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Perceived risks and benefits of nanotechnology applied to the food and packaging sector in México

Esperanza López‐Vázquez (Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México)
Thomas A. Brunner (ETH Zurich, Institute for Environmental Decisions (IED), Consumer Behavior, Zurich, Switzerland)
Michael Siegrist (ETH Zurich, Institute for Environmental Decisions (IED), Consumer Behavior, Zurich, Switzerland)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 10 February 2012

1362

Abstract

Purpose

Nanotechnology has great potential in the food industry. The goal of this study is to identify food applications that are more likely and food applications that are less likely to be accepted by the public.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted in México and was a replica of a study conducted in Switzerland. Another goal is to compare the acceptance ratings of citizens from a highly developed European country to the ratings of citizens from a less developed country. Face‐to‐face interviews were conducted in three different places in México, which yielded N=378 datasets.

Findings

Affect and perceived control are important factors influencing risk and benefit perceptions. Applications that can be consumed are perceived as more controllable than applications related to the packaging or external use. The results are similar but not identical to the findings from Switzerland.

Research limitations/implications

A convenience sample was used that was clearly more highly educated than the average population. One should be cautious when generalizing the findings.

Practical implications

It is important to pay attention to public views regarding new technologies in the food business during the product development stage to avoid some of the pitfalls that GM technology had.

Originality/value

This is the first study to analyze perceptions of nanotechnology applications in a less developed country. Emerging countries often do not have regulations that are as strong as those of developed countries; therefore, analyzing these markets is important, too.

Keywords

Citation

López‐Vázquez, E., Brunner, T.A. and Siegrist, M. (2012), "Perceived risks and benefits of nanotechnology applied to the food and packaging sector in México", British Food Journal, Vol. 114 No. 2, pp. 197-205. https://doi.org/10.1108/00070701211202386

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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