Traditional foods: Overview

Mohammed Al-Khusaibi*, Mohammad Shafiur Rahman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


Tradition is “a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on from one generation to another" (Oxford Dictionary,, 2018). It is handed down from age to age, following or conforming to tradition: adhering to past practices or established conventions (Marriam-Webster Dictionary,, 2018). According to the definition of the European Commission, a food is said to be traditional if the usage is proven to be transmitted between generations considering that one human generation of at least 25 years (EU, Off J Eur Union L 93:1–11, 2006). Eating habits also contribute to the concept of traditional food. The definition of traditional foods is also applied to traditional ingredients and traditional preparation methods. The traditional consumption methods also varied with culture, for example Arabs and Indians use their hand for eating, while Chinese and European use chop sticks and spoons. From the literature, a traditional food must be lined to a territory (Jordana, Food Res Int 33:147–152, 2000; Bertozzi, Elementos sensoriales y culturales de la nutrición, Icaria, Barcelona, 1998), according to Guerrero et al. (Appetite 52:34–354, 2009), a definition of traditional food from consumer perspective can be: a product frequently consumed or associated with specific celebrations and/or seasons, normally transmitted from one generation to another, made accurately in a specific way according to the gastronomic heritage, with little or no processing/manipulation, distinguished and known because of its sensory properties and associated with a certain local area, region or country. Traditional foods are the expressions of culture, identity, heritage, and lifestyle. The quality level of traditional foods (i.e. safety, processing and preparation, and health) is a key to secure and expand the market share (Guerrero et al., Appetite 52:34–354, 2009).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFood Engineering Series
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameFood Engineering Series
ISSN (Print)1571-0297


  • African
  • Arab
  • Australian
  • Definition
  • European
  • Laws and regulations
  • Native
  • Red Indian
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Bioengineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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