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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1141: III International Conference on Fresh-Cut Produce: Maintaining Quality and Safety

Influence of an evoked pleasant consumption context on consumers' hedonic evaluation for minimally processed cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) fruit

Authors:   G. Sortino, A. Allegra, P. Inglese, S. Chironi, M. Ingrassia
Keywords:   scenario evoked context, consumer hedonic testing, acceptance testing, context effects, quality parameters
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1141.41
Awareness of the need to consider a consumption context when measuring the consumer's hedonic evaluation of a food product led researchers to investigate differences among responses given by consumers in different contexts. Previous studies measured the effects of evoking a consumption context, by using photographs or a written scenario, on hedonic evaluations of consumers for food products. This study investigated the influence of evoking a consumption context on hedonic evaluation of minimally processed cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) fruit, using pictures and memories of pleasant personal experiences. A hedonic scale method for measuring food preferences was used. Hedonic evaluation of minimally processed cactus pear fruit with sensory differences by a sample of consumers (n=150) when measured in the evoked context 'when having a pleasant personal experience' was compared with that of another sample (n=150) measured outside context. Furthermore, sensory evaluation of 'experts' (n=20) was accomplished. Differences in rating sensory attributes were found among the three samples. To test hedonic differences between the two samples of consumers, data sets were analyzed using ANOVA. A significant difference was observed between groups of consumers. Having obtained the rankings of sensory attributes, correlation between consumers' and experts' evaluations was measured using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient. This study highlights that the influence of a positive evoked context on hedonic evaluation of sensory attributes of minimal processed cactus pear may influence consumer's purchasing behavior. Future research will explore the effect of evoking a consumption context comparing different fruit and whether this measure reflects product liking in actual consumption context.

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