Vitamin D Fortification of Processed Meat to Reduce Self-reported Deficiencies: Consumer Acceptance in the Irish Market
Successfully submitted for the award of Masters of Science in Food Safety Management to the Technological University Dublin
It is believed that many areas of the world are experiencing a Vitamin D deficiency pandemic. With Ireland’s geographic location, genetic characteristics, and the reemergence of rickets in Ireland in the early noughties; Ireland is a part of the deficiency pandemic. Vitamin deficiencies have historically been handled effectively through food fortification schemes, however additional food products, like processed meats, need to be assessed for their ability to address the deficiency and consumer acceptance. Aim: The aim of this study is to analyse the general consumer acceptance of future Vitamin D fortified, processed meats in the Irish market, in order to reduce deficiencies. Methodology: This study used primary data gathered on an online survey platform. All variables were self-reported, opinion-based, and multiple choice. Variables pertained to demographics, vitamin D intake, food fortification, and processed meats. Chi Squared tests were used to test the relationship between Vitamin D and fortification, fortification and processed meat consumption, etc. Results: The majority of respondents believed that they do not have an adequate intake of Vitamin D, consumed processed meats and an overwhelming majority of respondents also agree with food fortification. The significance of relationships between variables and the percentages of certain responses were tested to make assumptions on the consumer acceptance and impact on Vitamin D deficiency reduction. There was a significant relationship between those who consume processed meats and those that agree with fortification. There was also a significant relationship between those that think their health would increase with increased Vitamin D intake and those that would consider buying processed meats fortified with Vitamin D. The relationship was also
significant between those that regularly purchase fortified foods and those that would consider buying fortified meats fortified with Vitamin D. Conclusion: This finding of this study speaks to the possible success and reach of Vitamin D fortified processed meats. However, while correlation is plausible, the findings were not significant enough to declare that this product would be widely accepted in the market or would have a notable reduction on the population’s Vitamin D deficiency.