Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Evidence review and experts’ opinion on consumer acceptance of agrifood nanotechnology

Yawson, Robert M. and Kuzma, Jennifer (2010): Evidence review and experts’ opinion on consumer acceptance of agrifood nanotechnology. Published in: International Conference on Food and Agricultural Applications of Nanotechnologies, Sao Carlos, Brazil, : pp. 1-23.

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Nanotechnology is becoming increasingly important for the food sector, and advances and products are already being made in the areas of food packaging and food safety. However, there are several potential issues associated with the commercialization of agricultural and food (agrifood) nanotechnology that may limit its full potential, including uncertainty about whether consumers will accept or reject its products. Thus, this study aims to better understand key variables that are likely to affect consumer acceptance of agrifood nanotechnology, so that policies and programs can be better designed to address issues important to consumers prior to market entry. Factors that may influence consumer acceptance of agrifood nanotechnology were identified by examining historical experiences with other emerging technologies in food and agriculture and eliciting the opinions of experts and stakeholders. In this work, perceived risks and benefits and trust in regulatory agencies and industry were identified as the key factors influencing consumer acceptance. Our results compare favorably with other published studies in this area, and collectively they suggest that increasing consumer knowledge of agrifood nanotechnology products;ensuring high consumer benefits; minimizing risks; and increasing trust in decision makers and producers are important for consumer acceptance and the success of the emerging agrifood nanotechnology industry.

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