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A literature review of public perception of food additive safety


Lijie Shan1,2, Qiuxia Zang1, Lingling Xu1,2, Xiangli Li3, Linhai Wu1,2*

* Corresponding author

1. Food Safety Research Base of Jiangsu Province, School of Business, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, 214122, China


2. Synergetic Innovation Center of Food Safety and Nutrition, Wuxi, 214122, China

3. School of Electric and Automatic Engineering, Changshu Institute of Technology, Changshu, 215500, China

Picture on the left: L. Shan


Food safety is an issue receiving increasing consumer attention as a series of food safety incidents have occurred in recent years. In this issue, additive risk is recognized as a major public concern. This paper, which is based on relevant literature published since 2001, identifies the primary factors affecting the public perception of food additives. These factors include consumers’ individual characteristics, their knowledge of food additives, and their beliefs and attitudes, as well as public information and government policies.


Foodborne diseases are a worldwide public health problem (1) having acquired significant relevance in developed countries following food safety crises in Europe, such as the recent E. coli O104 outbreak, over the last several decades (2). In recent years, frequent outbreaks of food safety incidents in China, such as abuse of food additives have attracted the attention of the media (3). As a result, consumers are becoming increasingly cautious regarding food safety and the various factors associated with food safety, among which food additives are the most controversial (4). In 2001, a survey was conducted to evaluate consumers’ knowledge and opinions about food additives (5). This study determined that most consumers considered food additives to be potential hazards and t ... ...

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