Peer-reviewed journals

Paper: Are They Careful Enough? Testing Consumers’ Perception of
Alternative Processing Technologies on the Quality of Organic Food
Authors: Busra Kilic, Emilia Cubero Dudinskaya, Migena Proi, Simona Naspetti  and Raffaele Zanoli, Università Politecnica delle Marche (Italy) - 24 August 2021

Given the increasing public interest in how ingredients are processed and the growing demand for organic food products, it is critical to understand consumers’ expectations about the process-related quality of organic products.The main objective of this study is to propose a working definition of “careful processing” for organic products and test its consistency through an experiment, while being used to rate different processing methods by consumers. Results show that the proposed definition allows the consumer to consistently rate alternative processing technologies. Consumers tend to score alternative processing technologies such as pulsed electric fields and microwaves as less careful, supporting the idea that organic consumers want as little man-made interference in their food products as possible. Results show that a simple but effective definition of careful processing may help consumers to distinguish more organic food products from conventional ones, no matter which communication scheme is used.

Paper: Consumer Perspectives on Processing Technologies for
Organic Food
Authors: Ronja Hüppe and Katrin Zander, Section of Agricultural and Food Marketing, University of Kassel (Germany) - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) - 27 May 2021

Over the last years, consumer demand for natural and healthy convenient food has increased, and with it the demand for organic convenience food. With convenience food, the processing level increases, which consumers are sceptical of. This holds especially for organic consumers who prefer natural, healthy, and sustainable food products. In the literature, consumer preferences are investigated for processed conventional food, but rarely for organic products. Therefore, this study investigates consumers’ knowledge, expectations, and attitudes towards selected processing technologies for organic food. Nine focus groups with 84 organic consumers were conducted, discussing preservation technologies of organic milk and orange juice. Results showed that participants had little knowledge about processing technologies but were interested in their benefits. Organic processing technologies should include fewer processing steps, low environmental impact, while keeping the product as natural as possible. Since consumers want to know benefits but not details of processing, asking consumers for their specific preferences when developing new processing technologies remains challenging. This paper shows how consumers’ benefit and risk perception including their want for naturalness, and scepticism for new technologies shape their evaluation of (organic) food processing technologies. Two consumer groups with different attitudes towards processing could be identified: ’organic traditionalists’ and ‘organic pragmatics’.

Paper: Impact of different temperature abuse scenarios on sensory
quality and off-odour formation in ready-to-eat salad leaves
Authors: Antonio Raffo, Massimo Senatore, Elisabetta Moneta, Flavio Paoletti, Marina Peparaio & Eleonora Saggia Civitelli (International Journal of Food Science and Technology - October 2020)

Packages of ready-to-eat (RTE) wild rocket and lettuce baby leaves were subjected during 8 days of cold storage to a chronic temperature abuse (CTA) at sub-optimal storage temperature (10 °C) or to a shortterm (6 h) abuse at ambient temperature (STA) to evaluate the impact of two temperature abuse scenarios on gas composition within the packages, leaf sensory quality and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In both species, the CTA scenario had a markedly higher impact on gas composition, sensory quality and off-odour formation than the STA, and the limit of sensory acceptability was reached in the CTA scenario 4 days or more earlier than in the STA. Sulphur compounds were the main responsible for offodour perception in both leafy salads. Results from the present study may be useful in the assessment of critical points in the cold chain of RTE fresh produce and in prioritising actions towards improved coldchain management.