Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Edible Insects in Western Culture: Consumer Acceptance of Mealworm-Containing Foods and RDN Opinions Concerning Insects as a Protein Alternative
by Donald, Whitney, M.S.N., Bastyr University, 2018, 79; 10831569
Abstract (Summary)

Objective: Insects are consumed worldwide, however, this is unconventional in Western cultures as insects carry a gross-factor. Past studies found that certain personal and food-related characteristics are associated with acceptance and that incorporating insects in familiar foods is a stepping-stone for introducing these novel foods. Aim 1 addressed willingness to buy (WTB) foods containing processed mealworms and associations between previous experience, food-related characteristics and physical activity. Aim 2 surveyed RDNs about experience and potential recommendations regarding insects as a protein source.

Methods: A RedCap questionnaire administered via social media gathered information about consumer acceptance among adults throughout the US. Another questionnaire emailed to 4773 RDNs elicited opinions and recommendations. Data was analyzed using SPSS to measure determinants for acceptance.

Results & Conclusion: Of 127 responses, the 37% that previously consumed insects showed higher WTB mealworm products (t = 5.088(125), p < 0.0001). Those who partook in a wide range of physical activities had significantly higher levels of WTB than those who participated in four or fewer activities. Protein bars and a restaurant dish were most appealing compared to jerky, nuggets, and protein powder. Of 316 RDNs, 79% practiced in a clinic, 18% had previously consumed insects, 10% were admittedly familiar with the general nutrition content of commonly eaten insects, 61% would recommend insects if equivalent to conventional sources. Study information may aid in development of products that meet consumer demand and promote increased interest in sustainable protein sources.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kazaks, Alexandra
Commitee: Helsel, Diana, Lund, Kaleb, Perlot, Nancy
School: Bastyr University
Department: Nutrition
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Nutrition
Keywords: Edible insects, Food neophobia, Mealworms
Publication Number: 10831569
ISBN: 978-0-438-11444-9
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