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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #400969

Research Project: Improving Evaluation of Catfish Quality and Reducing Fish Waste

Location: Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research

Title: Factors Influencing Consumers’ Willingness-to-Try Seafood Byproducts

item MURILLO, SILVIA - LSU Agcenter
item Ardoin, Ryan

Submitted to: Foods
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/16/2023
Publication Date: 3/20/2023
Citation: Murillo, S., Ardoin, R., Prinyawiwatkul, W. 2023. Factors influencing consumers’ willingness-to-try seafood byproducts. Foods. 12(6), 1313.

Interpretive Summary: Several byproducts of seafood processing contain valuable nutrients, and upcycling these byproducts into the human food supply is one strategy to reduce food waste. Using an online survey, this research collected data from 904 seafood consumers about their perceptions of byproduct consumption. Information about safety and health benefits increased the proportion of consumers willing to try seafood byproducts from 47% to 68%. These consumers indicated that the most appropriate product category for seafood byproduct utilization was "fish and fish products." However, other consumers were still unwilling to try foods containing seafood byproduct due to low expectations of sensory quality (taste, texture, aroma) and lingering concerns of safety. Openness to seafood byproduct consumption was related to individual characteristics (demographics, emotions) and responsiveness to safety and health messaging. These results offer a starting point for product development with seafood byproducts, suggesting further use in the seafood category. Effective product concepts should focus on sensory quality and perceptions of safety to promote initial trial.

Technical Abstract: With increasing global demand for seafood, seafood byproduct (SB) valorization can contribute to a more sustainable food supply through waste-to-value food product development. However, consumer perceptions of novel SB are underexplored. An online survey was administered to N=904 adult seafood consumers internationally. The proportion of consumers willing-to-try SB increased significantly (McNemar’s test, a=0.05) from 47% to 68% after SB safety and health information cues were given. Gender, race, SB knowledge, and previous SB consumption were significant predictors of trial intent (based on logistic regression models), and as were emotional baseline scores during the COVID-19 pandemic. Males were more open to SB consumption than females, and racial identity was associated with differential responsiveness to SB information. Higher levels of bored and unsafe feelings, and lower levels of free were associated with increased SB trial intent. Potential SB consumers identified fish products (82% willingness-to-try); seasoning mix, sauces and dressing (71% willingness-to-try); and soup and gravy products (62% willingness-to-try) as most appropriate for SB incorporation. Predominant reasons for SB avoidance were low expectations of sensory quality, followed by lack of trust in safety and nutrition. These consumer-driven data should guide SB product development concepts to encourage trial and overcome aversions through new consumption experience.