This study investigated the consumer attitude to food irradiation in São Paulo, Brazil, through a qualitative research perspective. Three focus groups were conducted with 30 consumers, responsible for food choices and purchases. Both irradiated and nonirradiated food samples were served in the sessions to motivate the discussion and elicit the participants´ knowledge, opinions, feelings and concerns towards the irradiation process. Reactions were similar among the groups and differences between the irradiated and the nonirradiated samples were hardly perceived. When provided with positive information about irradiation and its benefits to foods and human health, many people still remained suspicious about the safety of the technology. Risk perception seemed to be related to unease and lack of knowledge about nuclear power and its non-defense use. Participants claimed for more transparency in communication about risks and benefits of irradiated foods to the human health, especially with respect to the continued consumption. Keywords: Irradiation, consumer research, risk perception.
- domestic environment