ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

Our current knowledge on food wastage raises important questions about the severity of the problem. However, we only rely on estimates and due to the widely differing methods used for determining the magnitude of food wastage, published results could not be directly compared and evaluated (Bräutigam et al. 2014). Moreover, in several cases contradictory outcomes were released in the same topic. Nevertheless, in the past few decades, researchers; academics; authority experts; policy makers and many other stakeholders of the food chain have begun to counteract against excessive losses. Although several positive results have been achieved over this period, it is clear that we are facing major difficulties to bring about significant changes regarding food waste generation. What is clear now, that applying adequate research methods and targeted consumer communication will be part of the solution how the issue of food wastage as an outstanding challenge for the society can be hindered. In this paper we intend to report briefly about the research activity so far, and the current legal background of the field. We would also like to introduce our communication campaign on household food waste prevention, 'Wasteless' and other relevant projects of this field.
14 Hungarian Agricultural Research 2019/3
ABSTRACT
Our current knowledge on food wastage raises
important questions about the severity of the problem.
However, we only rely on estimates and due to the widely
differing methods used for determining the magnitude
of food wastage, published results could not be directly
compared and evaluated (Bräutigam et al. 2014).
Moreover, in several cases contradictory outcomes were
released in the same topic. Nevertheless, in the past
few decades, researchers; academics; authority experts;
policy makers and many other stakeholders of the food
chain have begun to counteract against excessive losses.
Although several positive results have been achieved
over this period, it is clear that we are facing major
difficulties to bring about significant changes regarding
food waste generation. What is clear now, that applying
adequate research methods and targeted consumer
communication will be part of the solution how the
issue of food wastage as an outstanding challenge for
the society can be hindered. In this paper we intend to
report briefly about the research activity so far, and the
current legal background of the field. We would also like
to introduce our communication campaign on household
food waste prevention, ‘Wasteless’ and other relevant
projects of this field.
INTRODUCTION
Ever since mass production appeared, the generation of
food waste and food losses along the entire food supply
chain has been considered as an increasingly troublesome
issue. In the first period of food waste research activity,
main interest was raised to the elaboration of food waste
management techniques (Szabó-Bódi 2018). In the last
decade of the 20th Century, researchers put more emphasis
on recycling technologies of food waste. However, since
the beginning of the new millennium stakeholders are
increasingly reporting on the importance of prevention.
From the early 2000s, food wastage in households
became also part of the target areas (Aschemann-Witzel
et al. 2015), and new publications have been issued on the
FOOD WASTE – A GENERAL OVERVIEW
AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
ATI LLA KUNSZABÓ - DÁVID SZAKOS - GYULA KASZA
National Food Chain Safety Office (Nemzeti Élelmiszerlánc-biztonsági Hivatal)
Corresponding author: Gyula Kasza, email: kaszagy@nebih.gov.hu, tel.: +36 20 454 8418
socio-demographic background of food waste generation
(Abeliotis et al. 2015).
Exact numbers
An estimated one-third of food produced worldwide
gets wasted along the entire food chain, which equals to
1.3 billion tons of bio-waste (FAO 2011). From the aspect
of the place of origin, the main difference between the
regions of the World is that while in developing countries
the highest amounts of losses generated due to the lack
of infrastructure (transportation, storing, cold chain);
in case of developed countries food is mostly thrown
away in households as a result of unconscious consumer
behaviour (WRI 2013). Narrowing the study area to Euro-
pe, the estimated mass of food waste was 89 million tons
in 2006, which equalled to 179kg per capita (BIOIS 2010).
According to the Estimates of European food waste levels
issued by Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising
Waste Prevention Strategies (FUSIONS), households are
responsible for 53% of the total food waste in the EU.
Food processing produces 19%, followed by food service
and food production, with 12% and 11%, respectively.
The rest 5% is connected to wholesale and retail. From
these data we may draw the conclusion that the actors
most responsible for food wastage are households.
1.8 million tons of food is wasted every year in Hungary
(BIOIS 2010). In a recent study Szabó-Bódi et al. (2018)
conducted a one-week food waste measurement survey
with the participation of 100 Hungarian households. Based
on their estimations, a Hungarian person produces 68 kg
of food waste annually. In this study three different food
waste categories were distinguished, namely: avoidable
(the real wastage), unavoidable (non-consumable parts
of the food) and potentially avoidable (depends on
the preference of the individual). Almost half of the
measured food waste was considered to be avoidable.
The most dominant types of discarded foods were meals
(40.08%), followed by bakery products (19.63%). Fresh
vegetables and fruits together had a remarkable ratio
as well (16.91%). Dairy products (8.79%), soft drinks
(5.76%), and other, less prevalent food types were on the
bottom of the list (Table 1).
15
Hungarian Agricultural Research 2019/3
Several studies report about the connection between
demographical characteristics and wasteful behaviour.
However, controversial results were published in some
cases. In 2014, Nébih launched a consumer survey on food
wastage with a large number of participants (n=1006).
Examining the demographical background, they found
that extreme levels of wastes are more characteristic of
male consumers, as 30% of female respondents claimed
to be completely waste avoiding, while in case of males
it was only 17%. This phenomenon was confirmed by
the above discussed 100 household survey (Figure 1).
The effect of income level on the extent of food wastage
is a highly argued topic among international research
communities. Farr-Wharton et al. (2014) confirmed
a linear relationship, regarding that the low income
consumers show less wasteful behaviour compared to
Table 1: Composition of food waste in Hungarian households (Source: Szabó -Bódi et al. 2018)
Avoidable food waste Proportion (%)
Meals (home-made and pre-prepared) 40.08
Bakery products 19.63
Fresh vegetables and fruits 16.91
Dairy products 8.79
Mineral water, soft drinks, coffee 5.76
Processed animal products 2.25
Canned foods, pickles 2.12
Raw meat 0.84
Sauces, toppings (ketchup, mustard, etc.) 0.83
Grain products: flour, semolina 0.77
Yeast, muesli, corn flakes, raisins, puffed rice, baking mixtures 0.71
Marmalades, jams 0.40
Confectionery and snacks 0.28
Eggs 0.24
Fats (butter, margarine, lard, etc.) 0.18
Frozen meats, vegetables 0.16
Packed spices (rosemary, marjoram, parsley, etc.) 0.05
Total 100.00
Figure 1: Demographical background of food wastage (Source: Szabó-Bódi et al. 2018). The groups in the framed texts showed more wasteful
behaviour
16 Hungarian Agricultural Research 2019/3
more wealthy people. In our latest research conducted
in 2018, we found that in case of consumers under 30
(Table 2) and families with children under 15 years food
wastage is significantly higher than among other people
in the same demographical category.
Legal background
At first hand the definitions of ‘food losses’ and ‘food
waste’ were issued by FAO (2011). According to this
definition “Food losses refer to the decrease in edible
food mass throughout the part of the supply chain that
specifically leads to edible food for human consumption.
While ‘food losses’ are characteristic to production, post-
harvest and processing stages (Parfitt et al. 2010), ‘food
waste’ occurs at the end of the value chain (retail and
final consumption), and rather affected by the behaviour
of retailers and consumers.
Besides researchers and food business operators, policy
makers have taken steps towards the reduction of food
wastage and have tried to establish a legal background to
make a frame for the problem solving. In the EU the main
directive on waste is the Directive 2008/98/EC, which is
the legislative framework for the handling of waste in the
Community. Accordingly, all activities must be carried out
in such a way to ensure: waste prevention; the reduction
of the amount and hazardousness of waste; waste
recovery; and environmentally friendly disposal (Kürthy
et al. 2019). Food business operators always have to stick
to the ‘waste hierarchy’ (Figure 2).
In a recently released study, the National Agricultural Re-
search and Innovation Centre of Hungary (Kürthy et al.
2019) investigated the general opinion of food processing
operators on legal amendments and new possibilities for
legislation in the field of the prevention of food losses.
Fairly diverse viewpoints between the participants
depending on the sector were recognized. However,
some conclusions could still be drawn as to what kind
of regulatory options are considered appropriate by
professionals of the food processing industry. For
enterprise directors over the age of 60, technological
development and relaxation of requirements, while
under the age of 40, consumer information, consultation
and training were considered to be the most important
interventions. Tax benefits also played an important
role to help reducing the number of “black workers, as
bypassing taxes they are much more wasteful.
Consumer campaigns
Based on the numbers presented above, it might be well
noticed that we discuss an issue for which the entire
society should take responsibility. Nébih recognized
food wastage as a tremendous burden on the economy,
the environment and therefore the whole society, and
started its awareness raising programme Wasteless,
with the financial support of the European Union’s LIFE
sub-programme. The main goal of the four years period
project is to find the best methods contributing to food
waste prevention along the whole food chain. For this
purpose, we set four specific objectives:
1. Decreasing the proportion of food waste among
Hungarian families, through changing consumers’
attitude and behavioural patterns
2. Increasing the food waste prevention related
awareness and the level of knowledge of children
attending primary school
3. Collecting good practices which contribute to the
prevention of food waste generation in other sectors
of the food chain, and based on that, elaborating
guide books for the concerned stakeholders
4. Collaboration and cooperation with other EU member
states
Table 2: Connection between age and food wastage (Nébih research)
Legal background
At first hand the definitions of ‘food losses’ and ‘food waste’ were issued by FAO (2011).
According to this definition “Food losses refer to the decrease in edible food mass throughout
the part of the supply chain that specifically leads to edible food for human consumption.”
While ‘food losses’ are characteristic to production, post-harvest and processing stages
(Parfitt et al. 2010), ‘food waste’ occurs at the end of the value chain (retail and final
consumption), and rather affected by the behaviour of retailers and consumers.
Besides researchers and food business operators, policy makers have taken steps towards the
reduction of food wastage and have tried to establish a legal background to make a frame for
the problem solving. In the EU the main directive on waste is the Directive 2008/98/EC,
which is the legislative framework for the handling of waste in the Community. Accordingly,
all activities must be carried out in such a way to ensure: waste prevention; the reduction of
the amount and hazardousness of waste; waste recovery; and environmentally friendly
disposal (Kürthy et al. 2019). Food business operators always have to stick to the ‘waste
hierarchy’ (Figure 2).
Table 2: Connection between age and food wastage (Nébih
research)
Figure 2: F ood Waste hierarchy (Source: http://maradeknelkul.hu/wp-
content/uploads/2019/03/maradeknelk%C3%BCl_piramis_ENG.jpg)
17
Hungarian Agricultural Research 2019/3
Teaching young children not only affects the future
behaviour of the upcoming consumer generation, but
often reaches the adult members of the family as well.
Therefore, Wasteless has high priority of awareness
raising on food waste prevention among primary school
children through a complex school program developed
for this purpose. Recently, our expert team elaborated an
educational material composed of a book with students’
and teachers’ edition, and a workbook. In total we
delivered 274 450 pieces to 2666 primary schools of all
the three editions. Interactive and playful presentation
slides and short animations were designed for primary
school teachers as the part of this program (Figure 4).
We hope that step-by-step we will be able to tackle the
awareness of youngsters and thus develop a long term
conscious standard of behaviour that might contribute to
their future ‘wasteless’ habits.
In the frame of awareness raising, we put great emphasis
on media appearances. This activity is primarily connected
to the dissemination of our outcomes. According to our
experiences so far, the media has been highly sensitive
with the issue. We also operate a website and social
media (Facebook, Instagram). Via these online platforms,
educational videos, infographics, news and quiz
games are released regularly (Figure 5). Since 2016, the
communication elements of Wasteless reached 60 million
consumers in Hungary (an average person could meet the
messages of the programme about six times already).
In the field of food waste reduction, Nébih’s project
Wasteless pays special attention to supporting the
stakeholders of the food value chain.
The so-called “Az Élelmiszer Érték” (Food is Value),
established by the cooperation of the Ministry of
Agriculture and the Hungarian Food Bank Association is
the most important reconciliation forum in the field of
food waste reduction, covering the entire sector. Several
companies, institutions and organisations – including
Nébih - have joined to the initiative. The main objective
is food waste measurement and broad
awareness raising.
We must point out, that when it is
about food waste management, some
of the apparently appropriate solutions
might pose a risk to the consumers, and
helping intention can be more harmful
if we do not meet the requirements of
food safety and hygiene. Therefore,
we have to keep the balance between
food safety and food waste manage-
ment (Kasza et al. 2018). In the frame
of our communication campaign we
always pay particular attention to
food safety and we implement all our
waste prevention activities in such a
Figure 3: The Wasteless logo
Figure 4: Interactive lesson of Wasteless (Source: www.maradeknelkul.hu)
Figure 5: Wasteless educational infographic on how to store leftovers
(Source: www.maradeknelkul.hu)
18 Hungarian Agricultural Research 2019/3
spirit. In Wasteless, four professional working groups
of the campaign have published four guide books that
can serve food business operators and consumers to
prevent or reduce food waste. Experts from the four
work packages have sought possible solutions to the
challenges of the hospitality, retail, industry and civil
sectors, summarizing good practices that have already
been identified, tried or applied worldwide. These
solutions include the development of a food waste mo-
nitoring and measurement system, the communication
about shelf life or the issue of donation.
The guide books, as well as the educational materials and
other information packages can be found on the website
of the campaign: http://maradeknelkul.hu/en
As a recognition of the efficiency of Wasteless campaign,
the EU Commission decided to organise the LIFE FOOD
WASTE Platform Meeting Conference in Hungary in
2018, and invited Nébih to be hosting the event, which
was opened by the speeches of EU Commissioner for
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and the EU Commissioner
for Health and Food Safety.
Besides Wasteless, there are several other awareness
raising programs around Europe, some of them having
more than a decade of history. In the followings we
describe some, which might be interesting to get more
familiar with the topic of food wastage. WRAP in the UK
works with several stakeholders in order to accelerate the
move to a resource-efficient economy. They cooperate
with organisations in the food and drink industry to reduce
food waste and thus create economic and environmental
value. Between 2012 and 2016, FUSIONS was running as
a consortium with 21 project partners from 13 countries.
They endeavoured to work towards a sustainable Euro-
pe. The project contributed to the harmonisation of food
waste monitoring, and the development of a common
Food Waste Policy for the EU. The REFRESH campaign
works with stakeholders in four pilot countries (Spain,
Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands). Their activities
include developing strategic agreements to reduce
food waste, elaborating policy recommendations and
developing technological innovations to contribute to the
highest resource-efficiency. With five Central European
partner countries, #reducefoodwaste network aims to
find best techniques for food waste prevention and ma-
nagement. Their goal is implemented by four working
groups specified to each level of the entire value chain
(production, processing, trade, consumers). Another
initiative form the UK is the Love food hate waste campaign.
They primarily address consumers by promoting simple
and easily adaptable food wastage reduction practices
for home application. The so-called Every Crumb Counts
initiative strives to work towards preventing food waste
and to promote a life-cycle approach. The joint initiative
involves several stakeholders along Europe’s food supply
chain. In the frame of the project they intend to tackle the
awareness of consumers, and thus contribute to halving
EU food waste by 2020.
Future
In European law, policy makers established the legislative
basis of the circular and bio mass based economy (Kürthy
et al. 2019). Besides that, more and more stakeholders are
engaged in sustainability, environmental protection and
fossil energy exploitation. The Sustainable Development
Goal 12.3 of the United Nations targeted to halve per
capita food waste by 2030. For this purpose, EU countries
have undertaken stable commitment. In 2015, the Euro-
pean Commission issued the Circular Economy Package
and an Action Plan, including all of the sectors of interest
(from production, through processing and consumption,
until waste management). The objective of the Package is
to stimulate the efficient use of resources and to support
Europe’s transition towards a circular economy.
CONCLUSION
In our paper we aimed to present a brief overview about
the current situation of food waste generation, legislation
and initiatives for prevention. The numbers demonstrated
that we are facing a serious problem, and communication
should be addressed to every stakeholder along the
entire food chain. Relevant legislative basis has been
established on European level and several awareness
raising and prevention campaigns are running, thus
policy makers, scientists, communication and authority
experts might be able to carry out significant changes.
Still, long term behavioural impact of these campaigns is
challenging, therefore it is essential to put more emphasis
on the awareness raising of children.
REFERENCES
1. Bräutigam, K. R. - Jörissen, J. - Priefer, C. 2014.
The extent of food waste generation across EU-27:
Different calculation methods and the reliability of their
results. Waste Management & Research, 32(8), 683-
694. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734242X14545374
2. Szabó-Bódi, B. 2018. Az élelmiszerhulladékok szere-
pe a környezeti terhelésben – Társadalmi megítélés és
szerepvállalás. PhD thesis. Szent István University.
3. Aschemann-Witzel, J. - De Hooge, I. - Amani, P. -
Bech-Larsen, T. - & Oostindjer, M. 2015. Consumer-
related food waste: Causes and potential for
action. Sustainability, 7(6), 6457-6477. https://doi.
org/10.3390/su7066457
4. Abeliotis, K. - Lasaridi, K. - Costarelli, V. - Chroni,
C. 2015. The implications of food waste generation
on climate change: The case of Greece. Sustainable
production and consumption, 3, 8-14. https://doi.
org/10.1016/j.spc.2015.06.006
19
Hungarian Agricultural Research 2019/3
5. FAO 2011. Global Food Losses and Food Waste
– Extent, causes and prevention. ISBN 978-92-5-
107205-9. Rome. http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/
mb060e/mb060e00.pdf (last available: 27.08.2019)
6. WRI 2013. Installment 2 of “Creating a Sustainable
Food Future”. Reducing food loss and waste. https://
pdf.wri.org/reducing_food_loss_and_waste.pdf (last
available: 27.08.2017)
7. BIOIS 2011. Preparatory study on food waste
across EU 27. https://ec.europa.eu/environment/
eussd/pdf/bio_foodwaste_report.pdf
(last available: 27.08.2019)
8. FUSIONS 2016. Estimates of European food waste
levels https://www.eu-fusions.org/phocadownload/
Publications/Estimates%20of%20European%20
food%20waste%20levels.pdf (last available:
27. 0 8. 2 019 )
9. Szabó-Bódi, B. - Kasza, Gy. - Szakos, D. 2018.
Assessment of household food waste in Hungary. Bri-
tish Food Journal, vol:120, iss:3 doi: 10.1108/BFJ-04-
2017- 0255
10. Bódi, B. - Kasza, Gy. 2015. Demográfiai tényezõk ha-
tása az élelmiszer-pazarlásra (Effect of demographic
factors on consumer food waste) Élelmiszervizsgálati
Közlemények 61:(3) pp. 756-765. (2015)
11. Farr-Wharton, G. - Foth, M. - Choi, J. H. J. 2014.
Identifying factors that promote consumer behaviours
causing expired domestic food waste. Journal of
Consumer Behaviour, 13(6), 393-402. https://doi.
org/10.1002/cb.148 8
12. Parfitt, J. - Barthel, M. - Macnaughton, S. 2010. Food
waste within food supply chains: quantification and
potential for change to 2010. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 365,
3065–3081. https://doi.org/10.1098 /rstb.2010.0126
13. Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament
and of the Council. Official Journal of the Europe-
an Union. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/
EN/ T XT/?uri=celex%3A32008L0098 (last available:
03.09.2019)
14. Kürthy, Gy. – Dudás, Gy. – Darvasné Ördög, E. – K-
röshegyi, D. – Kulmány, I. – Radóczné Kocsis, T. – Szé-
kelyhidi, K. – Takács, E. – Vajda, Á. 2019. Élelmiszer-
veszteségek keletkezésének okai, azok kezelése és
megítélése a feldolgozóipari vállalatok körében. ISBN
978-963- 491- 606 -2
15. https://www.azelelmiszerertek.hu/
16. http://maradeknelkul.hu/
17. Kasza, Gy. - Szabó-Bódi, B. - Lakner, Z. - Izsó, T. 2018.
Balancing the desire to decrease food waste with
requirements of food safety. Trends In Food Science
& Technology. doi: 10.1016/j.tifs.2018.07.019
18. http://www.wrap.org.uk/
19. https://www.eu-fusions.org/
20. https://eu-refresh.org/
21. http://www.reducefoodwaste.eu/
22. https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/
23. http://everycrumbcounts.eu/
24. United Nations. Sustainable Development Goals
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300
25. EC 2015. Closing the loop – An EU Action Plan for
the Circular Economy. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-
content/EN/TXT/?qid=1453384154337&uri=CELEX:5
2015DC0614 (last available: 28.08.2018)
... The results of the survey were published in national and international academic journals and discussed at national and international platforms (including the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, operated by the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety of the EU Commission) and scientific conferences [24,37,[44][45][46][47]. Public dissemination activities through the Wasteless communication campaign were also conducted, presenting the results to consumers. ...
Article
Full-text available
Household food waste accounts for the most significant part of total food waste in economically developed countries. In recent times, this issue has gained recognition in the international research community and policy making. In light of the Sustainable Development Goals of FAO, mandatory reporting on food waste has been integrated into European legislation, as a basis of preventive programs. The paper presents the results of research that aimed to quantify the food waste generated by Hungarian households. Research methodology was based on the EU compliant FUSIONS recommendations. In total, 165 households provided reliable data with detailed waste logs. Households were supported by kitchen scales, measuring glasses, and a manual. Based on the extrapolation of the week-long measurement, the average food waste was estimated to be 65.49 kg per capita annually, of which the avoidable part represented 48.81%. Within the avoidable part, meals, bakery products, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy products are accountable for 88% of the mass. This study was a replication of the first Hungarian household food waste measurement conducted in 2016 with the same methodology. Between the two periods, a 4% decrease was observed. The findings, for instance the dominant share of meals in food waste, should be put in focus during preventive campaigns. National level food waste measurement studies using the FUSIONS methodology should be fostered by policy makers to establish the foundations of effective governmental interventions and allow for the international benchmarking of preventive actions.
Thesis
Full-text available
The proportion of older adults in the population is significantly growing. Based on Eurostat data in the European Union, almost one-fifth of the population was over 65 years in 2018. Their relative proportion in the population is expected to reach 28.5% until 2050. According to WHO data, CNDs (primarily cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes) are the leading cause of death (71% in 2016) worldwide. Therefore, the relationship between healthy ageing and nutrition has become an emerging scientific and social issue. Functional food products with a nutritional composition that may reduce the risk of diet-related diseases or enhance physiological functions could play an important role in disease prevention and mitigation. Consumers often use the ‘healthy food’ terms in relation to functional food products, although this term is not correct from neither academic, nor a legal point of view. The functional food market is one of the fastest growing area of the food industry. However, new products had a high failure rate, because most of them were not preceded by a deeper exploration of consumer needs. Although, increasing the well-being of older consumers has been a key consideration since the emergence of the concept of functional food, only few consumer research studies are available which focus on senior consumers. The present study is based on two quantitative consumer samples: a nationwide-representative sample (N = 1002; representative for the total adult Hungarian population in terms of sex, age and NUTS-2 geographical distribution according to the latest official census data) and a specific older adult large sample (N = 907; 60 years or over) were collected. The research followed an explorative approach focusing on the central areas of functional food development with supply chain approach. Hence, it covers nutrition claims, carrier types, health concerns, the acceptance of functional food for disease prevention and mitigation, other factors influencing the purchase decision, consumer knowledge, attitudes and socio-demographic factors. The research included a large number of variables from which factors were composed with PCA for better interpretation. Among older adults heterogeneity was identified in the preference of nutrition claims listed in the Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006, therefore, cluster analysis was conducted to form consumer segments. The present study contributes to literature with practical findings to support product development and preventive public health programmes. The findings of the representative survey highlight statistically significant differences in the preferences of older adults compared to other age segments. Based on the results, older adults tend to define the ‘healthy food’ term from a food safety point of view, while younger respondents described this category from nutritional aspects. Senior consumers generally accept functional foods. In case of most of the knowledge-related questions, younger respondents had a higher level of knowledge. Senior consumers preferred most of the listed nutrition claims more, especially to the following ones: increased vitamin, mineral, protein and fibre content. Older adults also preferred products with lower salt and sugar content, which were less relevant for other age groups. Products of fruit and vegetable origin and fish were distinguished as carriers of functional traits. Compared to other age groups, older adults accept products of animal origin (especially dairy products and honey) on a higher level. Most of the listed product benefits (e.g. domestic origin, small-scale product) were preferred by the older adults to a higher extent. It indicates that the combination of these product parameters with health and nutrition claims on the product label could bear a recognised value for senior consumers. The results of the present study indicate that the Hungarian population is mainly concerned about the following health problems: vision deficiencies and disorders; dental problems; and heart and cardiovascular diseases. According to the responses, functional foods were the most suitable for disease prevention and mitigation in case of digestive problems, high cholesterol level, lactose sensitivity and gluten sensitivity. In the vast majority of the cases where significant differences were detected, older adults were more concerned about the certain health problem. After filtering the sample only for the concerned consumers, less significant differences between age groups were detected. Where significant differences were found, younger and middle-aged adults are more likely to accept food as a solution to disease prevention and mitigation. According to these findings, health concerns are more influential in the acceptance of functional foods for disease prevention and mitigation than the consumers’ age. The results of the analysis of nationwide representative survey highlighted the importance of considering the well-being of older adults (especially consumers concerned about health problems) during product development. This investigation might be used for product differentiation between age groups, while explored differences between preferred shop types, communication channels and other factors influencing the purchase decision could also support the positioning of messages related to product promotion or intervention. The analysis contains a detailed data set about possible carrier types and nutritional claim combinations that might be used for subsequent academic studies and for field experts as well. According to the results of the analysis of the specific older adult sample, senior consumers primarily preferred claims indicating added nutritional value, while reduced nutritional content was preferred less. Three segments were identified and characterised based on their preference of nutrition claims: ‘nutrition-oriented’ (33%), ‘added nutritional value oriented’ (46.5%) and ‘nutrition sceptic’ (20.5%). Previous studies identified scepticism among older adults about functional food products. However, the results of the present study suggested that scepticism was not general among older adults. Eighty percent of the senior consumers could be an appropriate target group for functional food market actors, since 33% was generally nutrition-oriented, while 46.5% rather searches added value. Only one-fifth of senior consumers found to be resilient against functional food value offers. As an unexpected finding, age, income level, education and location of residence did not differentiate the groups significantly. However, the sex of the respondents was found to be significant factor: men were present in the highest proportion in the ‘nutrition sceptic’ segment. Older adults in the ‘nutrition-oriented’ segment were concerned about presented health problems at the highest rate in each case except in the case of digestive problems, where the ‘added nutritional value oriented’ segment demonstrated higher level of concerns. Consumers in the ‘nutritional sceptic’ group were the least concerned about the listed health problems. The proportion of overweight respondents was the highest in the ‘nutrition-oriented’ group, while the proportion of obese respondents was the highest in the ‘added nutritional value oriented’ segment. Significant differences in the acceptance of functional foods as a solution to disease prevention and mitigation were observed only in few cases. For heart and cardiovascular diseases, dental problems and digestive problems, the results suggested that the ‘nutrition-oriented’ segment had the highest rate of acceptance, followed by the ‘added nutritional value oriented’ segment, while the ‘nutrition sceptic’ consumer group was characterised by the lowest level of acceptance. The results suggest that older adults primarily pay attention to their nutrition due to existing health problems instead of prevention. To overcome this barrier, several practical findings were presented in terms of carrier types, attitudes, socio-demographic characteristics and other factors influencing purchase decisions. Considering that the prevention of CNDs and the well-being of older adults are serious social challenges, there are tasks for both the food business operators in development of accessible functional food products for older adults and policy makers in forming more effective preventive public health programmes to promote healthy ageing. Further studies focusing on older adults are needed to investigate possible product attribute combinations that meet the expectations of specified segments of senior consumers.
Article
Full-text available
Food waste is becoming an increasingly significant global issue due to its economic, social and environmental implications. In addition, food waste relates to climate change since food originates from agriculture and ends up as waste while energy is consumed during its life cycle stages. The aim of this paper is the estimation of the GHG emissions associated with food waste generation in Greece. The scope of the research includes both the emissions associated with the production of food and those associated with the management of food waste. In order to assess the food waste generation from Greek households a field research with the use of food waste diaries was conducted. Based on the aforementioned measurement, the FAO food balance sheet of Greece for 2009, and relevant GHG emissions data found in international databases and literature sources, an estimation of the GHG emissions associated with food waste in Greece has been conducted. The results indicate that approximately 100 kg of food waste per person are generated annually, of which approximately 30 kg per person are avoidable. Moreover, the calculations of the present research reveal that emissions of 5672.5 Gg of CO2 eq. are associated with food waste in Greece. Keywords: Prevention; Food waste; Greenhouse gases; Mitigation; Greece
Article
Full-text available
In the past decade, food waste has received increased attention on both academic and societal levels. As a cause of negative economic, environmental and social effects, food waste is considered to be one of the sustainability issues that needs to be addressed. In developed countries, consumers are one of the biggest sources of food waste. To successfully reduce consumer-related food waste, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the factors influencing food waste-related consumer perceptions and behaviors. The present paper presents the results of a literature review and expert interviews on factors causing consumer-related food waste in households and supply chains. Results show that consumers' motivation to avoid food waste, their management skills of food provisioning and food handling and their trade-offs between priorities have an extensive influence on their food waste behaviors. We identify actions that governments, societal stakeholders and retailers can undertake to reduce consumer-related food waste, highlighting that synergistic actions between all parties are most promising. Further research should focus on exploring specific food waste contexts and interactions more in-depth. Experiments and interventions in particular can contribute to a shift from analysis to solutions.
Article
Full-text available
The reduction of food waste is seen as an important societal issue with considerable ethical, ecological and economic implications. The European Commission aims at cutting down food waste to one-half by 2020. However, implementing effective prevention measures requires knowledge of the reasons and the scale of food waste generation along the food supply chain. The available data basis for Europe is very heterogeneous and doubts about its reliability are legitimate. This mini-review gives an overview of available data on food waste generation in EU-27 and discusses their reliability against the results of own model calculations. These calculations are based on a methodology developed on behalf of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and provide data on food waste generation for each of the EU-27 member states, broken down to the individual stages of the food chain and differentiated by product groups. The analysis shows that the results differ significantly, depending on the data sources chosen and the assumptions made. Further research is much needed in order to improve the data stock, which builds the basis for the monitoring and management of food waste.
Article
Full-text available
Many commentators argue that domestic food waste is strongly influenced by consumer behaviours. This article reports on a study using mixed-methods to identify key factors responsible for promoting consumer behaviours that lead to domestic food waste through the lens of the value–belief–norm theory. On the basis of the study's findings, three factors are proposed that cause behaviours that lead to food waste: supply knowledge – does a consumer know what food they have available; location knowledge – does a consumer know where to locate food items; and food literacy – to what degree do past experience and acquired knowledge impact on a consumer's food consumption and wastage practices. We analyse the study's findings in light of a review of literature about consumer food wastage behaviours and in turn, present new insights into consumer behaviour, food waste and the use of technology to reduce food waste. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Full-text available
Food waste in the global food supply chain is reviewed in relation to the prospects for feeding a population of nine billion by 2050. Different definitions of food waste with respect to the complexities of food supply chains (FSCs)are discussed. An international literature review found a dearth of data on food waste and estimates varied widely; those for post-harvest losses of grain in developing countries might be overestimated. As much of the post-harvest loss data for developing countries was collected over 30 years ago, current global losses cannot be quantified. A significant gap exists in the understanding of the food waste implications of the rapid development of 'BRIC' economies. The limited data suggest that losses are much higher at the immediate post-harvest stages in developing countries and higher for perishable foods across industrialized and developing economies alike. For affluent economies, post-consumer food waste accounts for the greatest overall losses. To supplement the fragmentary picture and to gain a forward view, interviews were conducted with international FSC experts. The analyses highlighted the scale of the problem, the scope for improved system efficiencies and the challenges of affecting behavioural change to reduce post-consumer waste in affluent populations.
Article
Background Decreasing food waste has become an important area of food policy. This paper investigates the relationship between food waste reduction and food safety risks. It is a frequent question in both public and professional discussions that how the utilization of expired food stuffs and leftovers could be solved without compromising food safety. Scope and Approach The most important food waste reduction theories and initiatives are listed and evaluated. Key Findings and Conclusions It is challenging to find the golden rule of balance between food waste and food safety. Solutions that seem to be credible often raise the risk to consumers. In order to meet both aspects, cooperation and co-development of food chain actors (consumers and authorities as well) are needed.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to determine and quantify the most dominant types of food waste in Hungarian households and to analyse the effect of demographic background and income as influencing factors. Design/methodology/approach Data related to solid and liquid food waste were recorded in 100 households for one week. The study primarily focused on avoidable food waste, however, unavoidable and potentially avoidable food waste were also measured. Appropriate tools and manual were provided to the households to ensure data consistency. Findings Estimated quantity of total food waste (including liquid waste) per capita is 68.04 kg/year. 48.70% of total food waste would have been avoidable (equals to 33.14 kg/capita/year). Most frequently wasted food categories were meals and bakery products. In case of some demographic categories different wastage levels were observed. It was also confirmed that income has effect on food waste production that varies by foodstuff categories: bakery product waste was mainly dominant for middle income consumers, fresh fruits were typically wasted by more affluent households. Apart from that, higher income resulted in higher food waste production in general. Practical implications This primary data set about avoidable food waste in Hungary contributes with relevant information to the refining of international estimates. Having specific data on food wastage and the most affected target groups, as well as information on the impact of the income can be applied in planning awareness raising campaigns. Originality/value The research is based on measurement of food waste categories in households resulting in detailed data sets. This study is one of the first investigations based on primary data collection from the Eastern part of Central Europe and the very first related to Hungary. The study draws attention also to the influence that household income exerts on the issue of food waste.
Az élelmiszerhulladékok szerepe a környezeti terhelésben -Társadalmi megítélés és szerepvállalás
  • B Szabó-Bódi
Szabó-Bódi, B. 2018. Az élelmiszerhulladékok szerepe a környezeti terhelésben -Társadalmi megítélés és szerepvállalás. PhD thesis. Szent István University.
Élelmiszerveszteségek keletkezésének okai, azok kezelése és megítélése a feldolgozóipari vállalatok körében
  • Gy Kürthy
  • Gy. -Darvasné Dudás
  • E Ördög
  • D Kröshegyi
  • I. -Radóczné Kulmány
  • T Kocsis
  • K Székelyhidi
  • E Takács
  • Á Vajda
Kürthy, Gy. -Dudás, Gy. -Darvasné Ördög, E. -Kröshegyi, D. -Kulmány, I. -Radóczné Kocsis, T. -Székelyhidi, K. -Takács, E. -Vajda, Á. 2019. Élelmiszerveszteségek keletkezésének okai, azok kezelése és megítélése a feldolgozóipari vállalatok körében. ISBN 978-963-491-606-2