International Journal of Innovative Approaches in Agricultural Research
Abbreviation: IJIAAR | ISSN (Online): 2602-4772 | DOI: 10.29329/ijiaar

Original article    |    Open Access
International Journal of Innovative Approaches in Agricultural Research 2022, Vol. 6(3) 255-269

Food Waste Volume, Origin and Causes: Case Study in a Tunisian University Canteen

Hanen Ben Ismail, Sarra Jribi, Beya Hachani, Derine Dogui & Debbabi Hajer

pp. 255 - 269   |  DOI:

Published online: September 30, 2022  |   Number of Views: 113  |  Number of Download: 299


Food waste reduction strategy involves a quantification of food waste generation. This work aimed to evaluate the volume and the type of post consumption food waste and to identify its main causes in a university canteen (INAT, Tunis, Tunisia). Based on a direct method, wasted food was weighed with an electronic scale, during 23 working days. Three main food groups were quantified: prepared food (PF), plate waste (PW), which is the amount of food rejected by students and left on their plates, and non-served food (NS), which is the amount of food not distributed to diners and remaining in the serving bowls. Daily direct quantification has revealed that average meals served was 209 kg/day, whereas as average food daily waste was 15.90 % of PF, 0.074 kg per student and 13.4% of PF were non-served. The average index of waste/consumption was approximately 17 %, and classified as bad, and the per capita plate was 29.3 g. The daily quantities of food waste varied from 0 to 15 kg. The most rejected foodstuffs were stews (25.3%), pasta and cereal products (20.7%), and especially bread with a waste percentage of 43%. Cause and effect diagram coupled with interviews and survey allowed identifying principal causes for the food waste generation: perceived sensory quality, poor food presentation, poor menu planning and poor management of the fluctuation of the students’ number (the quantities served were not adjusted) as well as customers’ behaviours and habits. The cost of this food waste was estimated to 15.2% of the canteen annual budget. Potential interventions for food waste preventions are discussed.

Keywords: Food Waste reduction, Direct Quantification, Cause and Effect Analysis, Intervention, Students

How to Cite this Article

APA 6th edition
Ismail, H.B., Jribi, S., Hachani, B., Dogui, D. & Hajer, D. (2022). Food Waste Volume, Origin and Causes: Case Study in a Tunisian University Canteen . International Journal of Innovative Approaches in Agricultural Research, 6(3), 255-269. doi: 10.29329/ijiaar.2022.475.9

Ismail, H., Jribi, S., Hachani, B., Dogui, D. and Hajer, D. (2022). Food Waste Volume, Origin and Causes: Case Study in a Tunisian University Canteen . International Journal of Innovative Approaches in Agricultural Research, 6(3), pp. 255-269.

Chicago 16th edition
Ismail, Hanen Ben, Sarra Jribi, Beya Hachani, Derine Dogui and Debbabi Hajer (2022). "Food Waste Volume, Origin and Causes: Case Study in a Tunisian University Canteen ". International Journal of Innovative Approaches in Agricultural Research 6 (3):255-269. doi:10.29329/ijiaar.2022.475.9.

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