Adolescent and Adult Visual Preferences for Pictures of Fruit and Vegetable Mixes: Effect of Complexity

Line Holler Mielby, Heidi Kildegaard, Gorm Gabrielsen, Merete Edelenbos, Anette Kistrup Thybo

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Complexity is an important parameter for the appreciation of foods as a bell-shaped relationship between hedonic appreciation and complexity has been found by Berlyne (1970). The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between adolescent and adult visual preferences and perceived complexity for vegetable (V), fruit (F), and combined fruit and vegetable (FV) mixes. Two hundred and forty-two adolescents and 119 adults performed three incomplete rankings of visual preference of eight pictures of V mixes, eight pictures of F mixes, and eight pictures of FV mixes, respectively. The three sets of pictures varied in their level of collative properties. They were designed using a 23 design by varying the cut, color, number of products, type of product, and combination of products. The pictures were also evaluated for perceived complexity by a descriptive panel. The results show high correlations between designed collative properties and perceived complexity. Inverted U-shaped relationships between visual preference and perceived complexity were found for both the V mixes and the F mixes but not for the FV mixes. For the V and the F mixes, the subjects’ optimal level of complexity was found dependent on whether they were adolescents or adults, frequency of eating fruits and vegetables, and gender.
TidsskriftFood Quality and Preference
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)188-195
StatusUdgivet - 2012


  • Complexity
  • Visual preferences
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Pictures
  • Adolescents and adults