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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2001 Aug;11(4 Suppl):24-31.

Measurements of consumer attitudes and their influence on food choice and acceptability (AIR-CAT).

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Norwegian Food Research Institute, Osloveien 1, N-1430 As, Norway.


A changing European food market demands insight into consumer attitudes and their influence on food choice and acceptability. This multidisciplinary area needs to bring together scientists from all regions of Europe and with very different scientific backgrounds. The primary objectives of this concerted action have been: to establish a base with state of the art methods for measurements of consumer attitudes; to review and test existing methods in practical applications in collaboration with European food industries; to perform comparative studies between laboratories on food products, where attitudes play different roles for consumer behaviour in the community countries, such as transgenic foods, irradiated foods, foods with different additives, declarations and process technologies, foods with different origin declarations, ecological foods and foods with strong health connotations (such as high-fat foods). The members of the action have published more than 130 publications related to aspects of how consumer attitudes can be measured and how food choice behaviour is related to acceptability, during the last four years. Studies have been conducted in relation to methodological aspects as well as particular studies related to specific food items and regions for food production. The paper will give a brief selection of relevant results from experiments reported through the action. During 2001 a textbook called "Food, People and Society, in a European Perspective", will be published. The book was initiated during the action and is later supported with additional authors. Altogether 29 chapters will cover the whole spectrum of topics from consumer food choice and acceptability to market perspectives and risk analysis.

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