Domestic preparation practices influence the sensory properties and nutritional composition of food products. Information on the variability in actual domestic preparation practices is needed to assess the influence of applied conditions on the sensory and nutritional quality of food. The collection of such information requires a reliable, valid and practical research method. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Direct in-home observations, observations in a model-kitchen using cameras, and a self-reporting questionnaire were evaluated for reliability and validity, to study domestic food preparation practices by consumers. Broccoli preparation practices by Dutch consumers were checked by these three methods in this research paper.
All three research methods were found to be test-retest, inter-observer, parallel-form reliable; and face, content and concurrent valid. However, the self-reporting questionnaire is the most practical research method that can be administered on a large number of respondents in a short time to capture the wide variations in preparation practices.
Consumers can be assisted on domestic food preparation practices that reach their sensory preferences (e.g. texture, colour) as well as have health benefits on consumption.
The authors would like to thank Stefanie Hummelink and Cynthia Beijer for their contribution in data collection. Also, sincere thanks to Dr ir. A.R. Linnemann and Professor M.A.J.S. van Boekel for critically proof-reading this paper. The authors also thank the anonymous reviewers for their positive criticism and suggestions on the original manuscript. This research was sponsored by VLAG graduate school, Wageningen University, Food and Bio-based Research, The Netherlands. This paper was presented at 5th European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research conference, Bern Switzerland, with a partial sponsorship from LEB Foundation and Elsevier Student Bursary Award.
Bongoni, R., Verkerk, R., Dekker, M. and Steenbekkers, B. (2015), "Evaluation of research methods to study domestic food preparation", British Food Journal, Vol. 117 No. 1, pp. 7-21. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-09-2013-0273
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