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Food Science and Technology

Print version ISSN 0101-2061On-line version ISSN 1678-457X


MARINS, Bianca Ramos; JACOB, Silvana do Couto  and  PERES, Frederico. Qualitative evaluation of the reading habit and understanding: reception of the information contained in labels of food products. Ciênc. Tecnol. Aliment. [online]. 2008, vol.28, n.3, pp.579-585. ISSN 0101-2061.

The food label is an important link between consumers and products, and may be used for educational purposes. This study was carried out aiming at evaluating the habit of reading and understanding foodstuff label contents. The population studied was formed by clients of a supermarket chain located in the city of Niterói/RJ, Brazil - from September to December, 2003. Individual interviews were carried out (quali-quantitative study) in which a questionnaire about the labels was used and applied to 400 customers. The results regarding the qualitative part of the study showed that the main problems in the understanding of the food product labels are: the low confidence of the consumers in the information on the labels, the use of technical language, the excess of propaganda made by different means of communication and the scarce information on potentially allergenic food components. The study pointed out the need for the development of public communication strategies to better guide consumers to choose their food.

Keywords : food label; consumers; legislation; qualitative evaluation; sanitary surveillance.

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