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Food loss and food waste research in the Arab world: a systematic review


  • Mohamad G. Abiad

    (American University of Beirut)

  • Lokman I. Meho

    (American University of Beirut
    American University of Beirut)


Food loss and food waste are recognized as two of the most challenging dilemmas facing the world today with serious repercussions on food security, the environment, and global as well as regional and national economies. This is not different in the Arab countries where the food loss and food waste generated per person sometimes exceeds 210 kg per year. Literature searches indicate there is a paucity of applied studies that investigate the drivers, sources, management, quantification, policies, interventions, and initiatives to reduce food loss and food waste in the Arab world, a region with more than 400 million inhabitants. Despite the importance of the topic, only twenty-five relevant articles were identified, providing limited data on food loss and food waste generation. The studies also use sampling procedures that do not allow for generalization of results over the Arab region or even for making comparisons among studies. The review concludes that further research on food loss and food waste along the food supply chain in the Arab world is necessary with a focus on trends, causes, and social, technological, behavioral, attitudinal, and cultural drivers. Investigating environmental and economic implications along with policy development and coping strategies, as well as consumer attitudes towards waste in general and food waste in particular are also important topics to be researched, especially given the variation in cultural and religious practices across the Arab world. The generation of such information and knowledge is indispensable for taking remedial action towards mitigating the problem of food loss and food waste.

Suggested Citation

  • Mohamad G. Abiad & Lokman I. Meho, 2018. "Food loss and food waste research in the Arab world: a systematic review," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 10(2), pages 311-322, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s12571-018-0782-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s12571-018-0782-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ali Chalak & Chaza Abou-Daher & Mohamad G. Abiad, 2018. "Generation of food waste in the hospitality and food retail and wholesale sectors: lessons from developed economies," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 10(5), pages 1279-1290, October.
    2. Tarek Ben Hassen & Hamid El Bilali & Mohammed Al-Maadeed, 2020. "Agri-Food Markets in Qatar: Drivers, Trends, and Policy Responses," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(9), pages 1-31, May.
    3. Noora Sirola & Ulla-Maija Sutinen & Elina Närvänen & Nina Mesiranta & Malla Mattila, 2019. "Mottainai!—A Practice Theoretical Analysis of Japanese Consumers’ Food Waste Reduction," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(23), pages 1-14, November.
    4. Aleksandra Minajeva & Algirdas Jasinskas & Rolandas Domeika & Edvardas Vaiciukevičius & Egidijus Lemanas & Stanisław Bielski, 2021. "The Study of the Faba Bean Waste and Potato Peels Recycling for Pellet Production and Usage for Energy Conversion," Energies, MDPI, vol. 14(10), pages 1-14, May.
    5. Ali Chalak & Hussein F. Hassan & Pamela Aoun & Mohamad G. Abiad, 2021. "Drivers and Determinants of Food Waste Generation in Restaurants Serving Mediterranean Mezze-Type Cuisine," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(11), pages 1-10, June.
    6. Lingfei Wang & Yuqin Yang & Guoyan Wang, 2022. "The Clean Your Plate Campaign: Resisting Table Food Waste in an Unstable World," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(8), pages 1-17, April.
    7. Raquel Diaz-Ruiz & Montserrat Costa-Font & Feliu López-i-Gelats & José M. Gil, 2018. "A Sum of Incidentals or a Structural Problem? The True Nature of Food Waste in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(10), pages 1-19, October.
    8. Abdelrahman Ali & Chunping Xia & Moustafa Ismaiel & N’Banan Ouattara & Irfan Mahmood & Dessalegn Anshiso, 2021. "Analysis of determinants to mitigate food losses and waste in the developing countries: empirical evidence from Egypt," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 26(6), pages 1-26, August.
    9. Myra Zeineddine & Samer Kharroubi & Ali Chalak & Hussein Hassan & Mohamad G Abiad, 2021. "Post-consumer food waste generation while dining out: A close-up view," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(6), pages 1-13, June.
    10. Fabio Gaetano Santeramo & Emilia Lamonaca, 2021. "Food Loss–Food Waste–Food Security: A New Research Agenda," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(9), pages 1-7, April.
    11. Mirza Barjees Baig & Bader Alhafi Alotaibi & Khodran Alzahrani & David Pearson & Ghedeir M. Alshammari & Ashfaq Ahmad Shah, 2022. "Food Waste in Saudi Arabia: Causes, Consequences, and Combating Measures," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(16), pages 1-19, August.
    12. Arkadiusz Dyjakon & Łukasz Sobol & Tomasz Noszczyk & Jakub Mitręga, 2022. "The Impact of Torrefaction Temperature on the Physical-Chemical Properties of Residual Exotic Fruit (Avocado, Mango, Lychee) Seeds," Energies, MDPI, vol. 15(2), pages 1-16, January.

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