Barriers to using consumer science information in food technology innovations: An exploratory study using Delphi methodology

Marian E. Raley, Maddalena Ragona, Siet J. Sijtsema, Arnout R.H. Fischer, Lynn J. Frewer


Food technology innovation has the potential to deliver many benefits to society, although some technologies have been problematic in terms of public acceptance. In promoting the commercial success of innovative technological processes and resultant products it will be important to incorporate information relating to consumer preferences and concerns during their development. The barriers to the utilisation of consumer information during technological development was explored using a two round Delphi study involving 75 experts with an interest in new food technology (food technologists and consumer scientists). There was overall agreement that consumer information should be used in technology implementation and product design, and that good communication between key actors at pivotal stages during the development of new food technologies and products was important. However disciplinary differences were perceived to be a barrier to communication, as were difficulties associated with producing consumer information usable by food technologists. A strategy to improve inter-disciplinary communication is proposed, involving the creation of multi-disciplinary teams working together throughout the development project’s duration, including those with interdisciplinary experience. Deficiencies in the specification of the information required from consumer scientists need to be overcome. Consumer science results need to be concrete and presented as salient to and usable by food technologists.


consumer science; food technology; communication; innovation; Delphi; inter-disciplinary

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