Nanotechnology is one of the key technological innovations in the present century and the food industry has already applied it to each of its sectors: from crop cultivation, to food production, food processing, and food packaging and preservation. However, few economic studies in the past have focused on consumer attitude and preference for specific products that are produced using nanotechnology, and even less on food or food related products. This analysis examines consumer valuations for nano-attributes via a nationwide online survey in the U.S. The survey uses canola oil as the research subject and implements a choice experiment to elicit individuals’ preferences. The results suggest that consumers would pay less for canola oil if it is produced from nanoscale-modified seeds or is packed with nanotechnology-enhanced technique. No significant difference is found for canola oil with health-enhancing nano-engineered oil drops. Additionally, the results reveal significant unobserved heterogeneities among consumers. The findings of this study are expected to help narrow the gap between scientific innovation, public policy, and social-economic concerns.
Food Control – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2018
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