Development of Gateway Foods with Seaweeds targeted Children

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Seaweed is a sustainable and nutritious food source, but not eaten much in Denmark. They may be introduced in the Nordic cuisines through so-called gateway foods that introduces novel flavours and can form new dietary habits including these novel flavours. The aim of this research is to develop gateway foods with seaweed as an appropriate ingredient and evaluate those foods’ acceptance among children (10-13 years). By studying how food neophobia, novelty and familiarity affect acceptance of the developed foods with seaweed, we can increase the understanding of which foods can change dietary habits in a healthy and sustainable direction.

Three products containing seaweeds were developed based on gastronomic exploration, creative design methodology (Næs and Nyvold, 2004) and design thinking (Brown, 2008): a fruit bar, a juice and a falafel. Versions without seaweeds of all three products were also developed. Subjects were 246 children (110 girls) that answered questions regarding the products, food neophobia (Damsbo-Svendsen, Frøst and Olsen, 2017) and their familiarity with seaweeds.

All products containing seaweeds were liked less than their non-seaweed versions. However, the fruit bar (4.3) and falafel (4.4) both received above neutral scores in their hedonic response (7-point scale). This corresponded well with perceived novelty and familiarity of the products. Neophobic children had a significant lower liking of all the products, both with and without seaweeds.

To create a successful new product it is suggested that it should encompass a moderate level of novelty in a familiar context, which was achieved with both the fruit bar and falafel in this study. The juice with seaweed requires a redesign to obtain success with children. By careful design, seaweeds can become an acceptable and appropriate ingredient to incorporate in some familiar products.

This project is part of the interdisciplinary project Smag for livet (lit. taste for life) funded by Nordea-fonden. The food festival Kulinarisk Sydfyn provided opportunity and support to carry out the central location test as part of a teaching program prior to the festival.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventEurosense 2018: Eighth European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research - Verona, Italy
Duration: 2 Sep 20185 Sep 2018


ConferenceEurosense 2018
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