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Deciphering urban consumer requirements for rice quality gives insights for driving the future acceptability of local rice in Africa: Case study in the city of Saint-Louis in Senegal

Mane I., Bassama J., Ndong M., Mestres C., Diédhiou P.M., Fliedel G.. 2021. Food Science and Nutrition, 9 (3) : p. 1614-1624.

DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.2136

Rice is the staple cereal in Senegal. Despite the many policies implemented over the last decade, Senegalese consumers still prefer imported over local rice. To understand this preference, this study compares consumer acceptability of three local rice samples versus two imported rice samples. Two focus groups and a consumer test with 120 women were carried out in the city of Saint-Louis in Senegal. The results concerning consumption habits showed that about 85% of the surveyed women consume rice at least once a day (at lunch). The hedonic test showed that consumers appreciated all five rice samples, but the most liked samples were obtained from industrial processing of either local or imported whole and fragrant rice. The least liked sample was a local semi-industrial rice, including 50% broken grains. The results of the just-about-right (JAR) test and check-all-that-apply (CATA) test showed that the sensory descriptors such as white color, well-cooked, and homogeneous grain size had an influence on the consumers' choice of rice samples. However, the most important selection criteria were the homogeneous size of the rice grains, the absence of impurities, both of which are directly linked to the milling conditions, and fragrance, which is related to the variety. The origin of the rice samples did not influence the consumers' choice. This study showed that local rice can compete with imported rice if processing is improved in some small-scale rice mills.

Mots-clés : riz; préférence alimentaire; comportement du consommateur; alimentation humaine; population urbaine; qualité des aliments; acceptabilité; sénégal

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