Given their nutritional profile - rich in high-quality fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, they constitute a viable way to fight against malnutrition in southern countries.
Furthermore, insect production has a low environmental impact.
In 2019, the global edible insect market was 112 million dollars, and this agricultural sector is expected to experience significant growth in this decade.
The edible insect industry's main challenge is consistently producing large volumes of high biomass at competitive prices.
Technology can significantly improve production systems and product quality while reducing production costs, including feeding, watering, handling, hygiene, processing, packaging and storage.
The nutritional value and safety of edible insects depend on the species and the conditions in which they are raised and processed.
Currently, there is a lack of information on production using different substrates or diets, as well as the possible physical, biological and chemical related species consumption when used live as animal feed processed into flour.
In general, human and animal foods should be processed to avoid potential hazards resulting from raw materials during primary production, ensuring their safety.
The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points System allow for identifying, analysing, and controlling physical, chemical, and biological hazards during food processing.
Governments demand HACCP implementation in most food industries. However, according to the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed, some industries are just beginning to apply this system to companies that process and market insects.
According to the European Food Safety Authority EFSA, there is still guidance on selecting, implementing and validating the most effective approaches to control the hazards identified.
The development of legislation and regulations addressing hygiene during production and marketing will contribute to the future success of the insect production sector.
In 2015, the European Union adopted the EU regulation recognising and regulating insects as food for human consumption.
Separately, the European Food Safety Authority – which considers insects as a "novel food", whether dried whole or ground into flour – has recommended revision of the regulations and the authorization for the use of insects in farm animal feed.
In Latin America, breeding, processing and marketing for human and animal consumption are in their infancy.