Consumer Acceptance of Novel Technologies Designed to Control Foodborne Bacteria in China and New Zealand
Foodborne bacteria, such as Listeria monocytogenes, are a heavy burden on human health and the world economy. To better protect consumers from foodborne bacteria while improving food quality, several novel technologies have been developed. The purpose of this study was to investigate Chinese and New Zealand consumers’ acceptance of novel technologies designed to control foodborne bacteria, as well as the effect of providing information on improving their acceptance, and the factors that might be able to influence their acceptance. An online survey was carried out, with 604 and 614 valid responses being collected in China and New Zealand, respectively.Respondents were asked to rate their acceptance of thermal pasteurisation (TP), high-pressure processing (HPP), irradiation (IR), bacteriophages (BP), antimicrobial packaging (AP), pulsed electric fields (PEF), and rinsing meat carcasses with antimicrobial solutions (RMCA) on three occasions and additional information was provided to respondents after their first and second ratings. After the first rating the material they were provided comprised of information about L. monocytogenes and a brief description of the technology, and after the second rating they were given information on the benefits of the technology. HPP was rated the most acceptable novel food technology in this study, which had the same acceptance as the traditional technology-TP- by the third rating. The acceptance of other novel food technologies was lower than that of TP to differing extents, with rinsing with antimicrobial solutions being rated as the least acceptable technology. In general, Chinese respondents showed a higher acceptance of the technologies. Information provided in this study influenced consumer acceptance of food technologies. Reading the benefits of a technology had a larger positive effect than reading information about L. monocytogenes and a brief description of the technology. In both countries, scientific reports and relevant national government agents were the most trusted information sources.The influence of a respondent’s knowledge and behaviours and their acceptance of technologies designed to control foodborne bacteria was investigated, including attitudes toward food technologies, awareness of foodborne bacteria, knowledge about L. monocytogenes, general food safety knowledge, food safety behaviour, food poisoning experience, and demographics. Consumer attitude toward food technologies and consumer awareness of foodborne bacteria were found to be major determinants for consumer acceptance of technologies designed to control foodborne bacteria.The findings from this research will expand the existing body of knowledge by determining the influence of a wider range of factors on consumer acceptance of food technologies and it will provide useful insights to help the food industry successfully develop, implement, and promote new food processing technologies to ensure food safety.
Advisor: Bremer, Phil; Mirosa, Miranda
Degree Name: Master of Science
Degree Discipline: Food Science
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: food safety; foodborne bacteria; consumer acceptance; Listeria monocytogenes; food technology; China; New Zealand; foodborne bacteria control
Research Type: Thesis