Friday, September 25, 2020

Changing textures could promote healthier food choices, study finds

Changing the surface texture of products can change people’s perceptions and promote healthy eating, according to new research.

The study, led by Consumer Psychologist Dr Cathrine Jansson-Boyd of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), investigated people’s perceptions of identical biscuits with six different textures.

Published in the journal Food Quality and Preference, the research involved 88 people rating the six oat biscuits on healthiness, tastiness, crunchiness, chewiness, pleasantness and likelihood of purchase based only on their visual appearance, not on their taste or touch.

Previous studies have shown that packaging, labelling and even the texture of a cup or plate can alter people’s perception of food. This new study looked at how a food product itself can be perceived differently depending on its appearance.

Oat biscuits were chosen as they can represent both a ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ snack. The research found that the surface texture of the oat biscuit clearly communicated to people how healthy it was likely to be and the participants viewed the biscuits that had an explicit, pronounced texture, as healthier.

However, the biscuits that had a less explicitly textured surface were perceived to be tastier, crunchier and more likely to be purchased.

The study found that perceived tastiness increases as healthiness decreases, and the likelihood of purchasing the biscuit increases when perceived healthiness is low and decreases when healthiness is higher.

Therefore having a ‘healthy looking’ texture is considered to be a negative attribute in that it reduces perceived tastiness, a key criteria for purchasing biscuits. This has implications for producers of many different food types.

“The findings are really exciting as they give food manufacturers a means to design foods that can help consumers make healthier choices,” said Dr Jansson-Boyd, Reader in Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

“A sweet item, such as a biscuit, benefits from having an appearance as being less healthy as that increases the perception of tastiness and increases the likelihood of purchase. To guide healthier purchasing decisions, food producers can therefore look to use non-healthy looking, smoother textures to overcome this perception that healthy is not tasty.

“At a time when the World Health Organisation has declared that there is an obesity epidemic, it is essential to think of ways to encourage improved eating patterns. Our research provides a good starting point in how to promote healthier food products.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 lockdown having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £31.50 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.
















Latest news

Olam achieves 100% traceability across direct cocoa supply chain

Olam Cocoa has achieved 100% traceability across its direct global cocoa supply chain. The milestone is the first of many intended to achieve a sustainable...

Cranswick achieve food waste reduction target a decade early

Cranswick has achieved a 61% reduction in food waste a decade earlier than planned, eclipsing the international reduction target. The UK food producer has surpassed...

Europe’s first dedicated plant-based event hits London next year

With the rise in meat-free proteins, Europe’s first dedicated plant-based event will launch in London next year. Following a series of successful events in the...

Lab Innovations postponed to 2021

Lab Innovations, which was due to take place on 4 & 5 November at the NEC, Birmingham, has been postponed until next year in...

Innovia Films launch new carbon neutral label film

Innovia Films is launching Encore C45cn, the first carbon neutral BOPP label film. Encore C45cn is ISCC certified and will contribute to reducing carbon...

New barcode validation solution from Toshiba Tec

Print solutions specialist Toshiba Tec has launched ScanSure, a flexible verification-based validation solution for barcodes. Aimed at manufacturing companies, especially those in the food and...

Related news

Olam achieves 100% traceability across direct cocoa supply chain

Olam Cocoa has achieved 100% traceability across its direct global cocoa supply chain. The milestone is the first of many intended to achieve a sustainable...

Cranswick achieve food waste reduction target a decade early

Cranswick has achieved a 61% reduction in food waste a decade earlier than planned, eclipsing the international reduction target. The UK food producer has surpassed...

Europe’s first dedicated plant-based event hits London next year

With the rise in meat-free proteins, Europe’s first dedicated plant-based event will launch in London next year. Following a series of successful events in the...

Lab Innovations postponed to 2021

Lab Innovations, which was due to take place on 4 & 5 November at the NEC, Birmingham, has been postponed until next year in...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close