Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Food Science and Nutrition


Food Science and Nutrition


Amy Lammert


The goal of this study was to understand the relationship between food neophobia and bitterness in consumer liking. Fruit and vegetable consumption is necessary for elementary school children to build healthy habits. Free and reduced lunch programs (FRL) in schools provide nutritional opportunities to students. Bitterness sensitivity and food neophobia were examined as separate drivers of liking in acceptance testing (n=161, ages 6-12) from two local elementary schools (high and low %FRL). The food neophobia scale and the fruit and vegetable neophobia instrument (FNVI) were used to determine food neophobia. FNVI scores distinguished consumers in hierarchical cluster analysis of overall liking. FVNI scores correlated to texture liking and flavor liking in familiar and unfamiliar fruits and vegetables. Non-bitter sensitive participants unexpectedly exhibited more neophobia than bitter sensitive participants. Neophobic participants liked familiar products more than unfamiliar products. Bitter sensitive participants were less neophobic and preferred bitter vegetables