E3S Workshop at Eurosense 2024: “Food neophobia in Europe across the life course: an E3S collaborative study”

Organised by the E3S Children and Taste Sensitivity Working Groups

9 September, 2024 | Dublin, Ireland

Lead: Monica Laureati1, Sara Spinelli2, Caterina Dinnella2

1 Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences DEFENS, University of Milan, Italy; E3S Children Working Group 2 Department of Agriculture, Food, Environmental and Forestry DAGRI, University of Florence, Italy; E3S Taste Sensitivity Working Group

Coauthors: Valerie Almli3, Carolina Chaya4, Noelia da Quinta5, Rossella Di Monaco6, Flavia Gasperi7, Stella Lignou8, M. Remedios Marín-Arroyo9, Lisa Methven8, Carolina Muñoz-González10, Victoria Norton8, Miriam Angeles Pozo-Bayon10, Maria Piochi11, Sharon Puleo6, Mari Sandell12, Pernilla Sandvik13, Manuel Schätzer14, Amparo Tárrega15, Luisa Torri11, Marlies Wallner16, Karin Wendin17, Qian Yang18

3 Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, Nofima, Ås, Norway; 4 Department of Agricultural Economics, Statistics and Business Management, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain; 5 AZTI, Basque Research and Technological Alliance (BRTA), Derio  Spain; 6 Department of Agricultural Sciences, Food Science and Technology Division, University of Naples Federico II, Portici, Italy; 7 Center Agriculture Food Environment, University of Trento, Italy; 8 Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, United Kingdom; 9 Institute for Sustainability & Food Chain Innovation (ISFOOD), Universidad Pública de Navarra, Spain; 10 Institute of Food Science Research (CIAL), CSIC-UAM, Madrid, Spain; 11 University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo (CN) Italy; Department of Food and Nutrition, 12 University of Helsinki, Finland; 13 Department of food studies, nutrition and dietetics, Uppsala University, Sweden;  14 Special Institute for Preventive Cardiology and Nutrition—SIPCAN, Salzburg, Austria; 15 Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de los Alimentos (IATA-CSIC), Paterna, Spain; 16 University of applied Sciences JOANNEUM Graz, Austria; 17 Department of Food and Meal Science, Kristianstad University, Sweden; 18 Sensory Science Centre, Division of Food, Nutrition & Dietetics, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

Food neophobia is a psychological trait defined as fear/reluctance to consume new/unfamiliar food. However, its effect is not limited to unfamiliar foods and extends to specific product categories and is associated with a lower liking of food overall and with poor eating habits that can lead to nutritional deficiencies as well as obesity. 

Evidence shows that food neophobia peaks in childhood and then decreases in adulthood but may increase with older age due to health concerns. However, the evolution of food neophobia during lifespan is underexplored, so are differences in food neophobia between countries.

A unique dataset of 15518 individuals (aged 5 to 91 years old, 55% women) has been built, thanks to the contributions of the E3S Children and Taste Sensitivity Working Group members. The dataset includes data from 37 studies on children (n=2047), adolescents (n=737), adults (n=11188) and older people (n=1546) in eight countries: Austria, Italy, Finland, France, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and UK.

In this workshop we will focus on methodological and research issues by assessing the consistency and validity of different translations of the Food Neophobia Scale (Pliner and Hobden 1992) and of the Child Food Neophobia Scale (Laureati et al. 2015) that will be made available on the E3S website to promote the use of common shared methods. Furthermore, we will present the trajectory of food neophobia over the lifespan considering intersectional variables such as gender, education level, and country of residence. The influence of food neophobia on food preference and intake but also on sensory perception of food will be discussed, comparing the results of different studies.

Different speakers among the coauthors will present the results of the study and guide the discussion with the audience.


Presentation and main results of the collaborative E3S project: food neophobia trajectory over the lifespan in Europe
Sara Spinelli, Monica Laureati and Caterina Dinnella, E3S Children and Taste Sensitivity Working Groups


Food neophobia, technology neophobia, disgust impacted on liking and emotional response to protein alternatives, Qian Yang, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

Exploring the relationship between food neophobia and attitude towards meat reduction, Carolina Chaya, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Food neophobia is linked to poor olfactory performance and dysbiosis of the oral microbiota

Leonardo Menghi, University of Trento, Italy

Discussant: Karin Wendin, Kristianstad University, Sweden

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