Consumers’ acceptance of recycled water in meat products: The influence of tasting, attitudes and values on hedonic and emotional reactions
Lease, HJ and Hatton MacDonald, D and Cox, DN, Consumers' acceptance of recycled water in meat products: The influence of tasting, attitudes and values on hedonic and emotional reactions, Food Quality and Preference, 37 pp. 35-44. ISSN 0950-3293 (2014) [Refereed Article]
Community opposition to potable recycled water may extend to recycled water in food production. Past research on recycled potable water indicates that the closer the risk of personal contact or ingestion, the less acceptable it is. Despite purification and expert assurances, emotional responses, including disgust, may present as major psychological barriers to the environmental and commercial benefit of recycled water use in food production. Consumers (n = 101) were presented with meat products purported to be processed or containing recycled water (3 levels of proximity to ingestion) along with a control product (containing tap water). Hedonic and 18 emotional responses were elicited. Validated survey instruments were used to measure world views (values), beliefs supportive of environmental actions and food technology neophobia seeking to explain variation in hedonic and emotional responses. Surprisingly, consumers were found to be generally accepting and willing to try foods containing or in close proximity to recycled water when that water was collected, treated and returned to drinking water standards within the factory. All hypotheses pertaining to associated values, beliefs and neophobia were rejected. The study suggests that recycling water within a food factory, when supported by a credible and trustworthy source of information, is likely to be met with positive emotional and affective responses. Using a broad range of affective and emotional responses was useful in understanding acceptance of foods that may be associated with perceived risk.