The future is now: consumer perceptions toward 3D printed foods and technology
LE3 .A278 2018
Bachelor of Science
Nutrition & Dietetics
Although 3D printing technologies were developed over three decades ago, the market for 3D food printing is only now starting to grow at a rapid rate. With little to no research in the literature on consumers’ perceptions of 3D printed foods, the present research aimed to investigate this. The objectives of this study were to (1) investigate consumers’ reactions, including attitudes and beliefs, of 3D printing technology and foods, (2) identify consumers’ perceptions of 3D printed foods in comparison to non-printed baked or cooked (conventional) foods, and (3) determine if consumers’ attitudes, beliefs, and liking of 3D printed foods changed after consuming a 3D printed cookie. There were two phases to this research. An online survey (n=226) was first conducted to establish consumers’ initial responses to 3D printing technology and foods. Secondly, a sensory trial (n=45) was conducted, where participants liking and acceptance of 3D printed foods were measured. Subsequent to the sensory trial, participants were administered the survey from phase 1 of the research. Responses were studied to identify any changes in consumers’ perceptions of 3D food printing after the consumption of what they believed was a 3D printed cookie. The initial survey revealed that the majority of consumers were excited about the future of printed food products; however, some believed that they were unacceptable, highly processed, and not safe for consumption. It was found from the sensory trial that consumers’ perceptions of 3D food printing and technology positively changed after their consumption of a 3D printed food product. This indicates the potential for the acceptance of 3D printed foods by consumers. This research has established a baseline of knowledge that will allow future 3D food printing research on consumers to be conducted. Further steps should be taken to identify the reasons why consumers do not accept 3D printed foods and associated technology.
The author grants permission to the University Librarian at Acadia University to reproduce, loan or distribute copies of my thesis in microform, paper or electronic formats on a non-profit basis. The author retains the copyright of the thesis.