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May 7th, 2007

Food nanotechnology and public acceptance

Having written in this space about the (possibly) good and the (possibly) bad of food nanotechnology before, here is now a scientific approach to assessing how the public perceives nanotechnology in food and food packaging. Swiss social psychologist Michael Siegrist has looked into the issues of trust, risk and the public acceptance of nanotechnology before. Now, he and his colleagues have taken the area of nanofoods and tried to understand what factors influence the willingness to buy food that has been produced, processed or packaged with nanotechnology. Their conclusion: Perceived benefits seems to be the most important predictor for willingness to buy.

"Our study was a first attempt to examine public reactions toward nanotechnology foods" Siegrist explains to Nanowerk. "More research is necessary to better understand the willingness to buy such new food products. An important factor that we came across, and that should be included in future studies, is perceived naturalness."


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