Choice and consumption of animal or plant-based protein: Controlling experimentally and statistically for sensory stimulus aspects and food choice factors

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Resumen

Everyday consumer food choices are influenced by a variety of interacting biological, situational, economical, and psychological factors [1–4]. The choice between animal-based and plant-based protein has implications for overall and cause-specific mortality and cardiometabolic health (e.g. [5–9]). During laboratory experiments that are designed to better understand factors that influence protein choice specifically, controlling for the sensory aspects of stimuli, health information, consumers’ physical characteristics, and dietary preferences is crucial. To illustrate the point, if a choice task included two stimuli, brown rice with tofu and steak with fries for example, a variety of factors, such as visual appeal and hedonic attributes could influence protein choice and dilute the effect of the experimental manipulation. This article provides a template for a generic experiment to measure participant choice among salt-cured jerky protein sources (e.g. beef, salmon, soy, textured vegetable protein, turkey, tuna) and consumed amounts. Using jerky products as stimuli minimizes variance in visual appearance, texture, and nutritional values, therefore facilitating the attribution of the experimental factor(s). A list of methods to experimentally and/or statistically control for potential sources of measurement error is provided. • Consumer choice of animal vs. plant-based protein has implications for individual and environmental health. • The methods can be used to customize experiments in consumer behavior research, psychology, and nutrition sciences. • Food choice is influenced by a variety of factors; experimentally and/or statistically controlling for major sources of measurement error increases confidence in the effect of the manipulated variable.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo101557
PublicaciónMethodsX
Volumen8
DOI
EstadoPublicada - ene. 2021

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