Rice is a primary carbohydrate staple eaten by consumers worldwide. While it has numerous benefits including a favourable nutrition profile, research has shown that rice is high in inorganic arsenic. Chronic ingestion of inorganic arsenic has been linked with multiple adverse health effects including cancer, diabetes, skin lesions, and cardiovascular diseases (1,2).
While research has examined the chemical properties of inorganic arsenic and the effects of human exposure, there is a paucity of research on consumer awareness and perceptions of arsenic in rice as well as ways of changing consumers’ perceptions, attitudes and willingness to use new rice products and cooking methods with reduced arsenic levels. In addition, while data on levels of arsenic in different rice species, consumer consumption data and consumer attitudes exist these have not being combined and probed for the best predictors of behaviour change.
The multidisciplinary team will use mixed methods and predictive analytics to:
Explore consumer risk perceptions, attitudes and willingness to use new rice products and cooking methods with reduced arsenic levels.
Investigate factors influencing consumer risk perceptions and behaviour change.
Develop and test new effective behaviour change techniques and tools to reduce consumer arsenic exposure from rice.
Specific skills/experience required by applicants:
Food Science/Human Biology background with some experience in qualitative and quantitative data analysis or social science background with some experience in food industry.
Only UK and EU students are eligible to apply. Information on eligibility criteria is available from DfE: View Website