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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|18101||2013||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Food Policy, Volume 40, June 2013, Pages 109–118
New technologies in food processing can provide advantages to consumers and producers but often the technologies are applied in different, country-specific regulatory climates. Modified atmosphere packaging extends the shelf life of fresh meat and, with the inclusion of carbon monoxide, stabilizes colour. These packaging technologies can be used in the US and Europe, although a modified atmosphere package that includes carbon monoxide is allowed only in the US. This study applies choice experiments to analyse preferences of US and German consumers towards the meat attributes enhanced by the packaging. Results show that longer shelf life is preferred in the US as long as the technology is understandable. Consumers in both countries have clear preferences for cherry red meat colour. However, providing information on the use of carbon monoxide in the packaging decreases US consumers’ willingness to pay and increases some German consumers’ willingness to pay.
In markets today, consumers demand meat products that are safe, promote good health, are of high quality and convenient to purchase and use. In this context, maintaining an attractive colour and long shelf life as indicators of meat being “fresh” and safe to eat is of primary importance. Colour is the first quality attribute consumers use to evaluate meat quality, and it plays a major role in influencing purchase decisions (Viana et al., 2005), even if the colour does not affect taste or shelf life (Sørheim et al., 2001 and Steenkamp, 1989). Establishing and maintaining an attractive cherry red colour during retail display is a challenge for meat processors and the retail industry. Several processing technologies are available to improve the stability of colour while at the same time extending product shelf life. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is one technology used to both extend shelf life and stabilize colour for fresh foods. MAP refers to the replacement of air in the headspace of the packaging with a single gas or a mixture of gases including for example high oxygen (O2) levels, with at minimum 60% O2 (McMillin, 2008 and Sørheim et al., 2001). Besides high oxygen atmosphere, another option to preserve meat colour is the use of carbon monoxide (CO) in concentrations between 0.3% and 0.5%. MAP with low concentrations of CO and high concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) has been shown to provide stable, bright red colour to beef and pork products (Viana et al., 2005). The colour can be stabilized up to a year. However, the use of carbon monoxide (CO) in MAP (CO-MAP) for food is controversial and this has led to differing regulations and use across countries. Of course, countries differ not only with respect to regulations but also with regard to consumers’ attitudes towards new technologies and responses to information (e.g., Lusk and Fox, 2003 and Lusk et al., 2004). A key question is whether the regulations as practiced are conform or at odds with consumers’ preferences? With respect to the use of CO-MAP the EU has banned the application, despite an EC Health & Consumer Protection Directorate’s report that pointed out that no risk of harm to human health could be assumed for the use of the CO-MAP technology (EC, 2001). To the authors’ knowledge, at no point in time were consumer preferences taken into account when banning the technology. In the United States, the use of CO in consumer-ready fresh meat packaging (as CO-MAP) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, but since then several companies have withdrawn products using the packaging from their shelves in response to consumer group pressure about the use of the packaging technology (FDA, 2002 and FDA, 2004).1 Although many studies exist on the technological effects and characteristics of MAP (e.g. Brooks et al., 2008, Cliffe-Byrnes and O’Beirne, 2005, Allende et al., 2004, Rocculi et al., 2004 and Jayas and Jeyamkondan, 2002), there are only a few that address consumers’ acceptance of MAP and especially CO-MAP. Recent examples of consumer acceptance studies include Van Wezemael et al. (2011) who analysed acceptance of different packaging technologies. Their findings for European consumers show that vacuum packaging is the most accepted packaging technology followed by MAP, while technologies including different kinds of additives are less accepted.2Aaslyng et al. (2010) find that Scandinavian consumers prefer meat packaged without oxygen. Including carbon monoxide (CO) in the packaging to maintain the red colour had no impact on the consumers’ preferences when choosing meat. This study aims to extend the previous literature by adding direct measures of willingness to pay for certain meat product attributes, including not only the packaging technology but also the attributes of colour and shelf life. Within the limits of accepted economic experimental procedures, we provide a unique study design that allows an evaluation of whether consumers in different countries (Germany and USA) differ in their response to modified atmosphere packaging including carbon monoxide. Cross-country comparisons of consumer responses to technologies deepen our understanding of consumer preferences with respect to packaging technologies and product attributes. Through use of non-hypothetical choice experiments, we are also able to assess whether German consumers would be willing to purchase the CO-MAP products, if they existed in the market. Also, we evaluate whether labelling of MAP and CO-MAP would change US consumer preferences (currently those products are not labelled in the US regarding the packaging technology). The contribution of this paper is to assess consumer preferences for different meat packaging methods when including varying information and labelling scenarios. Ground beef was chosen as the research product because it is a staple in the diet of consumers in industrial countries. Given the potential for MAP and CO-MAP to improve the profitability of producers and food retailers and to provide potential consumer quality attributes, consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for these new technologies are critical to a better understanding of how to position the new technologies in the marketplace and to develop policies to appropriately inform consumers. Depending on the results, regulatory changes might be considered in both countries although preferences are not the only reason to change public policy. The remainder of the paper is as follows. The section ‘Background on modified atmosphere packaging and its regulations’ provides detailed background on MAP and CO-MAP as well as on the underlying regulatory frameworks for each of the two countries. In the section ‘Methodological background’ the design of the study and the methodology applied in analysing the data are explained. The section ‘Empirical results’ presents empirical results of the study and the section ‘Discussion and conclusions’ provides conclusions based on the results.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
As illustrated in Table 1, MAP regulations differ across countries. Some recognise the packaging technology as technological additives that do not need to be labelled; others understand it as food additives where the use is regulated and product labelling is required (e.g. Germany). The use of CO is especially controversial. Some countries approve the application such as the US, while others, as is the case of the EU member states, ban it from food processing. Differing regulations can represent a non-tariff barrier to trade. Table 1. Comparison of legislations and labelling requirements across countries. Country Relevant legislations CO-MAP allowed Required MAP labelling USA – Code of Federal Regulations part 21: Food and Drugs, part 170: regulates food additives; part 170.30: eligibility for classification as generally recognised as safe (GRAS), regulates packaging and protective gases understood to be food additives such as CO, CO2 and N2 (http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/opi-appa.html) Yes GRAS substances do not have to be labelled. Only ‘use-by date’ stating amount of time the product will remain safe for consumption needs to be labelled Canada – Good Manufacturing Practice: covers CO2 and N2 – MAP gases are listed as “technical additives” as well as food additives – A list of technical additives includes all gases as “Head space flushing gases and packaging gases” (CFIA, 2007) Yes, if <0.4% for meat No need to label gases classified as technical additives on the packaging EU member states – 89/107/EEC: directive of food additives – 95/2/EC: directive of food additives other than colours or sweeteners, identifies as “packaging gases” those gases other than air introduced into a container before, during or after placing foodstuff in them – 94/54/EWG, Appendix: regards labelling of foodstuffs whose durability has been extended by means of packaging gases – EWG 2092/91, Appendix VI: regards labelling of E-numbers No Label: ‘Packaged in a protective atmosphere’E-numbers on the packaging label, e.g. E290 for CO2, E948 for O2 Germany – German additive regulation ZZulV, Anlage VII §5 Abs.1, 1998: additives of technological nature do not have to be mentioned on package, but protective atmosphere is required to be labelled No ‘unter Schutzatmosphäre verpackt’ Australia, New Zealand – Common food standard (FSANZ): no food packaging is allowed to make food unsafe or cause spoilage but no restrictions are in place with regard to MAP gases, producer is responsible for product and package content (NZFSA, 2008) – CO, CO2 and N2 are identified as food additives from the subgroup of packaging gases Yes, if <1% No labels are needed to inform about use of MAP but information regarding storage and shelf life is required Table options This paper analyses consumers’ purchasing decisions for ground beef packaged under a modified atmosphere with and without carbon monoxide based on surveys conducted in two countries and with additional information and labels provided to the consumers. Because there is very limited knowledge about consumers’ economic valuation of these technologies and the related attributes for meat shelf life and colour, we utilised non-hypothetical choice experiments to uncover consumers’ preferences for ground beef attributes related to those packaging technologies. We examined response to shelf life, which is extended by MAP, and to colour, which is stabilized by CO-MAP. The choice experiments contained three treatments, each providing consumers with alternative types of information about the technologies and related product labelling. The results show that all consumers prefer light and cherry red ground beef. There were some differences between German and US consumers in their WTP although direct comparison is difficult due to differences in the set-up of the choice experiments (no CO-MAP could be sold in Germany). Germans show a rather high WTP for the colour cherry red in ground beef in comparison to the US consumers. German consumers were willing to pay a €3.75 premium for cherry red colour in ground beef. US consumers were willing to pay €0.69. The provision of information on MAP as well as on CO-MAP had different effects. Information on MAP increased the WTP for shelf life for US consumers while not affecting the WTP for shelf life for German consumers. In 2001, the EC implemented a ban on the use of CO-MAP packaging in products available to EU citizens because of their impression that consumers would not want it, i.e. it is not of interest to consumers. Our study finds that Germans’ WTP for beef is not affected when being informed about the use of CO-MAP technology. However, the German consumers clearly prefer the bright cherry red that results from CO-MAP. These consumers are willing to pay a premium for bright red ground beef colour, a colour that results from CO packaging. This leads to the conclusion that a significant share of consumers accepts MAP and CO-MAP. Nevertheless, communicating with consumers about the technologies is vital. Informed consumers in both countries are willing to pay a premium for product with the desired attributes, even after the information on the food technologies used to achieve the desired product qualities is provided. However, introducing the information on technologies may reduce confidence in the product or introduce some uncertainty in some consumer segments, and this, in turn, leads to a lower WTP; at least in the case of colour for US consumers. Thus, we conclude that, in some cases, consumers are sensitive to information. The statistically significant coefficients on standard deviations for a high number of variables show that consumers vary in their preferences. The findings are summarised as follows. For US consumers, extending shelf-life increases US consumers’ WTP for ground beef; and, providing information on the use of MAP for extending shelf life increases US consumers’ WTP for the 14-day shelf life. A longer shelf life is preferred as long as the applied technology is understandable. Both US and German consumers have clear preferences for brighter red meat colour. This result emphasizes the importance of colour stabilization for ground beef. Providing information on CO-MAP for stabilizing colour decreases US consumers’ WTP, but no effect on the mean WTP for colour for the German consumers (although there was an increase in the variability of the response) was found. European legislation prohibited CO-MAP without directly evaluating the consumer’s perspective. This study provides evidence, at least for Germany, that some consumers would prefer to have a choice of food packaged under a modified atmosphere including carbon monoxide. As indicated by the significant standard deviation for “cherry red colour after info on CO-MAP” the enhanced colour preservation offers advantages for a certain segment of consumers. Results indicate that preferences are heterogeneous towards cherry red colour once consumers have been informed about CO-MAP technology. With regard to the US labelling MAP could increase WTP but labelling CO-MAP could lead to a decrease in demand. This type of result provides useful support for policies designed to protect and support consumer interest and choice. Overall, consumers’ preferences for new technologies in fresh meat processing raise an important public health policy issue. Is the provision of information about food-related technologies sufficient for consumer protection when the technologies hold some measured consumer benefits? The experimental results have implications for such policy recommendations regarding MAP and CO-MAP. For industry itself, the results for treatment 3 suggest that promotion of the product benefits (colour) is likely to have a positive effect on product sales; however, this result would be less strong in the US if detailed information about the technology used is also presented.