The Evolution of Food Technology, Novel Foods, and the Psychology of Novel Food ‘Acceptance’
Chapter 2 presents an interesting and detailed analysis of the psychology behind our choice of foods, and provides an explanation as to why our reactions to “rationally” presented evidence does not always align with the expectations of scientists and policy makers. It appears that our sensitivity to the use of new technologies in producing our food is particularly heightened, and despite the intuitive appeal of all the benefits offered by nanotechnology, the new technology will not receive our automatic acceptance. The chapter also discusses the challenges for the food processing sector and the potential approaches that could be used to assess and inform attitudes. It is evident that effective research and development strategies for this new technology will need to encompass the consumer psychology if this technology is to fulfil its potential. Public engagement and informed dialogue are the key if we are to avoid the furore that has dogged the introduction of other new technologies in recent years such as food irradiation or genetic modification (GM).