Journal of Food Technology and Preservation

Research Article - Journal of Food Technology and Preservation (2017) Volume 1, Issue 3

A study on the consumer awareness of food additives in packaged food and their effects on health in Abha region, Saudi Arabia

Background: This study will be useful to create an awareness of consumers about the packaged food, study consumers’ attitude towards packaged food and their knowledge about health problems arising from use of packaged food among Abha community and the use of this information and food labeling information in the purchasing of packaged food. Objectives: To study the socioeconomic background of the study subjects and to study the consumer knowledge and attitude towards use of packaged food. Methods: A validated semi structured questionnaire was prepared to elicit information on socioeconomic background, knowledge and attitude of consumers towards the use of packaged food. It was administered to 407 subjects in three different malls in Abha, Saudi Arabia. The responses were coded into SPSS 22 software and the Chi square significance was studied among different variables. Results: Within the high income group, 90.3% of the female subjects did not like packaged food (p<0.05) due to the reason that they like fresh food. Also within the low income group, 87% of the female subjects within the family members did not like the packaged food, whereas (53.1%) of the male subjects liked the packaged food. The reason may be that packaged foods are expensive. A significant (p<0.01) majority of the subjects within the family or individual income, belonging to low (72.2%), average (89.9%) and high income group (87.2%) felt fresh food was better. Overall all the subjects felt that packaged foods are expensive. Of the total, around 25.1% of the subjects read the labels sometimes of which female constituted 18.7%. This gender difference was not due to income or educational level; but may be due to level of exposure. Of the total 89.2% of the subjects disposed while 10.8% of the subjects used the expired products. A significant (p<0.05)majority of subjects (54.3%) of the average income group did not find any fungus or adulterants in the packaged food, while 25.8% of the subjects of the same group found adulterants and fungus in the packaged food. From the above results it is evident that education, sex and income levels play an important part in purchasing attitudes in the use of packaged food. Conclusion: Creating awareness and knowledge about the packaged food will go a long way to educate consumers on the use of packaged food giving significant importance to the labels.

Author(s): Sachithananthan V

Abstract Full Text PDF