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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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RiskConso :Expertise in the service of public policies on public health risks related to food and their perception by consumers [INRAE DAPP Project]

Understand to better reduce the distortion between risk assessment by experts and risk perception by consumers

Beyond the heterogeneity of consumers in terms of access and interest in food information, there is heterogeneity in terms of the processing of this information and in particular in terms of perception of the risk (s) associated with food (Siegrist and Árvai, 2020). Behavioral sciences have notably shown that these perceptual differences heavily influence consumer decisions and can have negative consequences when consumers' understanding of risks differs too much from that of experts (Hartmann et al., 2018). The prioritization of health and nutritional risks is a major current scientific question. Several classification approaches (“risk ranking”) have been proposed in the literature (FAO, 2020; Van der Fels-Klerx et al., 2018). Anses has just published a report on the prioritization of chemical and biological hazards (Anses, 2020), the DTU in Denmark is a pioneer in risk-benefit approaches (Nauta et al., 2020) with in particular a comparison in terms of risks of health between meat and fish (Persson et al., 2019; Persson et al., 2018). In the MICA department, a global methodology has just been put in place for the prioritization of health risks, it is based on multi-criteria decision support tools (MCDA), and has been tested on new consumer practices ( Eygue et al., 2020). However, it still needs to be supported by other applications.

The RiskConso project will make it possible to progress in the prioritization of risks, the challenge being to aggregate health risk and nutritional risk in order to ultimately prioritize foods as a whole, and compare this classification to the consumer's perception. The project will focus on (ultra-) processed food products sold by supermarkets in fresh shelves, to be prepared (eg moussaka, lasagna) or ready to eat (eg fresh tabbouleh); fish (eg surimi) or meat products (eg cordon bleu). The risk associated with (ultra-) processed food products is a topical and even controversial topic.

The project will address various scientific questions related to both the "risk communication and consumer education" and "risk prioritization" approaches, including:
1. The different profiles of consumers, their levels of knowledge, their behavior, etc.
2. Food risk prioritization methods incorporating hazards of a different nature
3. Differences in the perception of risk by consumers and by experts.
4. Improving communication with all segments of the population.

Coordination :Jeanne-Marie Membré, SECALIM

Partners :

  • Antoine Nebout-Javal, UR 1303  Aliss, INRAE
  • François Mariotti, UMR 0914 PNCA, INRAE
  • Daniel Zalko, Toxalim UMR1331, INRAE
  • INC 60 Millions de consommateurs


  • Eygue, M., Richard-Forget, F., Cappelier, J.-M., Pinson-Gadais, L., Membré, J.-M., 2020. Development of a risk-ranking framework to evaluate simultaneously biological and chemical hazards related to food safety: Application to emerging dietary practices in France. Food Control 115, 107279.
  • FAO. 2020. FAO Guide to Ranking Food Safety Risks at the National Level, Food Safety and Quality Series No 10. FAO
  • Roma.
  • Hartmann, C., Hübner, P., Siegrist, M., 2018. A risk perception gap? Comparing expert, producer and consumer prioritization of food hazard controls. Food and Chemical Toxicology 116, 100-107.
  • Nauta, M., Sletting Jakobsen, L., Persson, M., Thomsen, S.T. 2020. Risk-Benefit Assessment of foods. In: Perez Rodriguez, F., (Ed.), Risk Assessment Methods for Biological and Chemical Hazards in Food Taylor and Francis.
  • Nowotny, H., 2003. Democratising expertise and socially robust knowledge. Science and Public Policy 30, 151-156.
  • Persson, M., Fagt, S., Nauta, M.J., 2019. Optimising healthy and safe fish intake recommendations: a trade-off between personal preference and cost. British Journal of Nutrition 122, 206-219.
  • Persson, M., Fagt, S., Pires, S.M., Poulsen, M., Vieux, F., Nauta, M.J., 2018. Use of Mathematical Optimization Models to Derive Healthy and Safe Fish Intake. Journal of Nutrition 148, 275-284.
  • Siegrist, M., Árvai, J., 2020. Risk Perception: Reflections on 40 Years of Research. Risk Analysis n/a.
  • Van der Fels-Klerx, H.J., Van Asselt, E.D., Raley, M., Poulsen, M., Korsgaard, H., Bredsdorff, L., Nauta, M., D'Agostino, M., Coles, D., Marvin, H.J.P., Frewer, L.J., 2018. Critical review of methods for risk ranking of food-related hazards, based on risks for human health. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 58, 178-193.