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The relationship between food neophobia and hedonic ratings of novel foods may be mediated by emotional arousal
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy and Health, Material and Surface Design. Gothenburg University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9688-002X
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy and Health, Agriculture and Food.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2642-283x
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Bioeconomy and Health, Material and Surface Design. Linköping University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4730-6328
2023 (English)In: Food Quality and Preference, ISSN 0950-3293, E-ISSN 1873-6343, Vol. 109, article id 104931Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Seafood could support the transition away from terrestrial animal-source foods towards more sustainable protein sources. Food neophobia (FN), the reluctance to eat novel foods (which also extends to many familiar foods including seafood), is a known barrier to dietary change. This study investigates the relationship between FN and consumers’ acceptance of novel surimi-based products shaped to resemble pasta; and explores the role of emotional arousal experienced during tasting. Consumers (N = 211) completed the Food Neophobia Scale prior to the tasting session and were quasi-randomized to either the blind (N = 107; given no information about the content of the samples) or informed condition (N = 104; informed that the samples derived from fish), to ensure a similar FN distribution across groups. Respondents tasted three variants (pollock, cod, or salmon) of a surimi-based product at a central location in Sweden. Each sample was rated in terms of hedonics, experienced emotional arousal (from 1-relaxed to 7-anxious), overall perceived aroma and flavor intensity, and freely described for flavor character. Attitudes (positive/negative) towards the concept were also described by respondents with free text. In line with previous studies, results showed negative associations between FN and both hedonic ratings and purchase intention. Moreover, mediation analysis suggested that the relationship between FN and hedonic liking was indirectly explained by emotional arousal, implying that higher arousal may be mechanistic in describing how FN negatively impacts liking. The effect of FN was, however, not observed for the salmon sample which evoked higher levels of arousal overall and may have also been perceived as more familiar due to high salmon consumption in Sweden. These results support the arousal hypothesis of FN and contribute to further understanding the mechanisms underpinning FN, highlighting the relevance of incorporating emotional measurements in sensory evaluations. © 2023 The Author(s)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd , 2023. Vol. 109, article id 104931
Keywords [en]
Arousal, Consumer acceptance, Food neophobia, Liking, Novel foods, Seafood
National Category
Food Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-65719DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2023.104931Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85164496069OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-65719DiVA, id: diva2:1786485
Note

 Correspondence Address: E. Costa, RISE, Frans Perssons väg 6, 412-76, Sweden; email: elena.costa@ri.se; 

This work was supported by funding from FORMAS – Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences, and Spatial Planning, for the project BLUE FOOD - Centre for the seafood of the future (grant number 2020-02834).  

Available from: 2023-08-09 Created: 2023-08-09 Last updated: 2023-10-30Bibliographically approved

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Costa, ElenaNiimi, JunCollier, Elizabeth S

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