Biofortification of tomatoes in Italy: Status and level of knowledge

Foti V.T., Scuderi A., Bellia C., Timpanaro G. (2021): Biofortification of tomatoes in Italy: Status and level of knowledge. Agric. Econ. – Czech, 67: 227–235.

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Biofortification is a strategy to reduce micronutrient deficiency in humans by fortifying food through natural processes, agronomic practices and genetic modification. In this study, we seek to shed light on what consumers understand by the term 'biofortified products' and thus to understand their level of knowledge about these products, as well as the reasons that dictate their purchasing choices and the relationship between consumption choices and lifestyles. The analysis focuses on vegetables and, in particular, on tomatoes with a high lycopene content. Research shows that consumers of biofortified food products are generally confused and uninformed, even though they show a high willingness to pay. This confusion seems to result, moreover, from the lack of a clear definition of a biofortified product, as well as from the lack of clear information on the specifics of biofortified products and the benefits they can bring. The future of biofortified products can, therefore, be improved by the creation of clear standards and reference definitions and better information and transparency that would benefit the consumer.

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