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Sensory studies with low-income, food-insecure consumers

Ramaroson Rakotosamimanana, Vonimihaingo, De Kock, Henriëtte L
Current opinion in food science 2020 v.33 pp. 108-114
consumers (people), food acceptability, food research, foods, malnutrition, nutritive value, sensory evaluation
A substantial proportion of African population is food-insecure, of low socioeconomic background. While much effort is made to address cost, safety and nutritional quality of food for economically vulnerable consumers, research specifically focusing on food acceptance and preference is seriously lacking. Here, we present examples of recently published studies to demonstrate the value of food research involving African consumer testing. A systematic search of the literature was performed and 44 studies reviewed. Gaps in research on the topics and approaches used by researchers when conducting consumer tests with these consumers were identified. The review concludes with a discussion about modifications of test methodologies that may be required when conducting consumer tests with low-income, food-insecure consumers. The consumer studies with undernourished or vulnerable individuals have clearly demonstrated the importance of doing such studies to formulate foods adapted for these target markets. These studies are important to fight undernutrition.