Insects are alternative protein sources as nutritious novel food. However, there are some risks associated with the consumption of insects, even if rearing in controlled systems. Except for a recent EFSA opinion on the safety of insects as food, the European law is not conclusive regarding using insects as food products. Insects may be associated with microorganisms, but the prevalence of pathogens is usually lower than in case of other animal proteins. Insect proteins can induce allergic reactions, but only few studies are available on allergic reactions due to insect ingestion, and direct hypersensitivity to insect protein has not been proven. Some insect species are considered toxic, because some toxic substances are accumulated from toxic plants or are synthesized by the insects. However, there are few reports available about adverse reactions caused by insect consumption. Insects and insect derived food products may contain hazardous chemicals such as heavy metals, dioxins, mycotoxins, plant toxins, biocides, and veterinary drugs. However, data on hazardous chemicals in reared insects and accumulation of chemical contaminants from the substrates are limited. This review is not demonstrating the safety of insects as a food category, but the possibility of insects for human consumption with no more hazards than other animal products.
Authors:D. Bencsik, Gy. Gazsi, B. Urbányi, B. Szende, G. Rácz, A. Véha and Zs. Csenki
Modern food industry widely uses a variety of flavour and fragrance materials. One of the most used compound groups is the aldehydes. The benzaldehyde, also known as artificial almond oil, is one of the most commonly used flavouring in food industry nowadays. The effects of this compound on different species are well known, a lot of toxicological information can be found in the literature. 4-ethylbenzaldehyde is also a member of aldehyde group, the physical properties are similar to benzaldehyde and also has almond scent. Unlike benzaldehyde, it has no chemical safety assessment according to its chemical safety sheet, and only one experiment can be found on its effects on vertebrates. This compound can also be found at the group of flavours and fragrances. The aim of this study was to examine the subacute DNA and tissue damaging effects of EBA. The genotoxic effects of EBA in zebrafish were evaluated by using micronucleus assay. Significant increase in the micronucleus frequency had been described for all tested concentrations. Alterations were found in the liver of the fish group treated with 11 mg l–1 EBA for 21 days.
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Authors:Syed Musharraf, Muhammad Shoaib, Dileep Kumar and Muhammad Najam-ul-Haq
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Authors:Bugusu Nyamweru, Eliangiringa Kaale, Veronica Mugoyela and Mhina Chambuso
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Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Food and Drugs