The International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF)the umbrella association of the European insect sector, welcomes the adoption by the College of European Union (EU) Commissioners of the Regulation that defines an EU level playing field for insect frass[1].

According to the IPIFF President, Ms Adriana Casillas, the adoption of this new legislation ‘paves the way for the first EU-wide insect frass standards[2]. This step follows the positive vote of the EU Member States’ delegates from  May 25th this year, who backed the draft of this Commission Implementing Regulation.

According to the text of this act, insect frass will have to be treated for one hour at 70°C, aligning the processing method with the norms applying to animal manure. The soon-to-be-implemented standards reflect the latest technical and scientific knowledge, guaranteeing the ‘safe application of insect frass on EU agricultural lands’, indicated Ms Chloé Phan van Phi, IPIFF Executive Committee in charge of circular economy. The use of frass on agricultural land completes the circularity of insect farming, reintroducing nutrients that are key for plant growth and development. Additionally, recent evidence highlights the benefits of frass on soil microbiota – improving the health of soil ecosystems.

In the long run, IPIFF Members see insect frass as one of the fertilising products that will contribute to two key objectives of the European CommissionOn the one hand, ‘our sector is committed to maximising its contribution to the Farm to Fork 25% organic agricultural land target – as the creation of this EU level-playing field for insect frass will allow its use in EU organic production across the continent[3]’. In addition, ‘frass will also contribute to improving soils’ capacity to store carbon – an aim aligned with the European Commissions’ soon-to-be-launched Carbon Farming Initiative’, complemented Ms Chloé Phan van Phi, IPIFF Executive Committee member in charge of circular economy.

We are also eager to continue working on strengthening the evidence around the benefits of insect frass on plant and soils by collaborating with agri-food stakeholders in the framework of regional and European projects, such as those under the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme’, added Mr Rui Nunes, IPIFF Executive Committee member in charge of research.

Note: As part of the same piece of legislation, the use of processed animal proteins (PAPs) derived from silkworm (Bombyx mori) will be authorised in feed for food-producing animals. Earlier in May, IPIFF’s Secretary-General, Mr Christophe Derrien, mentioned that the approval of ‘silkworm PAPs – a species already approved to be used in the feed of non-food producing animals – as part of the list of authorised insect species is a positive step’. PAPs derived from silkworm will be, therefore, authorised in aquaculture, poultry and pig feed once the above-mentioned act will enter into force.

[1] Commission Regulation  (EU) 2021/1925 of 5 November 2021 – amending certain Annexes to Regulation (EU) No 142/2011 as regards the requirements for placing on the market of certain insect products and the adaptation of a containment method.
[2] In line with the EU procedures, the text is expected to enter into force in the coming weeks.
[3] Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1165 of 15 July 2021 authorising certain products and substances for use in organic production and establishing their lists