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Consumers' perceptions of HPP and PEF food products

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to examine consumer attitudes towards apple juice produced by means of two new processing technologies, high-pressure processing (HPP) and pulsed electric field processing (PEF). Design/methodology/approach ‐ Means-end chain approach is used. Laddering interviews are conducted with consumers in Norway, Denmark, Hungary and Slovakia. Findings ‐ Consumers in this study did recognize and appreciate the benefits that HPP and PEF apple juice have to offer over a juice produced by pasteurization. The respondents in all four countries associated positive consequences with product attributes related to the nutritional value and the taste of the products produced by means of these novel technologies. Also the environmental benefits from processing foods by applying these technologies were seen as highly positive characteristics of the technologies. However, many respondents also expressed some scepticism, especially towards the PEF treated juice and were unsure about if there were risks associated with consuming products processed by this technology. Practical implications ‐ When new processing technologies are introduced, consumer acceptance is one of the key issues for their future success. It is up to food producers and food scientists to provide the evidence that will convince consumers that these new technologies are safe to use. Originality/value ‐ This research contributes to the limited knowledge on consumer attitudes towards food products produced by HPP and PEF. From a general perspective, the research expands the body of knowledge on consumer perception of food technologies.
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Keywords: Consumer attitudes; Denmark; Food manufacturing processes; Food technology; High-pressure processing; Hungary; New behavioural techniques; Norway; Pulsed electric field processing; Slovakia; Soft drinks

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-01-20

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