Food Quality | Knowledge for policy

Definition of Food Quality

The notion of food timbre rests on a building complex and multi-dimensional concept which is influenced by a wide compass of situational and contextual factors. The characteristics contributing to food quality are depicted in the visualize below .


The 24th Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations ( FAO ) Regional Conference for Europe attempted to extend the general definition of quality, which can be found in standards of the International Standardization Organization ( ISO ), to food quality* :

  1. Historically, quality has been primarily understood as the absence of a defect, fraud and adulteration.
  2. More recently, quality rests on expected properties such as organoleptic and nutritional characteristics or resulting benefits. This introduces the need to take the legitimate expectations of users into account and to request operators to do likewise.
  3. Finally, quality designates desirable characteristics likely to justify added value; for example, forms of production (organic farming, environmental consideration, and animal welfare), production areas (designation of origin) and their associated traditions.

Dimension of Food Quality

Food quality has an aim dimension, which is the measurable physico-chemical characteristic implicit in to a food product, and a immanent dimension framed by consumer expectations, perceptions, and acceptance ( ‘fitness for consumption ‘ ) ( number below ).


consumer expectations are based on timbre cues ( information stimulation ) that are either intrinsic ( e.g. inferring the ripen of fruit from its color ) or extrinsic to the intersection ( e.g. advertising, brand image ). The better the couple between the expectations consumers have before buying ( expected choice ) and the feel they obtain in using the products ( experience quality ), the higher the level of consumer gratification. It has been demonstrated that convinced feel with a post reduces the hazard of dissatisfaction and is frequently used to infer quality of the product*.  Consequently, consumers often rely on long-familiar brand names as quality indicators*. Research has shown that consumers regard the taste and other sensational characteristics of food, health, public toilet and the production process ( e.g. organic, animal benefit, etc. ) as the most authoritative determinants of food quality*. In this esteem, centripetal properties ( preference, aroma, etc. ) were rated by 96 % of 30.000 respondents in a german survey as the dominating dimension of food choice, followed by ‘safety ‘ ( 93 % ) ; ‘freshness ‘ and ‘appealing appearance ‘ were ranked third gear ( 92 % ) and fourth ( 87 % ) places respectively*. The ‘Special Eurobarometer 389 ‘ report of 2012 showed that food quality, price and lineage matter to the majority of EU citizens, but attitudes to brands can vary significantly. furthermore, the report states that ‘opinions on the importance of brands vary more wide between Member States than in the case of quality price and origin*. The results are summarised in figure below showing Consumer priorities when buying foods ( based on data taken from extra Eurobarometer 389 ) .


Food quality was rated the most important buy motif ( 96 % ), followed by price ( 91 % ). Interestingly, post information is clearly less important for those purchasing food ; 50 % of EU citizens see this information as insignificant .
Food quality* : Food guard and quality in Europe : aspects concerning in finical quality, nutritional libra, the importance of agrarian land and cultural inheritance ( “ terroirs ” ). twenty-fourth FAO Regional Conference for Europe, Montpellier, France, 5-7 May 2004 more information .
quality of the product* : Klaus G. Grunert ( 2005 ) Food choice and safety : consumer perception and demand. european Review of Agricultural Economics. 32:369-391 11 Vraneševic T., Stančec, R. ( 2003 ) The effect of brand on perceived quality of food products. british Food Journal 195 : 811–825
timbre indicators* : Brunsø K., Ahle Fjord T., Grunert K.G. ( 2002 ) Consumers ‘ food choice and timbre percept. The Aarhus School of Business, Working wallpaper no 77, ISSN 09072101
Determinats of food quality* : Consumers ‘ Choice ‘ 11. GfK Panel Services Deutschland und Bundesvereinigung five hundred Deutschen Ernährungsindustrie e.V. more information.

Quality price and origin* : special Eurobarometer 389 : Europeans ’ attitudes towards food security system, food quality and the countryside ( 2012 ) more information .

Dual Quality of Food

quality is among the most rate features when choosing food for purchase ; however, its aim description is a very challenging job. The come and type of ingredients influence the quality of food. Concerns have been raised in respective EU countries about foods that are marketed with the same box and stigmatization in their domestic market but differ from products sold in neighbouring markets. such differentiation may constitute an unfair commercial exercise when the dispute ( dual-quality ) is not adequately communicated to the consumer, even if the provisions of the EU Food Information to Consumers legislation are respected .
Some more information about Food Authenticity and Quality can be found on on the web site of EU SCIENCE HUB or in the Science for Food, the JRC thematic composition .
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