Latest headlines

Study examines which consumers give into “food fears”

Study examines which consumers give into â??food fearsâ??New research from Cornell University studied which consumers are most likely to believe claims about harmful ingredients in their food and what can be done to correct misconceptions.

According to researchers, these “food fears” are perpetuated online and in the media, often scaring people with warnings to avoid ingredients such as sugar, fat, sodium, HFCS and MSG among others.

The study, conducted by the university’s Food and Brand Lab, included a survey of more than 1000 mothers in the US who were asked their opinions of HFCS.

Researchers found that mothers who avoided the ingredient were more likely to get their information online rather than television. The same group also showed a desire to have their food related choices known by friends or reference groups. In addition, those who avoided HFCS were not willing to pay more for foods that contained regular sugar.

Authors of the study admitted that while some fears are warranted, others are misleading.

“To overcome food ingredient fears, learn the science, history, and the process of how the ingredient is made, and you’ll be a smarter, savvier consumer,” said Brian Wansink, lead author of the study.

Researchers found that giving consumers more information on an ingredient’s history was effective at reducing fears.

According to the researchers, this was concluded by asking participants to rate the healthfulness of Stevia. Half of the participants were given historical and contextual information to read about the product and the remaining participants were given nothing. Those who received information about an ingredient’s history rated the product as healthier than those who did not.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Jeremy Gerrard

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2015

Mars Chocolate was chosen as Food Engineering’s 2015 Plant of the Year. The first new Mars candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering April 2015 Cover

2015 April

The April 2014 issue of Food Engineering features the Plant of the Year: Mars Chocolate. The first new Mars chocolate candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.