A Study of Nutritional Awareness of Jordanians’ Consumers towards Functional Foods

Mohammed O. Ibrahim


The functional food industry has expanded yet research into consumer perceptions of functional foods is limited. This study was carried out to investigate consumers’ awareness, acceptance and attitudes towards functional foods in Jordan. Six hundred and twenty eight Jordanian consumers were randomly recruited at shopping areas, universities and public places. 55.8% of this population sample was male and 44.2% were female, and they were aged between 18 and 70 years. A questionnaire consists of three parts was given to participants to fill it by themselves. It was shown in this study that 74.4 of participants had used olive oil, 55.6% of the participants had used herbal tea, and 37.3% of the participants had used bread with whole grain. The results show that older respondents were 4.233 times more aware of functional food than younger respondents. Also, it was shown that the female respondents were 3.176 times more aware of functional food than the male respondents. Similarly, the likelihood of respondents having awareness of functional food was 2.237 times greater among those who had a higher educational level than among those with a lower educational level. Consumers who used vitamin supplements were 1.831 times more aware of functional food than other consumers. Also, the likelihood of their awareness of functional food was 2.532 times greater among respondents who had a higher income than among those with a lower income. Participants scoring high on the reward from using functional foods were more likely to have consumed milk fortified with calcium, bread with whole grain, and olive oil than participants with low scores. On the other hand, respondents scoring high on the taste of functional foods were more likely to have consumed fruit juices fortified with vitamin C, yoghurt with probiotics, eggs with increased omega-3, breakfast cereals fortified with vitamins and minerals, and herbal tea than participants who scored low. As a conclusion, this study has shown that socio-demographic characteristics such as age, education and income levels, and prices are important indicators that influence consumers’ awareness and consumption of functional food. These results suggest that this type of knowledge could affect consumers’ interest in functional foods and therefore educational strategies might be necessary to encourage the consumption of functional foods.

Keywords: Functional food, awareness, acceptance, attitude, probiotics, fortified

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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