Given the increasing public interest in how ingredients are processed and the growing demand for organic food products, it is critical to understand consumers’ expectations about the process-related quality of organic products. Consumers perceive organic food to be nutritious, healthy, and either natural or less processed, as they are afraid of the loss of nutritional, organoleptic, and sensory properties of the food products. However, alternative food processing technologies might generate healthy and safe food options with nutritional quality properties. Simplified communication schemes might help to overcome this barrier for the consumer. The main objective of this study is to propose a working definition of “careful processing” for organic products and test its consistency through an experiment while being used to rate different processing methods by consumers. Results show that the proposed definition allows the consumer to consistently rate alternative processing technologies. Consumers tend to score alternative processing technologies such as pulsed electricfields and microwaves as less careful, supporting the idea that organic consumers want as little man-made interference in their food products as possible. Results show that a simple but effective definition of careful processing may help consumers to distinguish more organic food products from conventional ones, no matter which communication scheme is used.

Are They Careful Enough? Testing Consumers' Perception of Alternative Processing Technologies on the Quality of Organic Food

Busra Kilic
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Emilia Cubero Dudinskaya
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Migena Proi
Conceptualization
;
Simona Naspetti
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Raffaele Zanoli
Supervision
2021

Abstract

Given the increasing public interest in how ingredients are processed and the growing demand for organic food products, it is critical to understand consumers’ expectations about the process-related quality of organic products. Consumers perceive organic food to be nutritious, healthy, and either natural or less processed, as they are afraid of the loss of nutritional, organoleptic, and sensory properties of the food products. However, alternative food processing technologies might generate healthy and safe food options with nutritional quality properties. Simplified communication schemes might help to overcome this barrier for the consumer. The main objective of this study is to propose a working definition of “careful processing” for organic products and test its consistency through an experiment while being used to rate different processing methods by consumers. Results show that the proposed definition allows the consumer to consistently rate alternative processing technologies. Consumers tend to score alternative processing technologies such as pulsed electricfields and microwaves as less careful, supporting the idea that organic consumers want as little man-made interference in their food products as possible. Results show that a simple but effective definition of careful processing may help consumers to distinguish more organic food products from conventional ones, no matter which communication scheme is used.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11566/300344
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