Consumer Behavior toward Irradiated Food
Marketing studies clearly demonstrate that consumers are receptive to irradiated food and will select it in preference to a non-irradiated equivalent when they perceive benefits. The public's knowledge of food processing methods in general and food irradiation in particular is very limited. Increasing the dissemination of information may be key to the promotion of food irradiation. The majority of respondents in studies have resisted irradiated meat because of safety concerns that are unfounded according to scientific evidence and professional attestation. This implies that dispelling the unfounded concerns through effective information dissemination to consumers may enhance acceptance of irradiated beef. Although in the United States, due to government-funded educational programs and occasional media coverage, accurate scientific information about food irradiation is reaching a small number of consumers, most people are not well informed about the advantages of this technology. In other countries, the level of public knowledge is extremely low as well. When irradiated foods are introduced into an area, public recognition of the process will increase. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.