University of Twente Student Theses


Nanotechnology in food, care products, and medicine: public perception of risks and benefits

Bekke, J.H.B. ter (2014) Nanotechnology in food, care products, and medicine: public perception of risks and benefits.

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Abstract:Nanotechnology is considered to be an enabling technology that is likely to have a great impact on our lives over the coming decades. This new technology could offer great benefits, but little is known about environmental or health hazards. The purpose of this study was to examine people’s perceptions of trust, risks, benefits, control, and dread on food, care products, and medicine to which either natural or nano-additives were added for certain unique benefits for human health. Data was collected with two online surveys, both identical except for which additive was mentioned. Participants (N = 125) perceived risks and dread to be significantly higher for nano-additives than for natural additives for all product categories. Scores were significantly lower for nano-additives when measuring perceived trust, benefits, and control for food and care products. Medicine did not show any significant results for trust, benefits, and control. Calculations were also conducted to see whether there were any significant differences between nano-fortified products. Medicine scores were found to be significantly higher than food for benefit and control items, and medicine scores were also significantly higher than care products for control and dread items. The results suggest that the public may perceive nano-fortified food and care products differently from nano-fortified medicine.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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