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Last update: May 2021

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Project supported by EFSA to estimate the overall health impact of a dietary substitution of red meat by insect proteins

Red meat is a major dietary source of several macro- and micro-nutrients but high consumption, especially of processed red meat, has been linked with a higher risk of chronic diseases’ development. The public’s interest towards the selection of foods that promote health, along with a growing interest in innovative products, have led to the emergence of choices  that can serve as alternatives to  red meat. Among these, various insect species are considered as potential environmentally sustainable protein sources, with promising applications.

The NovRBA project (Novel foods as red meat replacers – an insight using Risk Benefit Assessment methods) aims to estimate the overall health impact of a dietary substitution of red meat by novel protein sources, using insects as a case study, considering toxicological, microbiological and nutritional aspects under a common methodology. This joint initiative is expected to create the environment for the fit-for-purpose exchange and transfer of knowledge by introducing multichannel interactions among experts of different areas.

The project, launched in the beginning of 2019, is a collaboration among academic and research institutes of four European member states (NKUA-Greece/coordinator, INRA-France, DTU- Denmark, BfR-Germany), and is supported by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) [Grant number GP/EFSA/GP/EFSA/ENCO/2018/03-GA01].


Valorisation :

  • Ververis, E., G. Boue, M. Poulsen, S. M. Pires, A. Niforou, S. T. Thomsen, V. Tesson, M. Federighi and A. Naska 2022. A systematic review of the nutrient composition, microbiological and toxicological profile of Acheta domesticus (house cricket). Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 114.
  • Boue, G., E. Ververis, A. Niforou, M. Federighi, S. M. Pires, M. Poulsen, S. T. Thomsen and A. Naska 2022. Risk-Benefit assessment of foods: Development of a methodological framework for the harmonized selection of nutritional, microbiological, and toxicological components. Frontiers in Nutrition 9. https://10.3389/fnut.2022.951369
  • Kooh, P., E. Ververis, V. Tesson, G. Boué and M. Federighi 2019. Entomophagy and public health: A review of microbiological hazards. Health 11: 1272-1290.