A new horizon for fish oil in food industry : a proposed application in dairy products : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Product Development, Massey University, New Zealand
Researchers have shown considerable interest in the beneficial health effects of long chain polyunsaturated fatty adds present in fish oil, and dietary advantages have been recognised. As a result food companies are keen to develop "health" foods containing refined and deodorised fish oils. This research is an attempt on this line.
Two product ideas are presented here, where it is proposed to incorporate fish oil in processed and spread cheese. The response of potential consumers is gauged through a purpose-designed questionnaire. The responses are discussed and analyzed using the statistical package SPSS.
The statistical analysis aimed at determining the factors that may affect product acceptability and buying trends. The results showed that sex, income and age of respondents added to their awareness of fish oil benefits and are factors that affect both product acceptability and buying trend and frequency with varying significance. The product that incorporates fish oil in processed cheese appears to be more acceptable and has a better potential market. The target groups of potential customers include the very young(< 20 years) and the old (> 40 years). Marketing needs to include strategies to increase the people's awareness of fish oil benefits.
It is recommended that the survey be re-conducted on a larger sample to confirm the results and that further work be carried out to develop a product acceptable to more than one market segment or cultural group.