What do consumers really think about non-thermal processing technologies?
SHEALTHY project aims to assess and develop an optimal combination of non-thermal processing technologies NTPs for the sanitization, preservation and stabilization of Fruit and Vegetables (F&V).
Consumers food habits and diets have changed and become more demanding in the last years. Natural value, shelf-life extension, organoleptic characteristics, sustainability, nutritional quality, or food safety, emerge as the critical factors considered at purchase decision-making process. In accordance with recent research studies carried out within SHEALTHY project, consumers acknowledge that compared to conventional technologies, NTPs offer better results on food nutritional preservation and shelf-life extension. However, they remain quite hesitant to buy these minimally processed F&V products due to the lack of information they have.
As it is shown in the pie chart below, factors such as extended shelf-life, improved hygiene and sanitization or health and nutrition, emerge as key consumer’s perception of these NTPs. Besides, it should be also noted that critical factors such as food safety and health-related concerns are the cornerstone that led the adoption of these NTPs.
SHEALTHY project represents a disruptive innovation approach for fresh and minimally processed fruit and vegetables with the aim of giving response to the new consumers demands regarding health and nutrition. Nevertheless, to facilitate and accelerate the adoption of these improved minimally processed food, efforts on providing clear information on the benefits and effects, specifically on topics related to food safety, must be effectively done.