Radhika Bongoni

Integrating Consumer Science with Food Technology for Vegetable Quality after Domestic Preparation

Radhika Bongoni  




Dr. ir. L.P.A Steenbekkers
Dr. ing. R. Verkerk
Dr. ir. M. Dekker

Prof. Dr. M.A.J.S van Boekel

Project term:

January 2010- January 2014




This PhD project uses a transdisciplinary consumer-oriented food technology approach (COFT) to assess the influences of domestic vegetable preparation practices on the final quality (sensory and health). Vegetables are rich sources of variety of health promoting phytochemicals. During domestic preparation, the level of these phytochemicals is reported to decrease. The COFT approach integrates consumer science and food technology information with the help of mathematical modelling: (i) to estimate final quality of prepared vegetables (ii) to provide consumer information on optimal preparation conditions for vegetables (iii) to give an input for the design of vegetable products and kitchen appliances that can provide health benefits for consumers (Fig.1).

Figure 1 The consumer-oriented food technology approach


To gain insight on the:
(i) actual consumer vegetable preparation practices and the impacts on final quality,
(ii) information for consumers on optimal preparation conditions for a given vegetable or a given phytochemical Research

For this research, carrots (carotenoids) and broccoli (glucosinolates) are selected as the research study material. In the preliminary study (n=25) conducted in the Netherlands, validated self-reported questionnaire has been identified as an alternative to the direct-observations. In order to generalise the vegetable preparation practices among consumers, self-reported questionnaire are administered on a larger sample size (n=500).

Future research

Under the consumer science research of the COFT approach, data on the actual consumer vegetable preparation practices and motives behind will be identified. This data will be used to study the influences on the sensory and health quality attributes of carrots and broccoli. This information will further be used as an input for the existing mathematical models estimating changes in the phytochemical levels depending the preparation practices (Volden, et al., 2008).  Similar sensory models may be developed to predict consumer sensory acceptability of prepared vegetables. Optimal preparation conditions for vegetables (with maximum health benefits while satisfying the individual consumer sensory preferences and other possible motives) can be advised. 


Volden, J., Borge, G. I. A., Bengtsson, G. B., Hansen, M., Thygesen, I. E., & Wicklund, T. (2008). Effect of thermal treatment on glucosinolates and antioxidant-related parameters in red cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. ssp. capitata f. rubra). Food Chemistry, 109, 595-605.