Food Choice and Acceptance

Course content

The course has its focus on the different factors underlying consumers’ food behaviours. Centrally in the course are theories on determinants of food choice, strategies to change behaviour and  theory of decision making processes. Cognitive, developmental, psychophysiological and neuroeconimic approaches are discussed. Factors influencing food acceptance throughout the different life stages, the relationships between choice, consumption of foods and the sensory, psychological and physiological responses in the human body are presented and discussed. The physiological and psychological drivers of food acceptance and food intake are presented in relation to (neuro)physiological processes in the brain and GI tract. Methods and techniques for measuring specific responses in relation to eating behaviour are introduced theoretically. The students will in groups work on a curriculum related topic, and hand in a project report towards the end of the course. Only submission, presentation and approval of project report will qualify the student for the examination.


MSc Programme in Food Innovation and Health
MSc Programme in Animal Derived Foods

Learning outcome

The course aims at introducing students to the determinants and principles of consumer’s food behaviours.

- Demonstrate overview of the terminology and definitions in the field of food choice and acceptance research
- List the most important factors that play a role in food choice and acceptance
- Explain the coupling between sensory and physiological effects on food intake
- Describe the neurological principles and mechanisms of sensory perception, desires, appetite and food reward/addiction
- Describe how perception and more specifically interoception influence food acceptance
- Identify and discuss the prevailing theories of food choice behaviour

- Analyse and discuss formation of food preferences and habits and how these are related to sensation, perception, cognition, emotion and physiological processes
- Integrate neurological principles and mechanisms of sensory perception, appetite and food addiction
- Design and reflect on solutions to handle scientific as well as everyday life problems in breaking food habits
- Compare and explain how different scientific disciplines work with food choice behaviour

- Evaluate and critically review scientific work related to changes in food acceptance  
- Design small scale experiments in the food choice domain, interpret and evaluate the resulting data
- Collaborate effectively in joint exercises with fellow students

Lectures, exercises and project work. Theoretical concepts are introduced in the lectures that will include highlights of research linked to the subjects presented. Students will work with problems within these concepts in the theoretical exercises and will learn to apply or reflect on the theories in a project report.

See Absalon for specific course literature.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
Typically 4-6 questions with sub-questions. The individual weight of the sub-questions may vary, but the percentage is always listed.
All aids allowed

NB: If the exam is held at the ITX, the ITX will provide you a computer. Private computer, tablet or mobile phone CANNOT be brought along to the exam. Books and notes should be brought on paper or saved on a USB key.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More than one internal examiner
Criteria for exam assessment

Cf. Learning Outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 48
  • Theory exercises
  • 26
  • Preparation
  • 72
  • Project work
  • 46
  • Exam
  • 4
  • Colloquia
  • 10
  • English
  • 206