Hemp is a species of the Cannabis sativa L. plant with less than 0.3% trans-Δ-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, which is the main psychotropic compound of the plant. The cultivation of the plant has advantages compared to other crops, being able to withstand various agroecological conditions. Hemp has been used mainly by the fiber industries and the food industry. China is the largest producer of hemp for industrial purposes. The cultivation and consumption of hemp products, namely for food purposes, is legal and regulated in around 50 countries, including Portugal. On the other hand, in Brazil the cultivation and consumption of hemp is not allowed. In the food industry, seeds stand out and have been the subject of numerous scientific studies for their nutritional properties. The seeds contain more than 30% oil and about 25% protein, and are also rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The present study aimed to i) review the technical and scientific literature on hemp and its applications and ii) explore the knowledge and interest of Brazilian and Portuguese consumers in consuming foods with hemp in their composition. For the pursuit of this second objective, an online survey was carried out with the participation of 255 individuals, 58% Brazilian and 41% Portuguese. Overall, participants were shown to have little or no knowledge of hemp, even those who had previously consumed hemp foods. Brazilians represent the majority who do not know and have never consumed hemp, given the legal restrictions in force in Brazil, but they are more predisposed to consume these foods than the Portuguese. More than half of the study participants who had already consumed hemp foods cited curiosity as the main reason for consumption (54%) followed by nutritional value (21%). The results also showed that there is a market to explore and innovate, but that the population of both nationalities still has little knowledge on the subject.
|Date of Award
|4 Aug 2022
- Universidade Católica Portuguesa
|Maria João Monteiro (Supervisor)
- Food innovation
- Consumer study
- Mestrado em Biotecnologia e Inovação