Edible insects are a potential sustainable food material. However, lowering the consumers’ perceived barriers to entomophagy is still a challenge. This study aimed to explore the development of an insect-incorporated protein shake and to analyze the impact of frames constructed by different explicit information on the consumers' sensory perception and acceptance of this food. A total of 243 consumers were recruited and randomly assigned to one of the three test groups. “No frame” group evaluated all of the samples in a blind condition. “Healthy frame” group and “sustainable eating frame” group were each exposed to a video clip emphasizing either the importance of healthy eating or sustainable eating, respectively, prior to sensory evaluation. All consumers tasted protein shake samples to measure the mealworm powder detection threshold (DT), consumer rejection threshold (CRT), and taste acceptance for the protein shake, which varied in the concentration of mealworm powder (DT, 2–8%; CRT & Liking, 3–15%). Finally, consumers filled out questionnaires on food-related attitudes. The results showed that the mealworm CRT was identified only in the no frame group (CRT, 14.6%). The other groups preferred samples with mealworms more or equally over control samples in all concentration ranges. DT results suggested that priming with a sustainable eating framework may induce consumers to be less sensitive to mealworm flavor and to view the higher concentration of mealworm powder in protein shakes more positively. FNS-neutral consumers were significantly affected by the explicit information, which was not observed for the consumers who were relatively neophilic or neophobic.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments. This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2019R1A2C100366214).
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- Consumer acceptance
- Consumer rejection threshold
- Detection threshold
- Edible insect
- Sustainable eating