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Abstract

The aim of the present study is to explore the association between food neophobia and chemosensory responsiveness and to determine whether this association translates into different food liking and preference patterns. Data were collected on 1225 respondents (61% females, age 20-60 years) as part of the Italian Taste project. Respondents completed the Food Neophobia Scale (FNS) as well as a food preference and familiarity questionnaire for a number of foods and beverages categorized as mild or strong tasting. Moreover, they evaluated attribute intensity and liking of an actual food (dark chocolate pudding) varying in the level of sweetness, bitterness and astringency. Taste function was evaluated by measuring fungiform papillae density (FPD), responsiveness to PROP (6-n- propylthiouracil) and to water solutions representing various oro-sensory qualities. High, medium and low neophobic subjects did not differ for FPD and chemosensory responsiveness. Reported liking was significantly lower for high neophobics than low neophobics only for those vegetables and beverages characterized by high levels of warning stimuli (i.e. bitterness, sourness, astringency and alcohol), whereas almost no differences were found for the bland versions of food items. High and medium neophobics rated astringency and, to a lesser extent, bitterness of the dark chocolate pudding, as more intense than low neophobics and liked the most bitter and astringent variants significantly less than low neophobics. Differences in liking, however, do not seem to be mediated by food neophobics’ superior taste functioning but rather by higher levels of arousal when eating food and/or drinking beverages that are perceived as potentially unpleasant and dangerous. Finally, the effect of food neophobia was evident not only for potentially unusual items in the Italian food context, but even for items that might be considered highly familiar.

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... Many studies have demonstrated that fruit and vegetables are less preferred and less consumed food group by fussy children (Cooke et al., 2003;Laureati et al., 2015;Poelman, Delahunty, & de Graaf, 2017;Russell & Worsley, 2008). The rejection appears to be mainly caused by bitter and sour taste associated with fruit and vegetables (Laureati et al., 2018). In an evolutionary perspective, avoidance of "warning sensations" identified in foods such as bitterness, sourness, pungency and astringency is part of natural adaptation process to prevent from the harmful and toxic intake but in modern society, it is rather considered as maladaptive behavior to deny healthy diet (Cooke et al., 2003;Laureati et al., 2018). ...
... The rejection appears to be mainly caused by bitter and sour taste associated with fruit and vegetables (Laureati et al., 2018). In an evolutionary perspective, avoidance of "warning sensations" identified in foods such as bitterness, sourness, pungency and astringency is part of natural adaptation process to prevent from the harmful and toxic intake but in modern society, it is rather considered as maladaptive behavior to deny healthy diet (Cooke et al., 2003;Laureati et al., 2018). A recent study in Italian adult population suggested that food avoidance may be underpinned by the psychological anxiousness stemmed from the perception of "warning sensations" irrespective of individual chemosensory responses (e.g. ...
... A recent study in Italian adult population suggested that food avoidance may be underpinned by the psychological anxiousness stemmed from the perception of "warning sensations" irrespective of individual chemosensory responses (e.g. PROP sensitivity) (Laureati et al., 2018). For children's food fussiness, then, it is possible that food neophobic behaviors are mediated by anxiety and temperament (Pliner, Eng, & Krishnan, 1995;Pliner & Hobden, 1992;Pliner, Pelchat, & Grabski, 1993). ...
Article
Children’s biological characteristics are a crucial element in understanding the mechanisms and pathways of their eating behaviors and development. However, the role of biological characteristics in food fussiness has not been systematically examined. The aim of this review was to search, collate and summarize the evidence on associations between food fussiness and biological characteristics in children’s fussy eating behaviors. A systematic review was performed with two main search concepts, food fussiness and biological characteristics in children, with 46 articles included. Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was used for quality assessment with the included articles ranging from medium-high to high quality. Food fussiness was associated with diverse biological characteristics including age, sex, temperament, heritability, birth weight, sensory sensitivity, eating rate, leptin level and chemosensory receptor genes. While the strength and direction of associations varied across studies, the most consistent evidence was for negative associations between fussiness and birth weight, eating rate, leptin level and inhibitory control and positive associations with sensory acuity, emotionality, negative affect and shyness. This review has highlighted that many biological characteristics are related to food fussiness, yet there is inadequate attention directed to understanding mechanisms and pathways linking the biological characteristics with food fussiness as well as advancing conceptualization and measurement of fussiness.
... Although FN is defined, and prima facie measured, as a response to food novelty, there is evidence that high scores on the FNS also reflect rejection of, or lower preference for, foods that vary along dimensions other than familiarity. Thus, although food novelty is an issue for both children and adults high in FN [11], those with higher FN also give lower liking ratings to, and are less likely to consume or even try, many familiar foods [2,6,9,[12][13][14][15][16][17]. They also show a reluctance to re-try foods that they have already tasted [15]. ...
... In addition to stimulus novelty, high arousal is also a function of complexity and intensity in sensory stimuli [23,28,29]. Thus, high FN is associated with reduced liking for, and choice of, foods that are intensely flavoured, e.g., those foods that are bitter, astringent or high in pungency [12,13]. This has been interpreted as due to higher arousal in response to inherent warning signals that foods may be dangerous to consume. ...
... The F&B items in the group where the negative regression coefficients between liking and FN were "very high"-and to a lesser extent the F&B items in the "high" groupimplicated all of the expected arousal-inducing categories of F&B characteristics: flavour intensity whether produced by chilli, other spices or flavours, foods from other cultures (even if familiar), and the novelty of a dish or its ingredients. This is consistent with some general categories of arousal elicitation-particularly, intensity and novelty-that have been previously described [12,13,23,28,29]. Many items within these overlapping categories of F&B characteristics may also elicit arousal due to their perceived complexity, although we have no way of estimating this from the present data. ...
Article
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The negative impact of food neophobia (FN) on food and beverage (F&B) liking extends beyond foods and beverages that are novel. In addition, F&Bs that are high in flavour intensity, perceived as dangerous, or have connections to other cultures are likely to elicit rejection by those high in FN. Each of these factors have been established as producing increased arousal, potentially to an unpleasant degree. The aim of this study was to explore the hypothesis that increased arousal underlies all causes of rejection due to FN. To do this, we analysed and interpreted existing data based on online surveys that measured FN and liking for a broad range of F&B names from 8906 adult consumers in the USA, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and Denmark. Negative associations between FN and liking of varying strengths were evident for 90% of the F&Bs. Consistent with the arousal hypothesis, F&Bs (a) with high flavour intensity, whether produced by chilli, other spices, or flavours, (b) from other cultures, (c) often perceived as dangerous, or (d) that were novel or had novel ingredients showed the strongest negative relationships between FN and liking. Conversely, F&Bs whose liking scores were only very weakly related to FN had low arousal characteristics: high familiarity, sweetness, mild flavours, strong connections to national food cultures, or some combination of these factors. Since this study was exploratory and conducted on existing data, there was no direct measure of arousal, but this is recommended for future, stronger tests of this arousal hypothesis.
... Using parent reported questionnaires, several studies have shown child food neophobia to be associated with higher levels of visual, tactile, smell and taste sensitivity [3,15,16]. A recent study on adults with different degrees of neophobia however, showed no difference in chemosensory responses between the groups [17]. In 10-year olds, tactile sensitivity and taste sensitivity have been associated with selective eating [15]. ...
... The finding that food neophobic children used fewer CATA terms than neophilic children to describe the samples is interesting and deserves further explanation. Literature based on large population studies in adults has shown that food neophobics perceive more intensely than neophilics "warning" sensations such as bitterness, astringency and pungency, which are signals of potentially toxic and/or unpleasant food [17,37]. This has been explained as a consequence of their increased alertness during food consumption possibly due to the higher anxiety state related to the meaning, rather than the intensity, of the sensory stimuli [17,37]. ...
... Literature based on large population studies in adults has shown that food neophobics perceive more intensely than neophilics "warning" sensations such as bitterness, astringency and pungency, which are signals of potentially toxic and/or unpleasant food [17,37]. This has been explained as a consequence of their increased alertness during food consumption possibly due to the higher anxiety state related to the meaning, rather than the intensity, of the sensory stimuli [17,37]. Similar conclusions have been put forward also in studies involving children [15,16]. ...
Article
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Food neophobia influences food choice in school-aged children. However, little is known about how children with different degrees of food neophobia perceive food and to what extent different sensory attributes drive their liking. This paper explores liking and sensory perception of fibre-rich biscuits in school-aged children (n = 509, age 9–12 years) with different degrees of food neophobia and from five different European countries (Finland, Italy, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom). Children tasted and rated their liking of eight commercial biscuits and performed a Check-All-That-Apply task to describe the samples and further completed a Food Neophobia Scale. Children with a higher degree of neophobia displayed a lower liking for all tasted biscuits (p < 0.001). Cross-cultural differences in liking also appeared (p < 0.001). A negative correlation was found between degree of neophobia and the number of CATA-terms used to describe the samples (r = −0.116, p = 0.009). Penalty analysis showed that degree of food neophobia also affected drivers of biscuit liking, where particularly appearance terms were drivers of disliking for neophobic children. Cross-cultural differences in drivers of liking and disliking were particularly salient for texture attributes. Further research should explore if optimizing appearance attributes could be a way to increase liking of fibre-rich foods in neophobic children.
... In addition to perceptual factors, there are also psychological factors that influence preferences and choices of healthy food, such as food neophobia, which is the reluctance to eat novel or unknown foods [34]. In particular, food neophobia has a negative impact on certain categories of foods, including fruits and vegetables [35,36], characterised by a high intensity of warning sensations, such as bitterness, sourness, astringency [37], and high-fibre products [38]. ...
... Food neophobia was measured using the food neophobia scale (FNS) [34], validated in Italian as described by Laureati et al. [37]. The questionnaire consists of 10 items, 5 related to neophilic and 5 related to neophobic attitudes. ...
... Since polyphenols are known to impart a bitter taste [50] and influence colour [51], it can be speculated that they may have influenced the colour and natural sweetness of the corn. In fact, bitter taste is considered a "warning sensation" that negatively influences food liking [29,37]. The fibre content of tartary buckwheat, besides contributing to the bitter taste, is also a possible cause of the darker colour [52], which can have a negative effect on liking. ...
Article
Tartary buckwheat is a pseudocereal receiving increasing attention as a minor crop interesting for agrobiodiversity conservation and sustainability. It is rich in bioactive substances which, however, may lead to sensory properties undesirable to the consumer, such as bitterness and astringency. The aim was to evaluate consumers' perception and overall liking of food products enriched with tartary or common buckwheat. A total of 120 consumers (56% women) aged 20-60 years (mean age ± SD: 38.8 ± 13.0 years) evaluated six samples of a corn-based gluten-free formulation enriched by increasing concentrations (20%, 30%, 40%) of either common (CB) or tartary buckwheat (TB) flour for overall liking and appropriateness of sensory properties. Results showed significant differences (p < 0.0001) in liking among samples. Considering all subjects, liking decreased with the increase of tartary buckwheat additions, although TB20 and TB30 samples were well accepted and comparable to all CB samples. TB40 was the least liked product. Two clusters of consumers showing opposite behaviours according to liking were found. One cluster (30%) showed an increased liking with the increasing amount of tartary buckwheat. These results show that by keeping the concentration of tartary buckwheat up to 30%, it is possible to develop new products accepted by consumers.
... This is a heritable personality trait, preserved during generations, that brings individuals to be extremely selective towards foods (Knaapila et al., 2007), particularly vegetables and fruits but also towards other common foods (Dovey, Staples, Gibson, & Halford, 2008;Jaeger et al., 2017). More recently, Laureati et al. (2018) showed neophobia-related differences in liking for foods, including vegetables, characterized by warning sensations such as bitterness and astringency, in a large sample. The lower liking of vegetables with a strong taste in individuals higher in neophobia could be in part due to their increased perception of strong and disliked oro-sensory characteristics, which often characterize vegetables . ...
... All items were strongly positively related to PC1, which accounted for the 47.79% of variability. These results are in line with the evidence reported from Laureati et al. (2018) with a larger sample of Italian adults (n = 1225), and a Cronbach α of 0.87. The overall mean reached in this study was lower (M = 24.27; ...
... Our results showed that individuals higher in neophobia like less all the vegetables when compared to individuals lower in neophobia. Similarly, previous studies highlighted that food neophobia was negatively associated with the choice of vegetables (De Toffoli et al., 2019), confirming other evidences that food neophobia in adults is associated with a reduced dietary variety, leading to lower acceptability and intake of this food category (Jaeger, Rasmussen, & Prescott, 2017;Laureati et al., 2018;Spinelli et al., 2018). Therefore, we would have expected to find higher interferences scores for neophobics while this was not the case. ...
Article
Understanding why many individuals dislike vegetables is relevant to develop effective strategies to change food behaviors promoting healthier choices. The influences of sensory properties in the development of food preferences are well known. Attention as well may play a role in this process. Indeed, attention enhances information processing of emotionally salient objects or events by selecting them from the environmental context in which they are embedded. This study was aimed at investigating the relationship between acceptability of vegetables, food neophobia and taste responsiveness (measured as responsiveness to 6-n- propylthiouracil-PROP) and the attentive responses to vegetables that differ in sensory properties. 120 adults (20-24 years old, 74.2% women) were recruited and characterized for Food Neophobia and PROP responsiveness. To assess the interferences between emotional and attentional processes a food version of the Emotional Stroop Task was used. Attentional bias was measured through reaction times (RTs) to word stimuli, which included 16 vegetables characterized by generally appealing (e.g. ‘sweetness’, ‘mildness’) or unappealing (e.g. ‘bitterness’, ‘astringency’) sensory properties, and 16 emotionally neutral objects presented as control. A clear association between vegetable liking scores and sensory properties was found in this study, confirming the categorization of appealing and unappealing vegetables. Furthermore, results showed significantly higher RTs for vegetables than for neutral objects, demonstrating that vegetables were more emotionally salient than objects. Furthermore, the interference scores, computed as the differences between average RTs to unappealing/appealing vegetable words and average RTs to neutral words, for vegetables with unappealing sensory properties were higher than those for vegetables characterized by appealing sensory properties, indicating a greater attentional bias for unappealing vegetables. A strong inverse correlation between liking scores and RTs (r=-0.83) was found. No effect of food neophobia and PROP status was found on interferences scores, while PROP supertasters showed higher RTs for vegetables in general. The study showed that attention is particularly grabbed by vegetables with unappealing sensory properties, thus indicating that attention play a role in vegetable acceptability.
... Another important psychological construct to be considered when exploring the acceptance of new food formulations is the trait of food neophobia, namely the reluctance to try or eat unfamiliar foods (Pliner & Hobden, 1992). High levels of food neophobia have been associated with reduced preference and intake for many food products belonging to different categories, including fruits and vegetables characterized by high intensities of warning sensations (e.g., bitterness, astringency, sourness, and pungency; Knaapila et al., 2011;Laureati et al., 2018;Törnwall et al., 2014). ...
... The questionnaire developed by Pliner and Hobden (1992) and validated in Italian by Laureati et al. (2018) was applied to investigate the reluctance to try and eat unfamiliar foods. Each of the 10 statement was evaluated using a 7-point Likert scale ranging from "I strongly disagree" (score 1) to "I strongly agree" (score 7). ...
... In particular, subjects preferring samples with higher phenol amounts (HIGH_AIL) perceived generally the overall flavor of the samples as less intense compared to the other group of subjects (LOW_AIL). These results confirm previous findings showing that the limited ability to perceive intensity of "warning" sensations (e.g., sourness) could translate in higher acceptance of food products characterized by specific sensory qualities (Cox et al., 2012;Laureati et al., 2018;Spinelli et al., 2018 (Proserpio, Pagliarini, Laureati, Frigerio, & Lavelli, 2019). Food neophobia is also widely reported to be negatively associated with dietary pattern rich in vegetables (Knaapila et al., 2011;Törnwall et al., 2014) and with food characterized by warning sensations, such as pungency and sourness Spinelli et al., 2018). ...
Article
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The use of phenol compounds obtained from unripe grapes as antioxidant sustainable food ingredients is challenging due to their specific sensory attributes, such as sourness and astringency. The aim was to evaluate sensory attributes perception and consumers' liking for beetroot purees added with phenols from unripe grapes. According to hedonic responses, consumer clusters were identified and characterized for eating behavioral attitudes. Three hundred two subjects (56% women, 18–60 years old) evaluated sweet, sour, astringency, and overall flavor intensity of and liking for four beetroot puree samples added with increasing phenols concentrations (0–1.93 g/kg). Results showed that liking decreased with increasing phenols. Interestingly, samples with highest phenols concentration, characterized by sourness, and astringency, were preferred by a segment of consumers (39% of the group). This group was characterized by a low food neophobia and tended to have high emotional eating scores compared to consumers preferring samples without or with the lowest amount of extract. These results suggest that the development of functional phenol-enriched products using winemaking by-products is challenging due to their sensory properties that negatively influence consumers' acceptance. However, with appropriate segmentation strategies it is possible to identify specific consumer targets who could appreciate these new functional foods. Practical Applications Unripe grapes can be used as a sustainable phenol source for the development of new highly antioxidant foods. Indeed, an addition till 1.9 g/kg, besides improving both the nutritional content of the food matrices, as well as promoting the reuse of winemaking by-products, could be considered feasible from a sensory point of view. Specifically, new sustainable plant-based food product, characterized by specific sensory attributes, could be target for specific groups of consumers to foster the transition to the consumption of food products developed using value-added and sustainable ingredients.
... Such a suggestion does not necessarily imply increased perceptual sensitivity, but rather a general heightened responsiveness to stimuli. Thus, although Laureati et al. (2018) showed that variations in FN may not be linked to increased chemosensory perceptual sensitivity (in terms of supra-threshold intensities), the hedonic responses of the participants that were high in FN to vegetables and drinks that were strongly flavored were significantly decreased relative to those lower in FN. Moreover, those high in FN also show increased reluctance to seek new sensations, as measured by the sensation-seeking scale (Alley & Potter, 2011;Pliner & Hobden, 1992;Pliner & Melo, 1997;Zuckerman, Kolin, Price, & Zoob, 1964), and it has been shown that similar personality variables related to openness to new stimuli and experiences (Thrill and Adventure Seeking, Experience Seeking), as well as General Neophobia, predict the likelihood of an adult trying a novel fruit (Dovey et al., 2012). ...
... Considerable recent research has examined responses to foods as a function of adult FN (Capiola & Raudenbush, 2012;Jaeger, Rasmussen, & Prescott, 2017;Jaeger, Roigard, Hunter, & Worch, 2021;Knaapila et al., 2014;Laureati et al., 2018;Siegrist, Hartmann, & Keller, 2013;Soucier, Doma, Farrell, Leith-Bailey, & Duncan, 2019), but has not considered if there are specific sensory qualities of foods that are more important in food rejections. We suggest that the concept of sensory sensitivity/responsiveness may help explain the origin of increased arousal in high FN adults as it appears to do in children, but that it may be more relevant to food-related sensory qualities. ...
... Bitterness is strongly related to food rejections, independent of FN, but it is quite possible that a strong link to increasing FN might have been evident. Bitterness, along with astringency and sourness, has been shown to be characteristic of those vegetables (e.g., rocket, radish, chicory), beverages (e.g., coffee, grapefruit juice, beer), and even desserts (e.g., dark chocolate) that are liked less by those high in FN (Laureati et al., 2018). ...
Article
Food neophobia (FN), typically defined in terms of rejection of unfamiliar foods but also associated with higher negative arousal in relation to food, has been established as an important personality variable in explaining food preferences and choices. Past research has examined responses to foods as a function of FN but not considered if there are specific sensory qualities of foods that are more important in food rejections. We propose that the concept of sensory sensitivity may help explain the origin of increased arousal in high FN adults, and conducted an online survey in Singapore with 1896 participants as a first step towards investigating this hypothesis. FN was measured using the FN scale (Pliner & Hobden, 1992), and additionally participants: (a) rated their agreement with a series of statements that reflected their attitudes towards food sensory qualities, and (b) completed The Foodie Index (Pickering & Pickering, 2022) to obtain measures of food involvement and enjoyment. The results reinforced earlier findings that FN is related to an overall lower level of enjoyment of foods, and further revealed that: (a) evaluation of food sensory qualities prior to, or during, eating or sensory reasons for rejecting a food were positively related to FN, and (b) increasing disengagement with foods in terms of knowledge, interest, time and money spent on food as FN increases. Collectively, the results underscore the centrality of FN in understanding consumers' food‐related experiences and behaviors by showing that FN is related to both sensitivity about specific sensory properties and low engagement with foods generally. Food and sensory profiling by consumers has been increasing in recent years. The present data will assist in interpretation of consumer studies in which FN and/or food interest/engagement has been measured, since both are found to be a strong source of variation in consumer data. In particular, both product engagement and level of FN have been shown elsewhere to impact how consumers allocate their attention to sensory tasks. This suggests that sources of variation in consumer responses, whether due to general or sensory‐specific responses to foods, are crucial in interpreting sensory profiling or preference data.
... Despite this, evidence of how FN may influence eating behaviors in adults, while growing e.g. [8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] , is still relatively limited. ...
... In adults, FN is likely to be associated to health-related issues such as higher body weight [14][15][16] and overall reduced dietary quality and variety 9,16 . Interestingly, the latter association seems to extend beyond rejection of novel foods to encompass items that might be considered commonly consumed 8,9 . This suggests that FN may have a more pervasive influence on food preferences and intake, which is not limited to unfamiliar food. ...
... This may be explained by the way neophobic individuals process sensory experiences as evidenced in several studies focusing on taste e.g. 8,14,15,19,20 while, quite surprisingly, much less is known about the sense of smell, i.e. olfaction. ...
Article
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Food neophobia, i.e., the aversion to novel foods, and olfaction are both factors strongly affecting food choices. Mounting evidence suggests a higher arousal towards food as a key factor underlying the reluctance to eat what is unfamiliar to us. As the role of olfaction behind this phenomenon is poorly understood, we explored the associations between food neophobia and trait anxiety, olfactory functions (odor threshold, discrimination and identification) and retronasal aroma release from a reference food in a healthy cohort of 83 adult volunteers. We grouped participants in Low-Neophobics or neophilics (n = 35), Medium-Neophobics (n = 32) and High-Neophobics (n = 16) according to the widely recognized Food Neophobia Scale. Participants with higher neophobic tendencies were found to have marginally higher trait anxiety levels than neophilics (p = 0.10). A lower global olfactory functioning and odor discrimination abilities characterized High-Neophobics, while Medium-Neophobics showed a higher odor sensitiveness than Low-Neophobics. Lastly, High-Neophobics showed a lower extent of retronasal aroma release, likely due to a shorter duration of oral processing and higher anxiety-related physiological responses (such as breathing rate). In summary, this study supports the assumption that the conflicting relationship that neophobics have with food may be led by higher levels of arousal toward foods, rather than different chemosensory functions.
... Food neophobia (FN) is a personality trait that has both genetic and environmental determinants and that is characterized by the avoidance of unfamiliar or novel foods (Cooke, 2018;Knaapila et al., 2011;Knaapila et al., 2007;Pliner & Hobden, 1992). Numerous studies have examined the influence of this trait on food preferences and behaviours, both for unfamiliar, ethnic and novel foods, as well as for more familiar foods (Asperin, Phillips, & Wolfe, 2011;Barrena & Sánchez, 2013;Chung et al., 2012;Falciglia, Couch, Gribble, Pabst, & Frank, 2000;Fenko, Backhaus, & van Hoof, 2015;Helland, Bere, Bjørnarå, & Øverby, 2017;Jaeger, Cardello, et al., 2017;Jaeger et al., 2018;King, Meiselman, & Henriques, 2008;Knaapila et al., 2017;Laureati et al., 2018;Losada-Lopez, Dopico, & Faína-Medín, 2021;Olabi et al., 2015;Proserpio et al., 2020;Roßbach, Foterek, Schmidt, Hilbig, & Alexy, 2016;Sandvik et al., 2021;Siegrist & Hartmann, 2020;Tan, van den Berg, & Stieger, 2016;Torri, Tuccillo, Bonelli, Piraino, & Leone, 2020;Tuorila, Andersson, Martikainen, & Salovaara, 1998;Tuorila & Hartmann, 2020;Tuorila et al., 2008;Tuorila, Lähteenmäki, Pohjalainen, & Lotti, 2001). The general finding from these studies is that the hedonic response (liking) to foods is lower among neophobic individuals, but the effect is dependent on product type and familiarity. ...
... Although FN is characterized primarily by a dislike of unfamiliar food, it also manifests itself in a lower liking for and a reluctance to consume many familiar foods (De Toffoli et al., 2019;Howard, Mallan, Byrne, Magarey, & Daniels, 2012;Hursti & Sjödén, 1997;Jaeger, Cardello, et al., 2017;Knaapila et al., 2011;Laureati et al., 2018;Siegrist, Hartmann, & Keller, 2013;Törnwall et al., 2014;Tuorila et al., 2001), especially those of animal origin (Cooke, Wardle, & Gibson, 2003;Pliner & Pelchat, 1991). In addition, many of the above studies have found lowered acceptance among neophobic individuals for a wide variety of foods and food categories, including meat, seafood, and a variety of familiar but intensely flavoured foods. ...
... It is important to note, too, that this relationship was observed across a wide range of tasted foods and food names that were used in the various studies, leading to the conclusion that the negative emotional response to foods by neophobics does not only apply to unfamiliar or novel foods, but can be found across a wide range of everyday foods. Indeed, food neophobia has always been associated with a relative dislike for unfamiliar vs. familiar foods (Pliner, 1994), and numerous studies have shown that neophobics also demonstrate a lowered liking / preference / consumption of familiar foods (Jaeger, Rasmussen, & Prescott, 2017;Laureati et al., 2015;Laureati et al., 2018;Olabi et al., 2015;Russell & Worsley, 2008;Tuorila et al., 2001). This is not to say that neophobic individuals would respond with negative emotional valence to all foods, but rather, that the relationship between FN and negative emotional valence is sufficiently robust to withstand associations calculated across a broad range of foods. ...
Article
In this study the valence × arousal circumplex-inspired emotion questionnaire (CEQ) was used to assess the valence and arousal components of emotions evoked in response to both tasted and written food and beverages. A total of 6 studies were conducted in the U.S and New Zealand with a total of 3657 consumers and 69 stimuli (both tasted and written) in both central location tests (CLT) and on-line studies. Individuals participating in the studies completed questionnaires to assess the personality traits of food neophobia (FN) and private body consciousness (PBC). Results of these studies showed FN to be associated with negative emotional valence and higher emotional arousal. Confirming previous studies, FN was found to be negatively associated with food liking ratings. PBC was found to be associated with higher emotional arousal. Considering the strong associations between FN, PBC and the two independent dimensions of core affect, i.e., valence and arousal, the present research confirms the need in future research to employ measures of food emotions that are sensitive to differences in these well established and critical dimensions. As shown in this research, the CEQ is both an efficient and comprehensive method to acquire such data, as well as one that is sensitive to individual differences among respondents in such personality traits as food neophobia and private body consciousness.
... At the beginning, demographic data, education level, monthly spending on food items and eating habits were collected. After food neophobia was measured using ten items (five positively and five negatively) rated on a 7-point scale from disagree to agree, developed by Pliner and Hobden [48] and validated in the Italian language by Laureati et al. [49]. ...
... The sum of the rate given to ten statements (reversing the neophilic items) provide the individual food neophobia scale (FNS) scores. FN levels both for non-informed and informed conditions, and the segmentation of respondents as low, medium and high, were determinate according to Laureati et al. [49]. Participants responded also to statements on the meaning of entomophagy and previous consumption of insects. ...
... In the informed condition, the FNS scores of quartiles were the following: the lowest quartile had an FNS score of ≤26 and the nephilic group an FNS mean score of 20.0; the medium FN group with an FNS score of 31.8 was within the second and third quartiles (26 < FNS score < 39); the high neophobic group with a FNS score of 44.4 was within the highest quartile (FNS score ≥ 39). Data determined in the non-informed condition were similar to those reported by Laureati et al. [49], with some minor differences. Laureati et al. [49] report the lowest FNS scores for the first three quartiles (low ≤ 18 < medium < 36 ≥ high) and the lowest FNS mean score for low and medium FN levels (14.2, 26.1, respectively). ...
Article
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While admitting that neophobia and sociocultural factors negatively affect consumers’ propensity to consume insect-based foods, other aspects related to food values that consumers attach to these foods could have an influence on consuming decision. In order to identify the motivations and determinants that influence the propensity to consume insects and then to explore the drivers behind consumers’ willingness to consume insect-based foods, the data collected through the questionnaire were processed. After a descriptive analysis of the data, ANOVA was performed. Moreover, Student’s t test and pairwise correlation indices were estimated in order to determine statistically significant correlation. Our findings show that information about edible insects brought about an increase in food neophobia and appearance affected the expected liking levels. In addition, we have shown that respondents’ propensity to consume insect-based foods also depends on consumers’ subjective beliefs about food values such as healthiness, naturalness and environmental impact. We also found that respondents’ beliefs about food values associated with insect-based foods do not depend on the degree of information provided but are probably due to pre-existing prejudices about them.
... Among several scales to measure FN (Damsbo-Svendsen et al., 2017), the one by Pliner and Hobden (1992;FNS) has been referred to as the 'gold standard' (Cooke, 2018). The 10 statements (rated on 7-pt Likert scales) have high internal consistency, and many authors report food liking and intake being predictably correlated with FN in children and adults (e.g., Barrena & Sánchez, 2013;Howard, Mallan, Byrne, Magarey, & Daniels, 2012;Jaeger et al., 2017;Koivisto-Hursti & Sjödén, 1997;Laureati et al., 2018;Mustonen, Oerlemans, & Tuorila, 2012;Proserpio et al., 2020;Spinelli et al., 2018). ...
... In published studies, the importance of Sensory Appeal is always high (e.g., Pollard, Steptoe, & Wardle, 1998;Lenneräs et al., 1997;Carrillo, Varela, Salvador, & Fiszman, 2011;Sun, 2008;Allès, 2017;Pearcey & Zhan, 2018), and is expected to remain so regardless of degree of food neophilia/neophobia. The fact that people with higher levels of FN enjoy foods and beverages less than their less neophobic counterparts (e.g., Siegrist et al., 2013;Jaeger et al., 2017;Spinelli et al., 2018;Laureati et al., 2018) does not mean that they will repeatedly consume foods and beverages they dislike. Generally speaking, food preferences, which drive food selection are determined by the desire to maximise pleasure (Rozin, 1990, p. 106), and dislike is a key determinant of food rejection (e.g., Rozin & Fallon, 1980;Wallen, 1943). ...
... The significant result for Study 2 with a decreasing importance of Sensory Appeal as FN increases could fit with findings that high FN individuals across a wide range of product categories tend to report lower ratings for food and beverage liking (e.g., Jaeger et al., 2017;Laureati et al., 2018;Spinelli et al., 2018). Although, if this explanation holds, it is unclear why a significant result was found one study only. ...
Article
Food Neophobia (FN) is a stable trait that measures individuals' propensity to avoid novel/unfamiliar foods. In this research, focus was directed to covariation between FN and food choice factors as measured using two variants of the food choice questionnaire (FCQ). To our knowledge, there are no previous studies which investigates these associations in detail, and in this regard the present research advances understanding of individual differences in FN and FCQ. Existing survey data were used, collected in the USA and Australia with ~1500 and ~750 consumers, respectively. Data from New Zealand came from studies conducted at central location test (CLT) facilities (Ñ400, Ñ1100). There were many consistencies in results across the four studies, and this was noteworthy considering that the data were obtained in 3 different countries across more than 10 years and with participants in CLT and online studies. The FCQ factor Familiarity always gained in importance with increasing FN. The FCQ factor Convenience also always gained in importance with increasing FN, in particular importance of simplicity in preparation and cooking. Conversely, the factors Health and Natural Content decreased in importance, as did factors linked to Environmental and Social Justice concerns. Price and Sensory Appeal remained very important for daily food choices among “neophobic” and “neophilic” consumers alike, and this mirrors past studies from diverse consumer populations. The importance of Mood was low regardless of FN status. Additional research is needed to confirm that these findings generalise to consumers in other countries, and assuming they do, this work contributes to the mounting evidence of the pervasive effects of FN on consumers’ food-related experiences and motivations. Determining why FN influences food choice motives is an important next step.
... Based on the calculated total score, subjects were split into two sub-groups representing low and high scores, using the median value as a cut-off. Participants with the median score were excluded from the dataset (30 subjects) [42]. ...
... On these reasonable hypotheses, the present results are in accordance with other studies that showed a strong relationship between food neophobia levels and food familiarity [22,42]. Those studies demonstrated that neophobic subjects like unfamiliar food significantly less than neophilic ones. ...
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The study aimed to investigate the role of sensitivity to flowability on food liking and choice, the relationship between sensitivity to flowability and food neophobia, and its role in food liking. Five chocolate creams were prepared with different levels of flowability, and rheological measurements were performed to characterise them. One hundred seventy-six subjects filled in the Food Neophobia Scale and a food choice questionnaire (FCq). The FCq was developed to evaluate preferences within a pair of food items similar in flavour but different in texture. Secondly, the subjects evaluated their liking for creams (labelled affective magnitude (LAM) scale) and the flowability intensity (generalised labelled magnitude (gLM) scale). The subjects were clustered into three groups of sensitivity and two groups of choice preference. The effect of individual flowability sensitivity on food choice was investigated. Finally, the subjects were clustered into two groups according to their food neophobia level. The sensitivity to flowability significantly affected the liking of chocolate creams and the solid food choice. The liking of chocolate creams was also affected by the individual level of neophobia (p = 0.01), which, in turn, was not correlated to flowability sensitivity. These results confirm that texture sensitivity and food neophobia affect what a person likes and drives what a person chooses to eat.
... Thus, it is possible to hypothesise that observed differences in responsiveness across clusters were mostly linked to the different sensory acuity rather than environmental factors. However, it is also possible that clusters differ in other variables as psychological traits or attitudes that have been found to influence both liking and perception and that were not examined here (De Toffoli et al., 2019;Laureati et al., 2018;Spinelli et al., 2018;Ullrich, Touger-Decker, O'sullivan-Maillet, & Tepper, 2004). For example, we might hypothesize that traits that were associated with a heightened perception of the Table 5 Cluster effects on nasal intensity and irritating ratings of three odorants and on the related odour Intensity Indices. ...
... For example, we might hypothesize that traits that were associated with a heightened perception of the Table 5 Cluster effects on nasal intensity and irritating ratings of three odorants and on the related odour Intensity Indices. pungency induced by capsaicin such as neophobia, sensitivity to disgust and to punishment characterize the hyperresponsive cluster or that the lower hedonic variation in hyporesponsive cluster is due to a lower impact of the critical sensory properties, in agreement with previous studies (De Toffoli et al., 2019;Laureati et al., 2018). In the current study, all considered sensory modalities were found to be positively correlated to each other in the population with low to modest values of correlation. ...
Article
Independent sensory modalities are related and showed covariations in prior literature. However, little is known on the relationship between oral sensations and nasal chemesthesis. This large-scale study aims (I.) to test the hypothesis that response to oral stimuli is related to responsiveness to odours with chemesthetic activity; and (II.) to explore the implications of these relationships on liking. Oral and olfactory responsiveness of 2205 Italians (18–65 years, men = 41%) were evaluated. Intensities of tastes, astringency and pungency were collected in water solutions and in four foods modulated for target sensations. Responses to bitterness of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) was measured. Odour intensity and irritation were assessed for three pure odorants (L-Menthol, trans-anethole, (+)-α-Terpineol) stimulating nasal chemesthesis (respectively: TRPM8, TRPA1, TRPA1). Liking for odours and foods was measured. Specific intensity indices were developed for each sensation. Three clusters were identified based on taste intensity responses (Cl1, Cl2, Cl3). Cl1 (38%) was the most responsive to tastes, astringency, pungency, PROP and odours’ intensity and irritation. This hyper-responsive cluster showed the highest hedonic variation (the span of liking ratings for stimuli with varied tastant concentrations). Cl2 (24%) was intermediate for oral responsiveness (apart for sourness) and Cl3 (38%) was the least responsive. Cl2 and Cl3 did not differ in odours’ responsiveness (neither for perceived intensity nor for irritation). All sensory modalities were correlated but cross-correlations were higher when stimulating the same peripherical areas (oral vs oral more correlated than oral vs nasal). Results corroborate the idea of an overall high ‘sensory responsiveness’ covering different sensory modalities. Practical implications of the study are that less responsive subjects might require greater modifications in products formulations to modify their liking.
... Psychological traits have been found to affect food behaviors and taste sensitivity. Neophobia, defined as the reluctance to consume unfamiliar foods, is associated with a lower preference for vegetables and lower diet variety [39,41]. In addition, neophobics perceive pungency and astringency in food products as more intense, and like the most pungent and astringent foods less than neophiliacs [41,42]. ...
... Neophobia, defined as the reluctance to consume unfamiliar foods, is associated with a lower preference for vegetables and lower diet variety [39,41]. In addition, neophobics perceive pungency and astringency in food products as more intense, and like the most pungent and astringent foods less than neophiliacs [41,42]. Individuals highly sensitive to visceral disgust (disgust related to rotten food, vermin and body fluids) find pungent foods more intense, and like and choose them less [42]. ...
Article
ALTERTASTE is a prospective study to evaluate changes in taste/flavor perception and food preferences in patients treated with adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast or colorectal cancer. The study adopts a longitudinal approach. Taste and odor responsiveness, food preferences and habits, emotions elicited by foods, and quality of life will be measured at six-time points: before chemotherapy (T0), after two cycles (T1, after around 1 month), after four cycles (T2, after around 2 months), after six cycles (T3, after around 4 months), at the end of chemotherapy (T4, after around 6 months) and 3 months after the conclusion of the therapy (T5). In addition, patients will be characterized for oral responsiveness and their psychological traits and attitudes toward food. The ALTERTASTE trial is expected to improve the understanding of the impact of chemotherapy on taste and smell and the repercussions of these alterations on food behaviors. Furthermore, the trial aims to develop an easy and reliable procedure to test smell, taste and food behavior alterations to allow a routine measure with patients. Clinical trial registration: NCT04495387 (ClinicalTrials.gov)
... The degree of acceptance of the use of insects as food for livestock feeding was assessed using a seven-point Likert scale (1 = definitely no; 7 = definitely yes). Food neophobic attitude was quantified using the Food Neophobia Scale (FNS) developed [29] and validated in Italian by Laureati et al. [30]. The FNS consists of ten items assessed with a 7-point agreement scale ranging from 1 = "totally disagree" to 7 = "totally agree". ...
... Participants' segmentation showed cluster "ready" being the largest. Results are in agreement with a previous Italian study, where the majority of respondents stated that they were ready to accept insects in animal feed [30,37]. Results indicate that the consumption intention of the "ready" cluster toward eggs from insect-fed hens can be supported by the indication of product origin, especially if perceived as local. ...
Article
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Demand for eggs from laying hens is increasing as the world population continues to grow. The use of insects as animal feed is a strategic opportunity to find a new innovative, economic and sustainable source of protein. The aim of this study was to evaluate the Italian consumer inclination for eggs produced with the use of insect-fed hens. The investigation on consumers’ readiness to adopt eggs from insect-fed hens was carried out through an online survey conducted on 510 participants. Survey results outlined four different clusters on the basis of the willingness to buy/eat eggs fed with insects: “ready” (40.1%), “environmentalist” (24.3%), “cautious” (21.7%), and “reluctant” (13.9%). “Ready”, “environmentalist”, and “cautious” were quite favorable to the use of insects as feed stuffs and share drivers for product choice: cheap, organic, and with an explicit indication of use of insects. On the other hand, for the “reluctant”, the diet based on insects was the main negative factor influencing product acceptance. This cluster also showed the highest level of neophobia. Italian consumers showed a considerable level of readiness to accept insects as feed material for egg production, which should be reinforced with further information on the origin and the environmental benefit of using insects.
... This may explain the relationship that has been found between responsiveness to PROP and food preferences, intake, and BMI, even if the results are mixed [39,44]. An inverse relationship between PROP responsiveness and BMI was found in several studies both in the general population [45][46][47] and in obese individuals [48], but other studies reported no relationship [49,50]. These mixed results may be explained by the many variables that influence the relationship between PROP taste sensitivity and BMI, such as genetic factors, ethnicity, oestrogenic phase, variations in the endocannabinoid system, age, sex, and cognitive factors [44]. ...
Article
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Obesity is a multifactorial disease with several potential causes that remain incompletely understood. Recent changes in the environment, which has become increasingly obesogenic, have been found to interact with individual factors. Evidence of the role of taste responsiveness and food preference in obesity has been reported, pointing to a lower taste sensitivity and a higher preference and intake of fat and, to a lesser extent, sweet foods in obese people. Studies in the last decades have also suggested that individual differences in the neurophysiology of food reward may lead to overeating, contributing to obesity. However, further studies are needed to confirm these findings. In fact, only a limited number of studies has been conducted on large samples, and several studies were conducted only on women. Larger balanced studies in terms of sex/gender and age are required in order to control the confounding effect of these variables. As many factors are intertwined in obesity, a multidisciplinary approach is needed. This will allow a better understanding of taste alteration and food behaviours in obese people in order to design more effective strategies to promote healthier eating and to prevent obesity and the related chronic disease risks.
... With regard to the influence of FN on food and beverage (F&B) preferences and choice, evidence is mounting that the effects are not limited to ethnic and novel foods (e.g., Roßbach, Foterek, Schmidt, Hilbig, & Alexy, 2016;Fenko, Leufkens, & van Hoof, 2015;Tuorila, Lähteenmäki, Pohjalainen, & Lotti, 2001), but prevalent across many product classes and extend to familiar foods (Jaeger, Roigard, Le Blond, Hedderley, & Giacalone, 2019;Jaeger, Rasmussen, & Prescott, 2017;Laureati et al., 2018;Spinelli et al., 2018). In general, hedonic responses are lower among neophobic than neophilic individuals (e.g., Olabi et al., 2015), but the effect is product dependent, meaning that a significant interaction exists between degree of FN and product class (e.g., Barrena & Sánchez, 2013;Chung et al., 2012;Helland, Bere, Bjørnarå, & Øverby, 2017;Tuorila et al., 2008). ...
Article
The negative impact of food neophobia (FN) on food and beverage (F&B) liking/disliking is well documented. Against this backdrop, the present research sought to raise awareness of data analysis strategy in FN research. Extreme groups analysis currently dominates as evidenced from the many studies that compare groups of neophobic and neophilic consumers. However, when a variable, like FN, is naturally continuous, full-data analysis has been recommended. We present both approaches using data from online surveys in three Western countries where consumers rated degree of liking/disliking for F&B names (USA, UK and Australia, n = 3454). The first objective was to explore how results from extreme groups analysis were influenced by group extremity (more/less neophobic vs. more/less neophilic). In the case of seafood and ethnic food items, the average difference in liking score between neophobic and neophilic groups ranged from 2 to 4.5 points on the 9-pt hedonic scale depending on FN group definition (less extreme vs. more extreme). To acknowledge this influence contextualisation of degree of FN group extremity is encouraged. For example, FN groups defined by M±0.5×SD and M±1.5×SD should be differently named to convey greater FN extremity in the latter. In the second objective, full-data analysis was performed, treating FN as a continuous variable. Additional knowledge about the impact of FN on F&B liking/disliking beyond that from extreme groups analysis was gained. Linearity in the relationship between FN and degree of F&B liking/disliking was generally demonstrated. Moderating factors were included in additional analyses and illustrated the possibility of accounting for participants’ country of living or differences between consumer populations in overall level of FN (central location vs. online). We suggest that it may be time to rely less on extreme groups analysis in FN research, and if used that adequate justification be given and care taken to describe the FN groups to facilitate more robust interpretations and between-study comparisons. The insights and recommendations have relevance for other continuous psychological traits relating to food liking food-related consumer behaviour in general.
... Food neophobia describes the reluctance to eat and try new and unfamiliar products. The scale, developed by Pliner and Hobden [57] validated in Italian by Laureati et al. [73], contains 10 items, each evaluated on a 7-point Likert scale (range: 1 = disagree strongly; 7 = agree strongly). The final score for FNS was represented by the sum of ratings (ranging from 10 to 70), after reverse scoring when appropriate. ...
Article
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The consumption of phenol-rich foods is limited by their prominent bitterness and astringency. This issue has been addressed by adding sweet tastes, which suppress bitterness, but this is not a complete solution since individuals also differ in their preference for sweetness. In this study, we aimed at identifying groups of consumers differing in sweetness optima and sensory-liking patterns. To this end, increasing concentrations of sucrose were added to a chocolate pudding base. This allowed us to (1) investigate if individual differences in sensory responses are associated with different sweet liking optima in a product context, (2) define the psychological and oro-sensory profile of sweet liker phenotypes derived using a product context, and (3) assess if individuals differing in sweet liking optima differ also in consumption and liking of phenol-rich foods and beverages as a function of their sensory properties (e.g., sweeter vs. more bitter and astringent products). Individuals (1208; 58.4% women, 18–69 years) were characterised for demographics, responsiveness to 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP), personality traits and attitudes toward foods. Three clusters were identified based on correlations between sensory responses (sweetness, bitterness and astringency) and liking of the samples: liking was positively related to sweetness and negatively to bitterness and astringency in High and Moderate Sweet Likers, and the opposite in Inverted U-Shaped. Differences between clusters were found in age, gender and personality. Furthermore, the Inverted-U Shaped cluster was found to have overall healthier food behaviours and preferences, with higher liking and consumption of phenol-rich vegetables and beverages without added sugar. These findings point out the importance of identifying the individual sensory-liking patterns in order to develop more effective strategies to promote the acceptability of healthy phenol-rich foods.
... In a study on a small sample of obese individuals enrolled on a weight reduction program, Monneuse et al. (2008) found that greater taste acuity made it more difficult to overcome FN and accept healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables. In a later study conducted on a sample of 1225 respondents, Laureati et al., (2018) found that differences in food liking in neophobics were not mediated by superior taste functioning. Nevertheless, agreement exists on the higher tolerance of neophilics to more intense flavors. ...
Article
We aimed to evaluate the changes in eating behaviours of the adult population across 16 European countries due to the COVID-19 confinement and to evaluate whether these changes were somehow related to the severity of the containment measures applied in each country. An anonymous online self-reported questionnaire on socio-demographic characteristics, validated 14-items Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) Adherence Screener (MEDAS) as a reference of a healthy diet, eating and lifestyle behaviours prior to and during the COVID-19 confinement was used to collect data. The study included an adult population residing in 16 European countries at the time of the survey. Aggregated Stringency Index (SI) score, based on data from the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, was calculated for each country at the time the questionnaire was distributed (range: 0-100). A total of 36,185 participants completed the questionnaire (77.6% female, 75.2% with high educational level and 42.7% aged between 21 and 35 years). In comparison to pre-confinement, a significantly higher adherence to the MedDiet during the confinement was observed across all countries (overall MEDAS score prior to- and during confinement: 5.23±2.06 vs. 6.15±2.06; p<0.001), with the largest increase seen in Greece and North Macedonia. The highest adherence to MedDiet during confinement was found in Spain and Portugal (7.18±1.84 and 7.34±1.95, respectively). Stricter contingency restrictions seemed to lead to a significantly higher increase in the adherence to the MedDiet. The findings from this cross-sectional study could be used to inform current diet-related public health guidelines to ensure optimal nutrition is followed among the population, which in turn would help to alleviate the current public health crisis.
... The LAM scale has been used as an efficient method for evaluation of food likes and dislikes. Many published studies are found in the literature, for example, consumer liking for orange juice (Forde & Delahunty, 2004) and tea (Chung & Vickers, 2007), emotional responses to 12 comfort foods (Cardello et al., 2012), sweet taste perception (Keskitalo et al., 2007;Tuorila, Keskitalo-Vuokko, Perola, Spector, & Kaprio, 2017), preference for salt in a food (Bobowski, Rendahl, & Vickers, 2015) and people's liking for chocolate pudding (Laureati et al., 2018). ...
Article
Affective design is the inclusion or representation of human emotions and subjective impressions in product design processes. In affective design, a number of different scales are commonly used to reveal and measure subjective emotions related to the design features of products. Osgood's Semantic Differential Scale (SDS) is one of the scales that has often been used for this purpose. However, there are some drawbacks in the SDS due to the ordinal nature of the scale that leads to losses or distortions of a significant amount of information and this makes it difficult to justify parametric statistical analysis. In this study, two scales, namely a Labeled Affective Magnitude (LAM) scale and a Fuzzy Linguistic scale, are developed. The LAM scale is an alternative scale based on magnitude estimation and has ratio properties. The Fuzzy Linguistic scale is an interval scale for which responses are linguistic descriptors that are identified with fuzzy numbers or intervals. The scales were developed for tactile feelings because they are an important factor in product evaluation. Statistical analysis was conducted to compare the scales. There was no significant difference between the newly constructed fuzzy scale and 11 point SDS, whereas there was a significant difference between the newly constructed LAM scale and 11 point SDS.
... Adults completed the CFTPQ as described for the children but without answering the question on familiarity, as it was supposed that all the food items would be well-known by the adults [6]. Food neophobia was measured using the Food Neophobia Scale (FNS) [35], validated in Italian as described by Laureati et al. [38]. The FNS consists of ten statements, of which five are positively, and the other five negatively, worded, each measured on a 7-point scale ranging from 1 = "strongly disagree" to 7 = "strongly agree". ...
Article
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Few methodological approaches have been developed to measure lingual tactile sensitivity, and little information exists about the comparison between children and adults. The aims of the study were to: verify the cognitive and perceptive suitability of Von Frey filaments and a gratings orientation test in children of different ages; compare lingual tactile sensitivity between children and adults; investigate the relationships between lingual tactile sensitivity, preference and consumption of foods with different textures and level of food neophobia. One hundred and forty-seven children aged 6–13 years and their parents participated in the study, in addition to a separate sample of seventy adults. Participants filled in questionnaires, and lingual tactile sensitivity was evaluated through filaments and gratings. Results showed that gratings evaluation was more difficult than filaments assessment but enabled a better separation of participants according to their performance than filaments. R-indices from filaments were not correlated with those of gratings, suggesting that the tools measure different dimensions of lingual tactile sensitivity. No differences were found in lingual tactile sensitivity between children and adults, nor between children of different ages. Food neophobia was negatively associated with preferences of hard foods in children. Although a multifactor analysis concluded that neither texture preferences nor food consumption were strongly correlated with lingual tactile sensitivity, there was a weak but significant positive correlation between lingual tactile sensitivity to the finest Von Frey filament and food neophobia in the youngest age group, indicating that children with higher levels of food neophobia are more sensitive to oral tactile stimuli. Suitable child-friendly adaptations for the assessment of lingual sensitivity in children are discussed.
... The individual FNS scores were computed as the sum of ratings given to the 10 statements, after the neophilic items had been reversed; thus, the scores theoretically ranged from 10 to 70, with higher scores reflecting higher FN levels. The FNS quartile distribution was calculated, and respondents were divided into the following 3 groups according to their FN level [58]: low (FN score ≤ 19), moderate (19 < FN score < 36) and high (FN score ≥ 36). ...
Article
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Smell, which allows us to gather information about the hedonic value of an odor, is affected by many factors. This study aimed to assess the relationship among individual factors, odor sensitivity, and enjoyment, and to evaluate how overall flavor perception and liking in actual food samples are affected by odor sensitivity. A total of 749 subjects, from four different Italian regions, participated in the study. The olfactory capabilities test on four odors (anise, banana, mint, and pine), as well as PROP (6-n-prpyl-2-thiouracil) status and food neophobia were assessed. The subjects were clustered into three groups of odor sensitivity, based on the perceived intensity of anise. The liking and intensity of the overall flavor were evaluated for four chocolate puddings with increasing sweetness (C1, C2, C3, and C4). The individual variables significantly affected the perceived intensity and liking of the odors. Even if all of the odor sensitivity groups perceived the more intensely flavored samples as the C1 and C4 chocolate puddings, the high-sensitivity group scored the global flavor of all of the samples as more intense than the low-sensitivity group. The low-sensitive subjects evaluated the liking of the sweeter samples with higher scores than the moderate-sensitive subjects, whereas the high-sensitive subjects gave intermediate scores. In conclusion, odor sensitivity plays a pivotal role in the perception and liking of real food products; this has to be taken into account in the formulation of new products, suitable for particular categories with reduced olfactory abilities.
... Secondly, it is still remarkably common to assess this relationship using simple aqueous solutions [17,31], although this method is widely recognized to have limited relevance to "real life" perceptions of complex food systems. In this vein, the number of studies using actual food tasting to assess hedonic and intensity responses is increasing [2,15,16,20,23,29,46,[48][49][50], but is still limited. Lastly, only a few studies have used a representative sample size [2,16,17,48], which makes it difficult to generalize the abovementioned literature to the whole population. ...
Article
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This study, which was conducted as part of the Italian Taste project, was aimed at exploring the relationship between actual liking and sensory perception in four food models. Each food model was spiked with four levels of prototypical tastant (i.e., citric acid, sucrose, sodium chloride, capsaicin) to elicit a target sensation (TS) at an increasing perceived intensity. Participants (N = 2258; 59% women, aged 18–60) provided demographic information, a stated liking for 40 different foods/beverages, and their responsiveness to tastants in water. A food-specific Pearson’s coefficient was calculated individually to estimate the relationship between actual liking and TS responsiveness. Considering the relationship magnitude, consumers were grouped into four food-specific clusters, depending on whether they showed a strong negative (SNC), a weak negative (WNC), a weak positive (WPC), or a strong positive correlation (SPC). Overall, the degree of liking raised in parallel with sweetness responsiveness, fell as sourness and pungency perception increased, and showed an inverted U-shape relationship with saltiness. The SNC clusters generally perceived TSs at higher intensities, except for sourness. Clusters were validated by associating the level of stated liking towards food/beverages; however, some unexpected indications emerged: adding sugar to coffee or preferring spicy foods differentiated those presenting positive correlations from those showing negative correlations. Our findings constitute a step towards a more comprehensive understanding of food preferences.
... The trajectory of this behavior is not clear but food neophobia has been reported to peak between 2 and 6 years of age; however, for some subjects it is a more persistent trait [6]. Previous findings have suggested a positive association between food neophobia and responsiveness to 'warning' food stimuli in adults [7]. This can in part explain the rejection of some types of plant-based food that naturally contains fibers and phytochemicals notoriously characterized by sour, bitter and astringent sensations. ...
Article
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According to recent findings, action is urgently needed to promote healthy eating habits among children, especially to increase daily consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables [...]
... Two identical samples (10 ml) were presented to the subjects who were asked to hold in their mouth each sample for 10 s, then to expectorate the solution and to evaluate the perceived bitterness intensity after 20 s. To avoid carry-over effect, subjects were asked to rinse the mouth with water after the first sample evaluation and to wait 90 s before evaluating the second sample 41 . The PROP sensitivity score for each individual was calculated as the mean of both gLMS measurements. ...
Article
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Human taste perception is associated with the papillae on the tongue as they contain a large proportion of chemoreceptors for basic tastes and other chemosensation. Especially the density of fungiform papillae (FP) is considered as an index for responsiveness to oral chemosensory stimuli. The standard procedure for FP counting involves visual identification and manual counting of specific parts of the tongue by trained operators. This is a tedious task and automated image analysis methods are desirable. In this paper a machine learning image processing method based on a convolutional neural network is presented. This automated method was compared with three standard manual FP counting procedures using tongue pictures from 132 subjects. Automated FP counts, within the selected areas and the whole tongue, significantly correlated with the manual counting methods (all ρs ≥ 0.76). When comparing the images for gender and PROP status, the density of FP predicted from automated analysis was in good agreement with data from the manual counting methods, especially in the case of gender. Moreover, the present results reinforce the idea that caution should be applied in considering the relationship between FP density and PROP responsiveness since this relationship can be an oversimplification of the complexity of phenomena arising at the central and peripherical levels. Indeed, no significant correlations were found between FP and PROP bitterness ratings using the automated method for selected areas or the whole tongue. Besides providing estimates of the number of FP, the machine learning approach used a tongue coordinate system that normalizes the size and shape of an individual tongue and generated a heat map of the FP position and normalized area they cover. The present study demonstrated that the machine learning approach could provide similar estimates of FP on the tongue as compared to manual counting methods and provide estimates of more difficult-to-measure parameters, such as the papillae’s areas and shape.
... However, the food neophobia status of the participants in the online questionnaire affected the liking ratings notably less in comparison to participants' origin. Food neophobia may also affect the stronger flavored foods more than the mild ones [43]. Here, the attribute "mild" was linked to oat porridges (Figures 1 and 2) along with "natural" and "oat-like" attribute indicating the natural "oat" flavor being mild [13,14]. ...
Article
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Oats are increasingly popular among consumers and the food industry. While data exist on sensory characteristics of oats as such, previous studies focusing on the pleasantness of oats, and especially investigations of a wide range of oat products by European and Asian consumers, are scarce. An online questionnaire was organized in Finland (n = 381; 83.7% Finnish) focusing on the liking and familiarity of oat products, followed by sensory tests in Finland (n = 65 and n = 73) and China (n = 103) using the Check-All-That-Apply method and hedonic ratings. A questionnaire revealed that the Finnish consumers rated the pleasantness and familiarity of several oat product categories, such as breads and porridges, higher compared to participants of other ethnicities. Sensory tests showed both similarities, e.g., porridges were described as "natural", "healthy" and "oat-like", and differences between countries, e.g., sweet biscuits, were described as "crispy" and "hard" by Finnish consumers and "strange" and "musty" by Chinese consumers. Sweet products were unanimously preferred. The ethnicity had an important role affecting the rating of pleasantness and familiarity of oat product categories, whereas food neophobia and health interest status also had an influence. The proved healthiness of oats was a crucial factor affecting the choices of consumers and their acceptance in both countries.
... Written statements originated from the cultural context in which they were developed, and these may lose or change their meaning in another culture (see Ares, 2018). Translating to other languages introduces risks (see Ritchey, Frank, Hursti, & Tuorila, 2003;Laureati et al., 2018). Statements may lose their topicality in time, as suggested by Metcalf, Wiener, and Saliba (2022). ...
Article
An alternative Food Neophobia Scale (FNS-A) was developed in three studies to measure food neophobia (reluctance to eat and avoidance of trying new foods). In Study 1, the original food neophobia scale, FNS (Pliner, & Hobden, 1992), was first critically examined leading to modifications in five and omission of two statements. Furthermore, eight positive and eight negative statements were elicited and introduced along with eight original or modified FNS statements to 575 respondents in South Africa, Lesotho, and Botswana. Study 2 (n=1010) was used to confirm the factorial structure of the scale, and Study 3 (n=141) was used to test the reliability of FNS-A through test-retest data. The structure of the scale was analyzed using exploratory (Study 1 and 2) and confirmatory (Study 2) factor analysis, eventually leading to four positive and four negative statements regarding new foods, loaded on two factors labelled approach and avoidance. Test-retest reliability at a 2 weeks’ time interval as well as convergent and divergent validity measured against other scales was good (Study 3). In all three studies, predictive validity was evaluated against willingness to try or expected liking ratings of unfamiliar or novel food names or food concept descriptions. This evaluation showed satisfactory performance. FNS-A is a promising tool for the quantification of individual responses to unfamiliar or novel foods in an easy and reliable manner, but further studies in other populations and contexts are needed to confirm the applicability.
... The widely used Food Neophobia Scale (FNS; Laureati et al., 2018;Pliner & Hobden, 1992) was employed to assess the reluctance to try novel foods (Pliner & Hobden, 1992), a distinct but co-occurring behaviour in picky eaters (e.g., . The FNS consisted of five positively (neophilic) and five negatively (neophobic) worded items, each measured on a 7-point Likert scale (ranging from 1 = "Strongly disagree" to 7 = "Strongly agree"). ...
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... FN persists into adulthood in a substantial proportion of the population, and increasing neophobia in adults, as with children, is associated with reduced acceptability and intake of vegetables, fruits and protein foods, as well as in higher numbers of disliked foods overall, even extending to reduced preferences for, and consumption of, familiar foods. The inherited factor in FN is uncertain but may be a tendency to experience high arousal in response to both unfamiliar foods and intense food flavors (Laureati et al. 2018). A number of other personality factors with strong heritability, including disgust sensitivity and sensation-seeking, are also linked to food choices, but it is probably premature to conclude just how important many of these are as independent determinants of food preferences. ...
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Among factors influencing food preferences and choices, individual differences in taste perception play a key role in defining eating behaviour. In particular, sour and bitter responsiveness could be associated with the acceptance and the consumption of phenol-rich plant-based foods recommended for a healthy diet. The aim of this study was to investigate, in a large population sample, the associations among sour and bitter responsiveness and liking, familiarity and choice for plant-based foods characterized by these target tastes. Adults aged 18 to 60 years (n = 1198; 58% women) were tested for their sour and bitter responsiveness both in water solutions and in food models (pear juice-based beverages modified in citric acid content to induce different levels of sourness: 0.5, 2.0, 4.0 and 8.0 g/kg; chocolate pudding samples modified in sucrose content to induce different levels of bitterness: 38, 83, 119, 233 g/kg). Familiarity, stated liking and choice for fruit juices and vegetables varying for sour/bitter taste (high in bitter/sour taste: e.g. grapefruit juice and cauliflower; low in bitter/sour taste: e.g. zucchini and pineapple juice) were measured. Results showed a significant positive correlation between bitter and sour taste perception in water solutions and model foods, as well as a positive correlation between the perceived intensity of the two taste stimuli. Subjects characterized by high responsiveness to the two target stimuli were found to give lower liking scores to foods characterized by sour/bitter tastes and tended to choose less sour/bitter foods compared to less responsive subjects. Thus, food choice for phenol rich plant-based products could be associated with a reduced responsiveness to bitter and sour tastes and a consequent higher acceptance of food products characterized by these taste qualities.
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Although the Food Neophobia Scale (FNS) was designed almost thirty years ago, it is still the leading instrument used to evaluate food neophobia (FN) in humans. Its value in very different areas has driven a large number of studies conducted in a large variety of samples, and with highly diverse aims. For the analysis of the 102 papers included in this systematic review, four groups of studies were identified: (1) review and methodology studies, (2) health, diet, and sensory studies, (3) socioeconomic studies and (4) product or process-oriented studies. The results and implications of each group of studies are discussed. Studies conclude that FN is at least partially determined genetically. Regarding the effect of socioeconomic factors on FN, a general trend towards a reduction over time in the level of FN across countries has been found, because FN decreases with increased education, income, and urbanization. As regards the effects of FN on individual health, most of the published studies associate FN with lower dietary quality, although some studies report no significant effects on crucial factors such as obesity or the intake of macronutrients. This review shows the complexity of the variables that determine the level of FN in humans and suggest that further research is still needed, as FN is a key variable in evaluating the potential success of food production strategies focused on the development of new foods (e.g., genetically modified foods) or novel food production techniques (e.g., nanotechnology).
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The food neophobia scale has been reported to be a valid and reliable instrument over the nearly thirty years since its development, becoming the most highly used measure of food neophobia. However, concerns raised over the wording of items and the unidimensional nature of the scale has resulted in the evolution of several versions with varying items, item numbers and response sets. The current study attempted to validate the ten-item scale using factorial validation in a large Australian sample (n = 2242) but found the instrument a reliable and valid measure of food neophobia in a six-item unidimensional version previously identified in the literature. Theoretically supported correlations of the approach and avoidance facets of food neophobia with extraversion and neuroticism establish construct validity and a post hoc evaluation of a new measure of the motivation to eat new foods is included in the evaluation.
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Background Food neophobia was defined as the unwillingness or avoidance to eat new foods. There are many studies on food neophobia in children, but few in university students. This study was to examine the level of food neophobia of Chinese university students. The aim is to find a way to help them relieve food neophobia. Methods A total of 2,366 university students (16–22 years old) from Xinyang normal university were recruited to conduct a questionnaire survey on food neophobia scale (FNS) of Chinese version, which contained 10 questions. Significant difference analysis and principal component analysis were conducted. Results For Chinese university students, willingness to try new food, trust in new food, eating disorder, and food pickiness were the characteristic indexes to evaluate the food neophobia. Gender had no significant effect, but long-term nutrition courses had a great impact on food neophobia of university students. Conclusions The level of food neophobia of Chinese university students is relatively high. To formulate and implement a continuous diet and nutrition education plan is good and necessary to relieve the food neophobia. Implications for Practice These data complement the limited literature on food neophobia of university students, which will help to develop intervention plans to reduce eating disorders and support the need for further research to reveal the potential mechanism.
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Numerous medical studies have documented vegetarian diets as having various health benefits. Studies have also compared vegetarians with other dietary groups from a socio-psychological perspective. The objective of this review is to investigate the differences between vegetarians and omnivores in terms of their personality profiles, values, and empathy skills. A search was conducted across three electronic databases. Non-randomized, observational, cross-sectional, and cohort studies were eligible. Outcomes provided information about the differences between the above-mentioned dietary groups regarding their personality profiles, values, and empathy skills. A shortened version of the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale was used to assess the risk of bias for the included studies. Of the 2,513 different studies found, 25 (total number of participants n = 23,589) were ultimately included. These studies indicate that vegetarians significantly differ from omnivores in their personalities, values, and ability to be empathetic. Omnivorism is associated with an increased orientation toward social dominance, greater right-wing authoritarianism, and, in line with this, a stronger tendency to be prejudiced. Vegetarianism is associated with greater openness and empathy. The values of vegetarians are based more on universalism, hedonism, stimulation, and self-direction, whereas the values of omnivores are based more on the idea of power. To answer a narrowly defined and clear question, issues such as animal ethics, animal rights, and environmental protection are not considered in this review. The findings of this review, showing marked differences in personality correlating to the choice of diet and the increasing influence of plant-based diets on a global level, indicate that further studies about vegetarianism are warranted.
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It was recently shown that food neophobia (FN) shows consistent patterns of relationships with the factors from the Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ). The data reported in Jaeger et al. (2021) [Appetite, 105056], based on consumer surveys in USA, Australia, and New Zealand indicate that each of 11 FCQ factors are negatively associated with FN except for Convenience and Familiarity, which were both positively associated with FN. The present study, based on online surveys with 5752 adults aimed to replicate, using another USA sample, and extend, using samples from the UK and Germany, the earlier findings. In addition, behavioural validation of the observed FN-FCQ linkages was undertaken by directly relating FN to stated frequency of selected food and beverage (F&B) purchases and consumption. The US and UK results largely replicated the findings of Jaeger, Roigard et al. (2021), and for the two exceptions found – Convenience and Weight Control – the directional relationships matched those expected. The German results also partially supported replication, in that the relationships between FN and FCQ factors were in the expected directions, but mostly they were non-significant. Examination of self-reports of F&B purchase and consumption frequencies tended to validate the observed FN-FCQ linkages with the exceptions of Convenience and Sensory Appeal (USA and UK consumers), although these linkages were less evident in the German consumers. We suggest that the concept of high arousal underlying the food choices of those high in FN may help explain why some F&B characteristics and not others reflect FN-FCQ linkages. These findings, along with those presented in Jaeger et al. (2021) have increased knowledge about how FN and FCQ factors influence consumer choices. It is increasingly clear that FN not only influences which specific foods are consumed but also shapes the reasons for food choice itself. Understanding this link therefore allows us to predict at a more global level those reasons that influence consumers with different degrees of FN in choosing foods.
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Reluctance to eat new foods, known as food neophobia, is well researched in children but not adults. Two studies were carried out to understand the emotional, sensory, and cognitive factors associated with food neophobia in an adult sample, and to propose a preliminary explanation of the decision to taste a novel food named the SEA model (Sensory, Emotional, cognitive Association model). Participants were recruited through opportunity sampling of a university population in the Leicester region of the UK. Study one (n = 534) was a cross sectional study examining associations between self-report measures of food neophobia, emotional variables and sensory variables. In study two (n = 160), participants completed an online cognitive evaluation of 7 images of novel fruits and vegetables, rating perceived familiarity, categorisation as fruit or vegetable, cognitive associations based on appearance (what does the food look like), liking of any associated foods, and expected liking of the novel food. In study 1 it was found that tactile sensitivity and disgust sensitivity were the main sensory and emotional variables associated with food neophobia. In study 2, it was found that food neophobia and lower expected liking of novel foods were associated with disgust sensitivity, associating the novel foods with disliked foods, and lower perceived familiarity. The SEA model further proposes that underlying tendencies and automatic reactions to foods, combine with cognitive associations based on negative memories and negative beliefs about tasting new foods, to create expected disliking of a food and a decreased likelihood that it will be tried. Further work is needed to fully test the SEA model of the decision to taste a novel food, in particular to further examine how associations are formed.
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Headspace solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC/MS) with electronic nose (E-nose) and electronic tongue (E-tongue) was applied for flavor characterization of traditional Chinese fermented soybean paste. Considering geographical distribution and market representation, twelve kinds of samples were selected to investigate the feasibility. A total of 57 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were identified, of which 8 volatiles were found in all samples. Linear discrimination analysis (LDA) of fusion data exhibited a high discriminant accuracy of 97.22%. Compared with partial least squares regression (PLSR), support vector machine regression (SVR) analysis exhibited a more satisfying performance on predicting the content of esters, total acids, reducing sugar, salinity and amino acid nitrogen, of which correlation coefficients for prediction (Rp) were about 0.803, 0.949, 0.960, 0.896, 0.923 respectively. This study suggests that intelligent sensing technologies combined with chemometrics can be a promising tool for flavor characterization of fermented soybean paste or other food matrixes.
Chapter
This research investigated the effect of the food values, positive anticipated emotions, attitude toward the brand, and attitude toward eating a hamburger on purchase intention in fast-food restaurants in Mexico conjointly. The purpose of this study was to discover which variables influenced the consumer´s intention to buy. Data was collected from a survey of 512 Mexicans fast food consumers. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized associations. The results showed that food values and positive anticipated emotions absolutely impact the attitude toward the brand, which impacts the purchase intention of the Mexican consumers. Nonetheless, the positive anticipated emotions impact stronger than food values, and the best way to get a purchase intention is toward the attitude of the brand rather than attitude toward eating a hamburger. The authors discussed inferences and suggestions for consumer approaches.
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People suffering from Food Neophobia (FN) tend to follow an unbalanced dietary pattern and show worse olfactory performances. However, scarce data are available on the possible relationships between FN, olfactory performances and the oral microbiota. The purpose of this work was to understand whether FN and its consequences on orthonasal and retronasal olfaction are related to specific signatures in the oral microbiota. We carried out 16S rRNA gene sequencing of salivary specimens from 83 subjects, whose olfactory performances and Food Neophobia were previously estimated. Our results show that the oral microbiota of people showing high neophobic traits and scarce olfactory performances is enriched in several taxa, such as the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis. We hypothesize that these traits are likely attributable to unbalanced dietary patterns, which would need confirmation from dietary records of recruited neophobic subjects.
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The addition of table salt has been reported to enable better acceptance when consuming the least preferred vegetables belonging to the Cruciferae family. Considering the adverse effect of excessive table salt intake on incidence of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, it is essential to explore an alternative healthier option for better acceptance and to encourage consumption of these vegetables. In this study, 261 adult participants were evaluated for their preferences toward basic tastes and food as well as sensory evaluation of a meal prepared from cruciferous vegetables with the addition of two different salts, sodium chloride and salt substitute containing a blend of potassium and sodium salts. A general questionnaire was used to assess taste and food preferences, while the Cruciferous Vegetable Food Frequency Questionnaire (CVFFQ) was used for vegetable intake assessment. The Labeled Magnitude Scale (LMS), Just About Right (JAR) scale, and several hedonic scales were used to determine taster status and sensory evaluation. The results show that a low concentration of the salt substitute did not impact bitterness suppression but did result in higher preference of the cruciferous vegetable meal. Although, subjects self-reported to have salty taste preferences were more sensitive to bitter taste, they did not perceive samples as less salty and less acceptable than subjects with lower sensitivity. The results show the necessity for further examination of the effectiveness of different concentrations of the assessed salt substitute in suppressing perceived bitterness of cruciferous vegetables and regarding their overall acceptance for inclusion in diets.
Chapter
3D food printing relies on the concepts of science‐based cooking techniques such as molecular cuisine and note‐by‐note cuisines. The market reach of any novel food product is highly determined by consumer's acceptability. Analysis of consumer's attitudes toward 3D‐printed foods is quite adequate in drawing significant conclusions about consumer preference and market trends. The present chapter aims at summarizing the market trends and consumer preference toward 3D‐printed foods. 3D food printing is an emerging technology that tackles the problem of everchanging consumer food choices as 3D‐printed foods satisfy consumers both physiologically and psychologically. However, certain aspects such as food neophobia and social, ethical, and cultural concerns remain as mental barriers to 3D‐printed foods from alternative ingredients. Hence, the present chapter provides a detailed discussion on the consumer acceptance of 3D food printing in comparison with other emerging food technologies (food irradiation, nanotechnology, stem cell technology, and genetically modified foods). The food business model of prosumerism is discussed in context with 3D food printing. Various methods and approaches used for assessing consumer perception of foods are presented along with intervention tools to increase consumer awareness. Certainly, the present chapter highlights the significant aspects of the success of 3D printing technology from the consumers' viewpoint, especially the willingness and perception on the adoption of 3D printing of foods by overcoming the existing social, cultural, ethical, and technical concerns.
Thesis
Given the rise of food products targeted at children and the need of healthier products to combat the global rise of childhood obesity, children take an important role in nowadays’ consumer testing. Although children between 4-11 years are already able to perform a range of consumer tests similar to adults, the assessment of children’s food preferences requires engaging and age-appropriate methods. Emotions have been shown to give additional information about food products compared to hedonic measurements, however, they are understudied in children. Growing interest for emoji to measure consumer’s product-elicited emotions emerged in the field of sensory and consumer science over the past years. However, previous studies often selected emoji without the consideration of how emoji are interpreted by preadolescents regarding their semantic and dimensional meanings. Moreover, research found associations between personality traits, taste responsiveness and food preferences, which constitutes another understudied topic in emotion research with children. Understanding this relationship could further help to understand factors influencing preadolescents’ food preferences. To tackle this problem, the aim of the PhD thesis was to develop an emoji-based self-report questionnaire, the Emoji Pair Questionnaire, for preadolescents consisting of a food-specific emoji list with identified emotional meaning and to validate and apply the tool to test its discriminant ability in response to food. A further aim was to investigate individual differences in emotional responses to foods by clustering children according to patterns of emotional responses and by testing the clusters for differences in personality traits, 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) status and sensory responsiveness to basic tastes. A total of 711 children (9-13-y.o.) participated in seven studies, which attended primary and secondary school classes in schools based in Italy (n=454, Study 1-5) and Norway (n=257, Study 6 and 7). Study 1 identified 46 of 92 emoji as food-related and relevant for children to describe their emotions in response to food experiences. Study 2, that used projective mapping, showed that emoji were discriminated along three dimensions, that were interpreted as valence, power, and arousal. Results of Study 3 and 4, that used the Check-All-That-Apply method with emoji and emotion words respectively, were congruent in linking emoji and emotions words. Positive emoji were described by more words in general, which could be xii explained by the context dependent use of emoji, which was clarified in Study 5 (qualitative interviews). Emoji expressing similar semantic and dimensional meanings were grouped in pairs of two, based on the idea that the grouping of the two emoji with the most similar semantic and dimensional meaning allows to better identify the overall meaning of the emoji pair. Emoji with ambiguous meaning were excluded. Finally, the Emoji Pair Questionnaire contained a reduced list of 17 emoji pairs (n=34 emoji) varying in valence, power, and arousal dimension. Italian and Norwegian preadolescents were found to describe emoji with overlapping emotional meaning (Study 6), which allowed the validation and application of the Emoji Pair Questionnaire in Norway. Findings of Study 7 showed that emoji pairs varied between food categories and were able to discriminate between familiar foods despite similar liking. Emoji also discriminated significantly among food products despite similar liking within the food categories of vegetables and desserts/juices, but not within the fruit category. The tasted samples (grapefruit juice spiked with sucrose) differed in liking and in associated emoji. Children were classified into three clusters according to their emotional patterns in Principal Component Analysis. The three clusters differed also in liking, surprise, sensitivity to reward, responsiveness to sweet, sour, and ability to discriminate between food samples. The findings obtained in this PhD thesis illustrate that the newly developed Emoji Pair Questionnaire can be used to not only understand children’s food behavior but also to develop novel products targeted at specific clusters of children considering their individual differences in emotions, personality traits and sensory responsiveness by providing target-specific products.
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The combined influence of TAS2R38 genotype and PROP phenotype on oral sensations is still to be clarified. The present work investigates their influence on the intensity of basic tastes and somatosensory stimuli (capsaicin, aluminium sulphate), using a large cohort of 1117 individuals. The possible influences of gustin genotype and fungiform papillae density were also assessed. PROP phenotype was mainly associated with TAS2R38 genotype with AVI/AVI individuals reporting the lowest mean bitterness intensity (12.6±1.26), and PAV/AVI individuals rating PROP lower (46.53±0.93) than PAV/PAV individuals (54.14±1.33). However, 25% of AVI/AVI subjects reported PROP bitterness perception higher than ‘moderate’ and small percentages of both PAV/PAV and PAV/AVI responded very little to PROP stimulation. PROP phenotype significantly affected ratings to all the tastant solutions with ST subjects giving the highest ratings and NT the lowest. An unexpected systematic effect of TAS2R38 diplotype on perceived intensity was found, with AVI/AVI individuals rating tastant solution intensity higher than PAV/AVI and PAV/PAV for all the stimuli. Recursive partitioning analysis was used to determine the influence of the explanatory variables (TAS2R38 diplotype, PROP status, age and gender) on intensity for each tastant solution. Regression trees indicated that TAS2R38 genotype is the most important variable for explaining differences in intensity of basic tastes and astringency, when compared to PROP responsiveness, gender, and age. Gender was the primary determinant of heightened perception of pungency. PROP status was the second most influential variable in all the models, with limited influence only on sweetness and umami perception. No significant variations of intensity of taste and somatosensory sensations were found in association to gustin polymorphism or fungiform papillae density. These findings call for a re-examination of the notion that the TAS2R38 gene uniquely controls PROP tasting and for future research devoted to a more in-depth genetic characterization of the AVI/AVI group and its possible associations with other polymorphisms.
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Compounds found in a number of foods such as herbs and spices, elicit chemesthetic sensations. This chapter explores the factors underlying the variability in response to chemesthetic sensations from food and the mechanisms by which such sensations can shift from aversive to appetitive. Genetic influences on oral sensitivity may account for individual differences at baseline, while personality differences or cognitive factors may account for the willingness to explore and ultimately incorporate novel food sensations, including initially aversive ones. Additionally, post-ingestive benefits for some may also contribute to continued liking and consumption. To be sure, it is likely that more than one factor plays a role in the acquisition and maintenance of preference for spicy oral sensations, and it is abundantly clear that pungent spices will continue to elicit highly valued and appetitive sensations in the diets of many cultures, worldwide.
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The evidence base for the health effects of spice consumption is insufficient, with only one large population-based study and no reports from Europe or North America. Our objective was to analyze the association between consumption of hot red chili peppers and mortality, using a population-based prospective cohort from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) III, a representative sample of US noninstitutionalized adults, in which participants were surveyed from 1988 to 1994. The frequency of hot red chili pepper consumption was measured in 16,179 participants at least 18 years of age. Total and cause-specific mortality were the main outcome measures. During 273,877 person-years of follow-up (median 18.9 years), a total of 4,946 deaths were observed. Total mortality for participants who consumed hot red chili peppers was 21.6% compared to 33.6% for those who did not (absolute risk reduction of 12%; relative risk of 0.64). Adjusted for demographic, lifestyle, and clinical characteristics, the hazard ratio was 0.87 (P = 0.01; 95% Confidence Interval 0.77, 0.97). Consumption of hot red chili peppers was associated with a 13% reduction in the instantaneous hazard of death. Similar, but statistically nonsignificant trends were seen for deaths from vascular disease, but not from other causes. In this large population-based prospective study, the consumption of hot red chili pepper was associated with reduced mortality. Hot red chili peppers may be a beneficial component of the diet.
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Individual differences in subjective response to alcohol play a crucial role in the development of heavy drinking and related problems. In light of this, a growing focus of research has been identifying factors that contribute to differences in response. The aim of the present study was to determine whether individual differences in the subjective experience of rewarding and aversive effects of alcohol are a specific manifestation of general differences in reward and punishment sensitivity. Eighty-nine participants (M age = 22.4, SD = 1.9; 47.2% women) consumed a moderate dose of alcohol, i.e., peak breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) ≈ 0.080 g%, and rated their level of stimulation and sedation at seven timepoints over the BrAC curve. Sensitivity to reward and punishment were assessed by a self-report questionnaire prior to consumption. Multilevel growth models showed that post-consumption changes in stimulation ratings varied as a function of participants' level of reward and punishment sensitivity. Drinkers more sensitive to reward reported feeling more stimulated shortly after drinking and exhibited an attenuated rate of decline in stimulation over the blood alcohol curve, relative to drinkers with less strong reward sensitivity. Reward sensitivity was not related to subjective ratings of sedation, and punishment sensitivity was not related to either stimulation or sedation ratings. Findings suggest that reward sensitivity may increase risk for alcohol misuse among young adult social drinkers by increasing their subjective feelings of stimulation while drinking.
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Picky eating (also known as fussy, faddy or choosy eating) is usually classified as part of a spectrum of feeding difficulties. It is characterised by an unwillingness to eat familiar foods or to try new foods, as well as strong food preferences. The consequences may include poor dietary variety during early childhood. This, in turn, can lead to concern about the nutrient composition of the diet and thus possible adverse health-related outcomes. There is no single widely accepted definition of picky eating, and therefore there is little consensus on an appropriate assessment measure and a wide range of estimates of prevalence. In this review we first examine common definitions of picky eating used in research studies, and identify the methods that have been used to assess picky eating. These methods include the use of subscales in validated questionnaires, such as the Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire and the Child Feeding Questionnaire as well as study-specific question(s). Second, we review data on the prevalence of picky eating in published studies. For comparison we present prevalence data from the UK Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) in children at four time points (24, 38, 54 and 65 months of age) using a study-specific question. Finally, published data on the effects of picky eating on dietary intakes (both variety and nutrient composition) are reviewed, and the need for more health-related data and longitudinal data is discussed. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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Application of historical knowledge and beliefs about plant-based health remedies has been limited in Western nations. However, with increased awareness of, and interest in, alternative health management techniques has come a growing openness to their potential efficacy for numerous conditions. This chapter focuses on the effects of single pungent spices (i.e., black pepper, chili peppers, cinnamon, ginger, mustard, and saffron) on dimensions of energy balance (i.e., appetite, food intake, energy expenditure, and body weight). Consumption of pungent spices is often linked to enhanced thermogenesis (i.e., augmented energy expenditure and/or substrate oxidation). While hot red pepper (capsaicin) is the best studied of the pungent spices, limited data exist on the thermogenic effects of black pepper (piperine), ginger (gingerols, shogaols, and zingerone), and mustard (allyl isothiocyanate). Individual variability in responses to different spices, doses, and modes of delivery can possibly hamper identification of the potential health effects of spice ingestion.
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