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Australian wine consumers’ acceptance of and attitudes toward the use of additives in wine and food production

Authors Saltman Y, Johnson T, Wilkinson K, Bastian S

Received 19 June 2015

Accepted for publication 14 August 2015

Published 2 November 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 83—92


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Yaelle Saltman, Trent E Johnson, Kerry L Wilkinson, Susan EP Bastian

Department of Wine and Food, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Abstract: Additives are routinely used in food and wine production to enhance product quality and/or prevent spoilage. Compared with other industries, the wine industry is only permitted to use a limited number of additives. Whereas flavor additives are often used to intensify the aroma and flavor of foods and beverages, the addition of flavorings to wine contravenes the legal definition of wine. Given the current legislation, it is perhaps not surprising that the potential use of food additives in wine production has not been explored. This study therefore investigated Australian wine consumers' acceptance of and attitudes toward the use of additives in food and wine production. Consumers (n=1,031) were segmented based on their self-reported wine knowledge (ie, subjective knowledge). Using these ratings, low (n=271), medium (n=528), and high (n=232) knowledge segments were identified. Consumers considered natural flavorings and colors, and additives associated with health benefits (eg, vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 fatty acids), to be acceptable food additives, irrespective of their level of wine knowledge. In contrast, the use of winemaking additives, even commonly used and legally permitted additives such as tartaric acid, preservatives, oak chips, and tannins, were considered far less acceptable, particularly, by less knowledgeable consumers. Surprisingly, natural flavorings were considered more acceptable than currently used winemaking additives. Consumers were therefore asked to identify the flavors they would most prefer in white and red wines. Fruit flavors featured prominently in consumer responses, eg, lemon and apple for white wines and blackcurrant and raspberry for red wines, but vanilla and/or chocolate, ie, attributes typically associated with oak maturation, were also suggested.

Keywords: wine quality, segmentation, natural flavors, artificial flavors, wine knowledge

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