KAMPALA – The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has launched the Edible Insects Standard, US 2146:2020 Edible Insects –Specification, in collaboration with Makerere University School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Systems Engineering (Food Science) with support from the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE).
The standard is aimed at promoting safe consumption of edible insects which are harvested, processed and traded on the Ugandan Market, in line with the UNBS mandate of developing, promoting and enforcing standards in protection of public health and safety, and the environment against dangerous and sub-standard products.
During the launch, the UNBS Executive Director, Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru urged all traders of edible insects to seek UNBS certification to ensure safety of their products for public consumption.
“The quality assurance measures involve analysis of unwanted biological and chemical substances which may contaminate the insects during the process of harvesting, processing, packaging or transportation.” Mr. Ebiru added.
The Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, thanked UNBS for partnering with the University to promote research in innovative products such as edible insects which require relevant standards to be in place in to facilitate commercialisation.
He further encouraged entrepreneurs to commercialize edible insects given their nutritional value and market opportunities both locally and internationally.
The standard, US 2146:2020 Edible Insects –Specification, specifies the requirements, sampling and test methods for edible insects which include Grasshoppers (Nsenene), White Ants, Termites, Crickets, among others.
Some of the standard requirements state that the edible insect, whether, whole or granulated or powder or paste and either fried or dried shall;
- Be free from adulterants, extraneous material and objectionable odour.
- Be free from infestation and contamination from pests.
- Comply with the maximum pesticide residue and veterinary residues limits established by CODEX Alimentarius commission for similar commodities.
- Not contain heavy metal contaminants in amounts which may represent a hazard to health
- Be hygienically produced, prepared and handled in accordance with the provisions of appropriate sections of US EAS 39
- Be packaged in food grade containers which will safeguard the hygienic, nutritional, and organoleptic qualities of the product, and more.
Mr. Ebiru encouraged the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) to consider promoting farming of Edible Insects in order to diversify the earning opportunities of farmers.
Besides the edible insects standard, UNBS also developed a standard for dried Insect products for compounding animal feeds, US 1712:2017 – Dried Insect Products for Compounding Animal Feeds –Specification, which guide farmers involved in Poultry and Fish Farming on how to use insects as alternative animal feed.
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) continues to implement its mandate of ensuring consumer protection and fair trade in Uganda.