Virtual reality technology applied for evaluation of protein-enriched rye bread – University of Copenhagen

CALM > News > Virtual reality techno...

23 April 2018

Virtual reality technology applied for evaluation of protein-enriched rye bread

In Denmark, rye bread is one of the most popular and traditional main foods. Protein-enriched rye bread could be a convenient and healthy bakery product which has the potential to be part of the consumers’ daily diet help with the promotion of protein intake among older adults without changing their eating habits.

As part of the CALM project a virtual reality study has recently been completed at the University’s Dept. of Food Science on rye bread prototypes enriched with high quality protein aimed at older adults. The study was conducted by PhD student Xio Song, Associate Professor Armando Perez-Cueto and Professor Wender Bredie.

Consumers’ acceptance of food products are influenced by contextual exposure. Immersive virtual reality (VR) technology can stimulate real-life environments at one location and thus can be used as a convenient and efficient tool for adding versatile contexts in sensory and consumer research.

In the consumer acceptance study at the Future Consumer Lab, University of Copenhagen, VR technology was applied to present a cozy restaurant context and a classic cinema context, which were chosen as congruent and non-congruent situations for rye bread consumption, respectively. A default ambient room condition was also included as the neutral context. During exposure of the above three contexts, seventy potential consumers aged 60+ tasted protein-enriched rye bread samples, with their engagement and acceptance data collected meanwhile.

Results showed that under VR immersed restaurant context, consumers felt more comfortable and had a significantly higher desire and acceptance for rye breads, compared to the VR immersed cinema context. Moreover, consumers are generally satisfied with protein-enriched bread samples in all three contexts. Protein-enriched rye bread was regarded as a potentially good alternative source of high quality protein.

For more details regarding this study see article published at Europe Baking magazine (Spring 2018, P10).