Next Article in Journal
DNA Metabarcoding as a Tool for Disentangling Food Webs in Agroecosystems
Previous Article in Journal
Life History Evaluation of Ooencyrtus lucidus, a Newly Described Egg Parasitoid of Bagrada hilaris
Open AccessArticle

From a Food Safety Prospective: The Role of Earthworms as Food and Feed in Assuring Food Security and in Valuing Food Waste

1
Department of Environmental Science and Policy, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy
2
Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety “Carlo Cantoni”, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 10, 20133 Milan, Italy
3
CREA Research Centre for Animal Production and Aquaculture, viale Piacenza 29, 26900 Lodi, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(5), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11050293
Received: 5 April 2020 / Revised: 29 April 2020 / Accepted: 6 May 2020 / Published: 11 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Edible Insects and Global Food Security)
The Sustainable Development Goals are a set of global goals that provide a framework for shared action. These goals also include the reduction of food waste and the definition of sustainable solutions to achieve food security. In this context, the aim of the study was to describe all phases of a pilot earthworm rearing project started in September 2017 and concluded in December 2017, together with a risk analysis carried out in order to evaluate if earthworms can represent a safe and sustainable protein source for human consumption and/or animal nutrition. The conversion rate, that in this study is more appropriately identified as the “waste reduction efficiency,” was also calculated in order to define the extent to which earthworm rearing can contribute to the objective of reducing fruit and vegetable waste (FVW). The results showed that earthworms can bio-convert 3750 kg of FVW in three months producing 1050 kg of compost and 82 kg of fresh earthworms with minimal environmental impact showing good waste reduction efficiency. Moreover, the risk analysis conducted on earthworm rearing highlighted a microbiological hazard after the freeze-drying phase. The critical control point was therefore identified, and, in order to guarantee the total food safety of the finished product, corrective action was taken consisting in the implementation of heat treatment—sterilization at 121 °C for 20 min. The results of microbiological analyses carried out on the earthworm meal after the sterilization treatment showed that the treatment guarantees microbiological safety for the consumer and ensures a balanced approach in relation to two main topics—public health and food-borne diseases. In conclusion, earthworm meal is a concentrate of valuable nutrients useful for human and animal nutrition and can also transform fruit and vegetable waste into a resource. View Full-Text
Keywords: food security; food consumption sustainability; innovative food; alternative sources of protein; food safety food security; food consumption sustainability; innovative food; alternative sources of protein; food safety
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Tedesco, D.E.A.; Castrica, M.; Tava, A.; Panseri, S.; Balzaretti, C.M. From a Food Safety Prospective: The Role of Earthworms as Food and Feed in Assuring Food Security and in Valuing Food Waste. Insects 2020, 11, 293.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop