Brazilian consumers’ perception of edible insects

Percepção de consumidores brasileiros aos insetos comestíveis

Igor Sulzbacher Schardong Joice Aline Freiberg Natielo Almeida Santana Neila Silvia Pereira dos Santos Richards About the authors

ABSTRACT:

It is estimated that by 2050 the world population will be 9 billion people; and therefore, the need for alternative sources of protein is inevitable, since conventional sources, such as beef, pork and poultry, will not be sufficient to meet the demand of population growth. Food that includes alternative sources of protein, such as insects, is a reality in countries of Latin America, Asia, Australia, Europe and Africa. This research presents the results of an exploratory study that analysed the food profile of 1,619 consumers in the five Brazilian regions (North, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast and South) as well as their perception, motivation and preferred form of edible insects. The data were analysed by cross-tabulation and expressed as frequencies. Our results show that women are more reluctant than men to consume insects. In general, there is a preference for consumption of insects in the form of flour. However, those with more familiarity with this type of consumption prefer the whole insect. Most Brazilian consumers have no opinion about the safety of consuming insects; however, consumers with higher levels of education and familiarity consider it safe.

Key words:
entomophagy; food preference; food profile; food safety; neophobia

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