Original burger (traditional) or burger with mushroom addition? A social representation approach to novel foods

Iliani Patinho, Erick Saldaña, Miriam Mabel Selani, Ana Clara Bortoluzzi Teixeira, Beatriz Schmidt Menegali, Thais Cardoso Merlo, Juan Dario Rios-Mera, Mariana D.B. Dargelio, Heber Rodrigues, Carmen J. Contreras-Castillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Currently, consumers’ interest in healthy products has attracted the attention of academia and the meat industry, which has focused mainly on incorporating ingredients with healthier properties. In this context, the aim of this study was to investigate the social representation of original burgers and burgers with mushroom addition considering different sexes and body mass indexes (BMIs) of individuals. Thus, 209 Brazilians answered a word association task followed by a word classification based on their importance and valence for original burgers and burgers with the addition of mushrooms. To obtain the structure of social representation, the words were positioned into four distinct zones based on their frequency of elicitation and importance. Also, the polarity index was used to give a connotation to the words. Three groups of consumers were identified. The first group (consumers with class-1 obesity of both sexes) associated the original burger with positive categories (cheese, juicy, seasoned, food, tasty, joy, salad and delicious). The second one (female consumers with pre-obesity and class-1 obesity) associated the burger with the addition of mushrooms with the elements price, different, vegetarian, flavor, gourmet and healthy. Finally, the third group (men and women for both stimuli and with a wide range of BMI) characterized burgers with sensory attributes, feelings and moments of consumption. In conclusion, the social representation of the original burger and the burger with the addition of mushrooms differed among consumers, suggesting that the main associations can be the main motivations for the consumption of a certain product.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110551
JournalFood Research International
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, Brazil). IP received the M.Sc. scholarship of the CAPES (n° 1766129). JD Rios-Mera thanks the support of the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Tecnológica - CONCYTEC from Peru (CIENCIACTIVA programme, PhD scholarship contract: No. 238-2018-FONDECYT). The authors would also like to thank Zucca mushrooms Company, VPJ Foods, Ibrac Additives and Condiments and Sealed Air Brazil, for donating ingredients, raw materials and packaging. IP is supported by doctoral fellowship from the FAPESP (Process N° 19/26026-2). CJCC is supported by a grant from FAPESP (Thematic Project N° 17/26667-2).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Beef burger
  • Brazil
  • Consumers’ study
  • Free word association
  • Mushrooms


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