• Applying Behavioral Economics to Model the Threat of Food Fraud

    Sponsored by: Battelle 

    Organized by: MMRA PDG 

    Description: The food protection community is well-versed in applying mathematical modeling to estimate microbiological growth as part of assessing food safety hazards or estimating shelf life. In contrast, the application of mathematical modeling to estimate threat based on the behavioral trends is a less familiar, yet very relevant concept in food protection as food fraud incidents perpetrated by people rather than microbes impact both consumers and producers. 

    Behavioral economics' Utility theory, which has been used to predict trends ranging from consumer preference to terrorist threat, can be applied to proactively quantity the threat of food fraud to a supply chain based on a range of measurable ingredient characteristics. The concept of modeling human behavior and its application to food protection will be discussed and the specific use case of estimating food fraud will be presented in detail. 

    Presenters

    • Dr. Brian Hawkins, Presenter Research Leader and Program Manager, Battelle
    • Dr. Bala Kottapalli, Moderator Senior Principal Microbiologist, Conagra