Age as a Predictor of Social Acceptance of Nanotechnology and Nano-Based Food: A Conceptual Framework
Jacob Oluwoye, PhD

Research into acceptance of innovative nanotechnology foods by the aging population will provide insight into and add to the body of knowledge about factors that will predict acceptance of nano-based foods. This paper proposes a conceptual framework for age as a predictor of social acceptance of nanotechnology and nano-based food among metropolitan populations based on a detailed review of the existing literature. The conceptual framework comprises six public perceptions towards acceptance of nanotechnology foods: nanotechnology knowledge, social trust, perceived benefits, perceived risk, perceived naturalness, and demographics. The analysis of framework reveals the theory about the process by which individuals accept or reject new ideas or products that consists of three sequential steps: invention, diffusion, and consequences. Furthermore, the analysis also indicates that one way to cope with lack of knowledge is to employ social trust when assessing the risks of a new technology. The main conclusion that has emerged from this study is that nanotechnology provides vast opportunities for research because it is a new and developing concept. Worthwhile theoretical analysis and empirical research lie in proposing a broad model of age as a predictor of social acceptance of nanotechnology and nano-based food decision-making. It is envisaged that this theoretical model provides a useful tool for developing a more comprehensive overall social acceptance of nanotechnology foods strategy.

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