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Factors affecting consumers’ evaluation of food derived from animals fed insect meal: A systematic review

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Lynn FrewerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Background Research in recent years has shown there is high potential for various insect species to converting organic substrates into high-quality feedstuffs. Insect-derived meal is increasingly being used to replace conventional feedstuffs such as soybean and fishmeal in animal diets, due to its high protein and essential amino acid content. However, research on consumer acceptance of foods derived from animals produced using insect-based meal is fragmented. Scope and Approach A systematic literature review was carried out in Scopus, Web of Science, AgEcon, and Google Scholar, with a total of 28 articles meeting the selection criteria. Papers were reviewed to identify factors affecting consumer acceptance of insect-based feed. Key Findings and Conclusions Overall, the review indicated that insects are more acceptable to consumers as an animal feedstuff than as human food. The most important factors influencing consumer evaluation of insect-based feed included risk perceptions, knowledge and heuristic cues. Ethical and environmental concerns also played a role in the decision-making process, but their effect on consumer acceptance of using insects in animal feed was less important. Food neophobia, disgust and uncertainties about safety and health, mainly deriving from lack of knowledge on the part of consumers, emerged as critical barriers to acceptance of insects in animal feed. Greater familiarity with the technology used for the production of insect meals could alleviate disgust and even lessen the impact of neophobia, although affective emotional reactions are unlikely to be changed by awareness and provision of information alone. Technological issues (including substrates and insect species) as well as price changes in the resulting animal-based foods are relevant factors that warrant further research in relation to consumer acceptance.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pakseresht A, Vidakovic A, Frewer LJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Trends in Food Science & Technology

Year: 2023

Volume: 138

Pages: 310-322

Print publication date: 01/08/2023

Online publication date: 10/06/2023

Acceptance date: 26/05/2023

Date deposited: 26/05/2023

ISSN (print): 0924-2244

ISSN (electronic): 1879-3053

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.tifs.2023.05.018


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