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Sijtsema S.J.,Wageningen University | Zimmermann K.,Wageningen University | Cvetkovic M.,University of Banja Luka | Stojanovic Z.,University of Belgrade | And 6 more authors.
LWT - Food Science and Technology | Year: 2012

The aim of the study was to gain a better understanding of the consumption and perception of processed fruits in Western Balkan countries in order to support consumer-oriented product development.In-depth interviews (n = 183) were used to explore the consumption of processed fruits, the motives to consume such fruits and the barriers to doing so in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. The Western Balkan region has a rich tradition of home-made fruit products, which might influence consumers' perception of processed fruits.Generally, more fruit juice is consumed in these countries than jams and dried fruits. Motives to consume fruit products are taste and health, and being a substitute when fresh fruit is unavailable. The most important barriers to the consumption of processed fruits are price and a preference for fresh fruits; also mentioned were availability, product safety and the absence of habitual consumption of such products. Consumers express that they prefer home-processed to industrial products, as they trust neither the producers nor the ingredients.Recommendations are presented for consumer-oriented product development and innovations in fruit processing, in which target groups, consumption moment, and perception of fruit and processed fruit should be taken into consideration. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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