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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611

Abstract

VLIET, Maya van; ADASME-BERRIOS, Cristian  and  SCHNETTLER, Berta. Acceptance of functional food among Chilean consumers: apple leather. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2015, vol.32, n.4, pp.1616-1623. ISSN 1699-5198.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3305/nh.2015.32.4.9466.

Aim: the aim of this study is to measure acceptance of a specific functional food: apple (fruit) leather, based on organoleptic characteristics and to identify consumer types and preferences for natural additives which increase the product´s functionality and meet current nutritional needs. Materials and methods: a sample of 800 consumers provided an evaluation of apple leather in terms of acceptance (liking). A sensorial panel was carried out using a 9-point hedonic scale. Cluster analysis was used to identify different acceptance-based consumer types. In addition, a conjoint analysis was carried out to determine preference for different additives. Results: the cluster analysis resulted in four groups with significant differences in the average likings obtained from the sensory panel. Results indicate that the sweetness of the tested apple leather was evaluated best among all groups and, on average, color was rated as the worst attribute. However, overall likings differ significantly between groups. Results from the conjoint analysis indicate that, in general, consumers prefer natural additives included in the product which enhance functionality. Conclusions: although there is a "global acceptance" of the product, there are significant differences between groups. The results of the conjoint analysis indicate that, in general, consumers prefer the aggregation of natural additives which increase the product´s functionality. Apple leather with natural additives, such as anticariogenics and antioxidants, can be considered a functional substitute of unhealthy snacks and/or sweets.

Keywords : Functional food; Taste; Consumer behavior; Intrinsic attributes; Dietary habits.

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