, starch (corn, wheat), emulsifier (guar gum), yeast, paprika powder, turmeric.

Both products are promoted as being high in protein.

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