Singapore has Approved 16 Insects species as food, Including Silkworms And Grasshoppers


Singapore’s state food agency has approved 16 species of edible insects for sale and consumption in the country, according to a July 8 public circular addressed to food traders.

“With immediate effect, SFA will allow the import of insects and insect products belonging to species that have been assessed to be of low regulatory concern,” the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said in its release.

SFA guidelines mandate that imported or locally farmed insects must adhere to strict food safety controls, ensuring they are not harvested from the wild. Insects that are not on SFA’s list of 16 will have to undergo an evaluation to ensure that the species are safe to consume, the agency said.

“These insects and insect products can be used for human consumption or as animal feed for food-producing animals.”

The SFA first conducted a public consultation on the regulation of insects and insect products in end-2022.

Like much of the world, eating insects in Singapore remains a novelty. Researchers have recorded more than 2,100 edible species of insects – many of which are packed with important vitamins and minerals and serve as a sustainable source of high protein in contrast to methane-producing livestock.

Grasshopper tacos are served as a popular delicacy in parts of Mexico.

Ants, crickets and even tarantulas are commonly eaten in other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Cambodia.

Live insects are commonly sold in Singapore as food for pets like songbirds and reptiles, but they could be a new and exciting option for human diners. Local chefs, restaurants and food and beverage companies have been experimenting with different ways to safely serve up insects in dishes like salted egg crabs with superworms and products like protein bars.

“As the insect industry is nascent and insects are a new food item here, SFA has developed an insect regulatory framework which puts in place guidelines for insects to be approved as food,” SFA said.

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