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Consumption of spices and ethnic contamination in the daily diet of Italians - consumers’ preferences and modification of eating habits

  • Autori: Stefania Chironi; Simona Bacarella; Luca Altamore; Pietro Columba; Marzia Ingrassia
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2021
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Currently, consumers appear to have diversified characteristics with regard to food tastes and consumption habits. The globalization of markets and the migration phenomenon contributed to the modification of food preferences of consumers who gradually introduce into their eating habits foods and recipes typical of the tradition of foreign countries. In this scenario, also in Italy, it is going to increase the use of “foreign products” with the consequent fusion of traditional cuisine techniques and recipes with ingredients that are typical of foreign countries and cultures. Foods and ingredients originally consumed in Asian or South American countries are increasingly consumed by Italian people, who have notoriously a strong “food identity,” who generally follow the Mediterranean Diet, and who consume typical products of the country. More particularly, the use of “new” or “novel” spices compared to those traditionally used in the preparation of Italian food has grown in the last 10 years. This study is an exploratory survey on the consumption of spices in Sicily (Southern Italy), which is an Italian Region with a high level of immigrated people and a good level of social integration and progressive inclusion. The objective of this study is to know whether and how Sicilian consumers’ consumption preferences, use, and purchasing behaviors with regard to spices changed in the last few years. The results highlight an increasing use of novel spices for the preparation of the traditional recipes and a good appreciation by consumers. These results are interesting because they provide information about spices’ market development and food product marketing and internationalization. The survey gives interesting inputs for reflections about the relationship between food contaminations and social integration and insight into consumers’ preferences in Italy.