Acceptance of a Healthier Substitute for Regular Pepperoni Pizza among Campus Consumers
One of the best selling items in campus dining facilities is pepperoni pizza, which typically contains high levels of calories, sodium and fat. Excessive consumption of calorie- dense and sodium and fat-laden foods is associated with higher risks for some chronic diseases. Altering the amounts of ingredients used can significantly improve the nutrient composition of these foods. The purpose of this study was to examine the consumer acceptance of a top-selling university pizza with different amounts of cheese and crust. Six treatments of pizza were prepared including regular crust and 100% cheese, regular crust and 75% cheese, regular crust and 50% cheese, thin crust and 100% cheese, thin crust and 75% cheese, and thin crust and 50% cheese. The pizza treatments were evaluated using untrained panelists (n= 84) with a hedonic scale to measure acceptance. Analysis of variance was used to establish significant differences among the pizza treatments. The pizza with thin crust and 75% cheese was the most preferred pizza, followed by regular crust with 75% cheese. The effect of cheese on consumer acceptance was significant. Our research indicates that campus consumers may accept a healthier substitute for regular pepperoni pizza by altering the amounts of cheese and crust.