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Safety of frozen and dried formulations from whole house crickets (Acheta domesticus) as a Novel food pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283

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Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Food and Food Allergens (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the safety of frozen and dried formulations from house crickets (Acheta domesticus) as a novel food pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. The NF is proposed in three formulations: (i) frozen, (ii) dried, (iii) ground. The main components of the NF are protein, fat and fibre (chitin) in the dried form of the NF, and water, protein, fat and fibre (chitin) in the frozen form of the NF. The Panel notes that the concentrations of contaminants in the NF depend on the occurrence levels of these substances in the insect feed. The Panel further notes that there are no safety concerns regarding the stability of the NF if the NF complies with the proposed specification limits during its entire shelf‐life. The NF has a high‐protein content, although the true protein levels in the NF are overestimated when using the nitrogen‐to‐protein conversion factor of 6.25, due to the presence of non‐protein nitrogen from chitin. The applicant proposed to use the NF in the form of a snack, and as a food ingredient in a number of food products. The target population proposed by the applicant is the general population. The Panel notes that, considering the composition of the NF and the proposed conditions of use, the consumption of the NF is not nutritionally disadvantageous. The Panel notes that no genotoxicity and no subchronic toxicity studies with the NF were provided by the applicant. Considering that no safety concerns arise from the history of use of A. domesticus or from the compositional data of the NF, the Panel identified no other safety concerns than allergenicity. The Panel considers that the consumption of the NF might trigger primary sensitisation to A. domesticus proteins and may cause allergic reactions in subjects allergic to crustaceans, mites and molluscs. Additionally, allergens from the feed may end up in the NF. The Panel concludes that the NF is safe under the proposed uses and use levels.