Acceptance of Insect Foods Amongst Danish Children is Positively Affected by Information About Their Sustainability Benefits, Not by Information About Taste or Nutrition

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  • Ainslee L. Erhard
  • Magda Águas Silva
  • Marie Damsbo-Svendsen
  • Bat-El Menadeva Karpantschof
  • Frøst, Michael Bom
Edible insects are a promising alternative protein source. Despite this, disgust and neophobia are cited as significant barriers to the adoption of these novel foods in Western diets. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of providing three types of information (online lectures of appoximately 20 minutes) regarding the taste, health, and sustainability benefits of eating insects, on the willingness to try and hedonic response to insect-based foods among children. Children participated in the lectures, and data were collected through an online questionnaire administered in school classrooms from a sample of Danish children (n = 181). Food disgust sensitivity (FDS short, Hartmann & Siegrist, 2018), food neophobia (FNTT, Damsbo-Svendsen et al. 2017), willingness to try, familiarity, and hedonic response to insect foods and were measured . Insect foods were two whole insects (Buffalo worms; Cricket) and 9 commercial products ranging from falafel to cookies. The implications of the appropriateness (as a food ingredient and to be raised as livestock) of two different insect species (crickets and buffalo worms) on acceptance were also explored. Results showed that communicating information about the sustainability benefits of insect eating increased willingness to try insect foods, while information on the taste and health benefits did not (pre vs. post test). Neophobia was found to be a strong correlated with willingness to try insect foods (r = -0.55, p < 0.001), whereas disgust sensitivity was not (r = 0.11, p = 0.15). In addition, albeit that whole crickets had lower acceptance than whole buffalo larvae, this difference did not transfer to comparable products made from the two insects. Lastly, certain types of insect containing food products were found to be more accepted than others (Cookie highest rated), while some had very low acceptance (Falafel lowest rating).
Original languageEnglish
Publication date10 Aug 2021
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2021
Event14th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium
: Sustainable Sensory Science
- Online, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 10 Aug 202012 Aug 2021
Conference number: 14


Conference14th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium
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