High-Pressure Processing (HPP) and Pulsed Electric Fields (PEF) Products

The scientifically promising new technologies of high-pressure processing (HPP) and pulsed-electric field (PEF) are methods that are able to preserve the product characteristics such as color, flavor, nutritional values and sensory properties better than conventional technologies like pasteurization (Olsen et al., 2010). In addition to the improved product quality, the environmentally friendly process consumes less energy than conventional processes and is thus appreciated by consumers. However, these new technologies also raise consumers' resistance due to higher prices, possible loss of quality and perceptions of largely unknown dangers inherent in the process. In general, HPP products were easier to accept than PEF products, which created uncertainty about the risks as pulsed-electric fields is a name that refers to electricity in a frightening way. Therefore, HPP seemed to become consumers' choice with less risks and similar consumption benefits (Olsen et al., 2010). Furthermore, explanations about the advantages of the technology, displayed on the label, supported consumers' intentions to purchase the product. Consumers obviously look for new benefits but not for new risks; if consumers have concerns about product safety, expectations or consumer acceptance will be reduced. For consumers who think that companies are lax about consumer safety, there tends to be a negative perception regarding innovative products—they view the products with suspicious, expecting industry to look after its own interests rather than those of the consumers. However, younger and more educated consumers appreciate innovation, as do males (rather than females), and those focused on environmental and health issues, and they have been particularly open to new products and the technologies behind them.

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