Date of this Version
Meneses, Y. Cannon, K. J., Flores, R. A. (2014). Keys to understanding and addressing consumer perceptions and concerns about processed foods. Cereal Foods World, 59(3), 141-146. doi: 10.1094/CFW-59-3-0141
Some processed food products have been targeted lately as “evils” that are preventing us from maintaining healthy lives. From the perspective of the food industry community, it seems as if this is one of those issues that should fade away with time, since the benefits of food processing are very obvious to us. We have never been so wrong! The challenges in front of us are big, and we need to do a better job of communicating with consumers about the benefits food processing offers, including increasing the availability of high-quality foods year round. We also need to promote the work being done by food scientists to continually and efficiently respond to human food requirements globally. At the same time, we must recognize those elements in the food processing culture that need attention and that can be misinterpreted by consumers. As food scientists we need to learn about consumer perceptions of food technology and devise strategies that can be implemented to affect consumer perceptions positively.