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Consumers' health-related perceptions of bread - Implications for labeling and dietary counceling
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Purpose: From a health perspective, there is a wide variety of commercial bread types. The aim is to describe consumers’ health-related perceptions of bread by exploring which health-related quality attributes consumers associate with bread and whether there are differences with regard to age and education level.

Methodology: A postal and web-based sequential mixed-mode survey (n=1134, 63% responded online and 37% by paper). Open-ended questions and an elicitation task with pictures of commercial breads were used. Responses were analyzed for their content and inductively categorized.

Findings: Three fourths (n=844) knew of breads they considered healthy; these were most commonly described using terms such as “coarse,” “whole-grain,” “fiber rich,” “sourdough,” “crisp,” “less sugar,” “dark,” “rye,” “seeds,” “a commercial brand,” “homemade” and “kernels.” The attributes were perceived as healthy mainly because they “contain fiber” and are “good for the stomach,” or have good “satiation” and beneficial “glycemic properties.” The frequency of several elicited attributes and health effects differed as a function of age group (18-44 vs. 45-80 years) and education level group (up to secondary education vs. university). Difficulties identifying healthy bread were perceived as a barrier for consumption especially among consumers with a lower education level (38%) compared to a higher (28%) (p=.004).

Originality/value: The present study identifies potential pitfalls in consumer evaluations of bread from a health perspective, particularly in relation to labels and packing. The findings are relevant to health professionals working in dietary counseling as well as to industry when designing packaging and to authorities when drawing up regulations.

Keyword [en]
quality perception, cues, labeling, whole grain, age groups, educational level
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-316597OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-316597DiVA: diva2:1078475
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2011-242VINNOVA, 2011-242
Available from: 2017-03-04 Created: 2017-03-04 Last updated: 2017-05-03
In thesis
1. Rye bread in Sweden: Health-related and sensory qualities, consumer perceptions and consumption patterns
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rye bread in Sweden: Health-related and sensory qualities, consumer perceptions and consumption patterns
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Rye bread has shown potential as a health-beneficial component in the diet, especially in relation to non-communicable diseases. To have a beneficial effect in reality, however, it also needs to be available, chosen and eaten. Less research has focused on rye bread from a consumer perspective. The main aim was to investigate consumption patterns, health-related and sensory qualities and consumer perceptions of bread, more specifically commercial rye bread. In Study I, secondary analysis was performed on bread consumption data from a national dietary survey (n=1,435, 18-80 years). In Study II, commercial rye breads (n=24) were characterized by sensory descriptive analysis; the in vitro measurement fluidity index (FI) was used to predict glycemic properties, and chemical acidity was measured. Study III was a consumer test (n=398, 18-80 years), where acceptance and perceptions of nine rye breads were investigated. Study IV was a web-based and postal sequential mixed-mode survey (n=1,134, 18-80 years) with open-ended items covering health-related perceptions of bread. Consumers with the lowest intake of whole grain and rye bread were from younger age groups, families with children and groups with lower educational levels. Health-related and sensory properties of commercial rye bread varied widely. The FI indicated more beneficial glycemic properties in half of the samples and this was associated with a chewy, dry texture and sour flavor. The younger consumer group (18-44 years) differed in their liking compared to the older group (45-80 years) and displayed a preference toward bread with less whole grain and rye, although different clusters were identified. Rye bread liking was associated with bread type consumed in childhood, food choice motives and educational level. Most (75%) knew of bread they considered healthy. Coarse, whole grain, fiber, sourdough and rye were perceived to be good for the stomach, bowel and, to have good satiation and glycemic properties. Few health claims have been authorized, making it challenging for consumers to identify bread with these properties. Front-of-package label indicating rye bread was sometimes found on breads with very little rye flour. Sensory attributes, foremost textural and flavor, e.g., sourness, correlated with beneficial FI values and could thereby help guide consumers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 97 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 138
Keyword
national dietary survey, sensory analysis, preference mapping, sourdough, whole grain, public health, health promotion
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-316598 (URN)978-91-554-9847-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-04-28, A1:111a, Biomedical Centre (BMC), Husargatan 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-04-07 Created: 2017-03-09 Last updated: 2017-04-21

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