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Officials in South Korea permit use of mealworms as ingredient in food
Monday, July 21, 2014 08:00 IST

Public food safety officials in South Korea, in a recent announcement, have permitted use of mealworms applicable to food ingredients.

The ministry of food and drug safety (MFDS) has said that it is now legally possible to use mealworms or Tenebrio molitor Linne, as food ingredients in the local market.

The edible insect, when “manufactured” going through the various manufacturing procedures including cleansing, sterilisation and freezing dryness, has nearly 80 per cent of protein and fat in its body, confirming its high value as a valuable food resource, according to Korea Bizwire.

In particular, The mealworm has a significantly higher ratio of Omega-3, adding to the fact that the worm may be healthier alternative in one’s food choice. Omega-3 rich diet may keep joints healthy, as per scientific research.

Mealworms were largely used as feed for fish or pet reptiles. So, not many consumers are tempted to try on the insect — no matter how the worm should be good for health. In this case, a processed powdered form might relieve one from the stress of ‘unfamiliar’ experience of eating the insect. The powdered form can be applied to making the insect as main ingredient of bread, cookies or noodles.

MFDS gathered all the analytic reports about the appropriateness of mealworms as food ingredients; any harmful effect and distinct feature of the worm when used in food; manufacturing process and general safety; and overseas examples and opinions of the civic and academic intuitions.

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