Oct 1, 2023

Why the "Valorising food leftovers and imperfect fruits & vegetables" Recipe Book Matters



Meet the Research Team Behind the Recipe Book

The recipe book has been brought to life by a dedicated team of researchers from the University of Mauritius. At the helm is Associate Professor Daya Goburdhun, Associate Professor Arvind Ruggoo, Dr. Deena Ramful Baboolall and Dr. Roshini Brizmohun Gopaul, passionate experts who have contributed their in-depth knowledge and innovative approaches to this project. Together, this team has combined their expertise to curate a collection of recipes that are not only delicious but also environmentally conscious. 

A special mention must be made of Miss Lakshaya Beeharee, (pictured on the right) an alumna of the Faculty of Agriculture. She played an indispensable role in the project, managing follow-ups with the press, authors of the recipes, and overseeing meticulous proofreading, ensuring the book's quality and coherence. 

The recipe book “Valorising food leftovers and imperfect fruits & vegetables” serves as a testament to the innovative approach towards combating the global crisis of food wastage. Supported by the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Mauritius and financed by the European Union under the DeSIRA project, this initiative is not just a cookbook but an embodiment of sustainable living and conscious consumption.


  1. Addressing Global Food Waste: With the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) highlighting that about one-third of all food produced is either lost or wasted, this book provides practical solutions to this pressing problem.

  2. Resource Conservation: Food wastage isn't only about the direct loss of food. It represents a waste of resources like water, energy, and land. By utilizing leftovers and imperfect produce, we indirectly conserve these invaluable resources.

  3. Enhancing Food Security: By teaching individuals to utilize what they have more efficiently, we can take strides towards improving nutrition security and ensuring that fewer people go hungry.

  4. Promotion of Sustainability: This book promotes sustainability not just in terms of food but also in terms of the environment. By reducing food waste, we can mitigate some of the environmental challenges, including climate change, pollution, and loss of biodiversity.

  5. Inclusive Collaboration: The diverse range of contributors, from renowned chefs to young enthusiasts, underscores the universal relevance of the issue and the collective effort to address it.

Valorizing Byproducts to Minimize Food Loss in Fish Cans at Princess Tuna Mauritius

 Tuna Mauritius

Valorizing By-products to Minimize Food Loss in Fish Cans at Princess Tuna Mauritius

In today's world, where the delicate balance between food production and consumption is often disrupted by wastage, it's vital to highlight success stories that shine a beacon on sustainable practices. One such tale is that of Princess Tuna Mauritius, a leading tuna processing entity in the African continent and the Indian Ocean region. Their journey underscores the importance of valorizing by-products to reduce food loss, and there's much we can learn from their approach. In her presentation, Ms Sorenza gave a glimpse of the various strategies that are being used to valorise the by-products emanating from the processing of Tuna into cans.

  1. About Princess Tuna Mauritius:
    • Operational Overview:
      • The enterprise boasts two dedicated production facilities situated in Mauritius.
      • As the dominant tuna enterprise in both the Indian Ocean region and the African continent, Princess Tuna brings over four decades of expertise to the table.
    • Production Metrics:
      • Each year, the company processes an impressive 103,000 tons of tuna. However, a significant portion of this, only 40-50%, is converted into the final marketable product.
  2. Inside the Production Process:
    • Tuna Processing Steps:
      • The tuna undergoes a thawing process, post which it is eviscerated. This step produces byproducts like viscera and the belly portion. Following this, the tuna is precooked, generating another byproduct known as cooking juice. The subsequent pre-cleaning phase yields several byproducts: artery bulbs, blood meat, backbones, and soft bones. The final stage of sterilization ensures product safety and quality, but inevitably, some cans don't make the cut and get rejected.
  3. Making the Most of Byproducts:
    • Fish Oil:
      • An invaluable byproduct, fish oil is extracted from the heads of the fish. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it offers significant health advantages, particularly for cardiac and cognitive health.
    • Belly Utilization:
      • The belly, separated during the evisceration process, finds its way into various products. A notable mention is the oval cans, which exclusively use the belly portion.
    • Biogas from Cooking Juice:
      • The juice produced during precooking is a treasure trove of resources. It's effectively used to produce methane-rich biogas, which Princess Tuna has recently begun using for steam production.
    • Cosmetics from Artery Bulb:
      • The artery bulb, rich in elastin, gets removed during the pre-cleaning phase. It then gets channeled into the cosmetic industry.
    • Fish Meal for Aquaculture:
      • An assortment of byproducts – viscera, belly skin, blood meat, backbones, and soft bones – are combined to create fish meal. This nutrient-rich mix is primarily used as feed in aquaculture.
  4. Innovations on the Horizon:
    • Frozen Fish Roe:
      • The company is exploring the potential of fish roe as a product. Packed with omega-3 fats, it promises health benefits and could be a delicacy in various European markets.
    • Blood Meat Delicacies:
      • Instead of relegating blood meat solely for fish meal, the company is considering its use in creating consumer products. Rich in myoglobin and iron, it has both health benefits and culinary appeal.

In Conclusion

Princess Tuna Mauritius epitomizes the vision of a circular economy in the seafood industry. By ensuring every part of the tuna is used purposefully, they're not just enhancing their business model but also safeguarding our planet. As consumers and industry professionals, it's high time we draw inspiration from such sustainable practices and champion a future where food is both cherished and optimized.

The Fight Against Food Waste: A Closer Look at Foodwise's Initiatives

Tackling Food Waste: The Foodwise Approach

Imagine a plate filled with rice, vegetables, and perhaps some meat. Now imagine tossing one-third of it into the trash. It's a startling image, isn't it? Yet, this is the harsh reality on a global scale, with a staggering one-third of all produced food ending up as waste.

In her talk, Ms Zainal Kureeman provided a glimpse of the activities of Foodwise to tackle the Food Waste in Mauritius

  1. Foodwise's Mission and Operations:
    • Foodwise, where the speaker, Ms Zainal Kureeman, is in charge of operations, is a social enterprise dedicated to combating food waste in Mauritius.
    • Their primary mission is threefold: To save food, empower the local community, and protect the environment.
    • Their strategy involves collecting surplus food items from suppliers (ranging from supermarkets to restaurants) that might be nearing expiry or slightly damaged but are still fit for consumption.
    • This collected food is then redistributed to NGOs, which support vulnerable populations, acting as a bridge between surplus food and those who need it.
  2. The Impact So Far:
    • In just four years, Foodwise's impact has been nothing short of remarkable. They've redistributed approximately 1000 tons of products, translating to 4.5 million, meals for vulnerable populations in Mauritius!
    •  They achieve this by collecting surplus consumables from suppliers like supermarkets and restaurants. These might be items nearing their expiry date or slightly blemished yet perfectly edible. This food is then redirected to NGOs, ensuring that it nourishes those in need rather than filling up landfills
    • Their collaboration network has expanded to over 190 NGOs throughout Mauritius, a testament to their extensive reach and impact.

Sep 30, 2023

International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction 2023


Addressing the Global Food Waste Crisis: A Message from the Dean

In a world brimming with advancements, there's an irony that's hard to ignore: while we produce more food than ever before, a significant portion of it is lost or wasted. This paradox was the crux of the address by the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture during a forum to mark the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction. Here's an in-depth look at the Dean's message:

Global Perspectives on a Local Platform

The statistics are alarming: globally, one-third of all food intended for human consumption never reaches our plates. This wastage, amounting to 1.3 billion tons annually, carries an economic loss of a staggering 1 trillion US dollars. These figures, presented by the Dean, are not just numbers on a page; they depict a crisis affecting the environment, the economy, and the very fabric of our global society.

Hunger Paradox:Even with such extensive food production, the spectre of hunger looms large. Close to 828 million individuals worldwide succumb to hunger. Childhood malnutrition is rife, with 14 million children affected. Moreover, 45% of child deaths globally can be attributed to hunger and its associated complications. In a telling statistic from 2020, a vast majority (70%) of the world's hungry population resided in just three nations: Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.

Literary Insights and Innovative Solutions

Quoting Trisha Stewart's "Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal," the Dean underscored that food waste is not just a gross injustice against those facing hunger, but it's also an assault on our environment and our collective future. However, amidst this bleak picture, there are light of hope. Initiatives like Toast Ale, which brews beer from surplus bread, exemplify the innovative solutions that are sprouting globally.

University's Pillar of Strength

The Faculty of Agriculture, with its rich history dating back to 1914, has consistently championed the cause of sustainable agriculture and food practices. This legacy, as emphasized by the Dean, is a testament to the institution's commitment to aligning with national and global agendas. The mission is clear: to produce research and initiatives that directly combat the challenges of food wastage.

Education and Empowerment

The fight against food wastage isn't restricted to laboratories and research papers. It's about instilling values and knowledge in the students. By infusing the curriculum with concepts centred around food waste and best practices for food handling and storage, the aim is to create a generation ready to take on this global challenge.

Collaboration and Commitment

The Dean highlighted the importance of the DeSIRA Project, funded by the European Union. This collaboration has been instrumental in strengthening the research capacities of the institution, particularly in food science and technology. 

Unveiling of the Commemorative Plaque for the Food Lab by the EU Ambassador.

Dr Deena Baboolall Ramful guided our guest of honour, the Acting President of the Republic of Mauritius in the newly refurnished food laboratory.


Not to be missed is the upcoming launch of an ebook dedicated to utilizing food leftovers and imperfect produce. This endeavor, was backed by numerous dedicated chefs and individuals.

Conclusion: A Call to Arms

The Dean's message was crystal clear: the battle against food wastage is ongoing, and it's one we cannot afford to lose. Drawing inspiration from Jonathan's words, the Dean emphasized that food is more than just sustenance; it's a reflection of our history, choices, and values.

The clarion call is out: let's cherish every morsel, innovate, collaborate, and pave the way for a future where food is valued, and wastage is a relic of the past.

Aug 29, 2023

Tackling Food Waste: Insights from a Workshop on Leftovers & Imperfect Produce


Globally, approximately one-third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted every year. This equates to around 1.3 billion tonnes. Such colossal waste has significant ecological, economic, and nutritional implications.  A predominant factor in food waste arises from the discarding of leftovers and the rejection of fruits and vegetables that don't meet consumer perceived aesthetic standards, despite being nutritionally sound.

The Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Mauritius currently is involved in an EU funded project DeSIRA and the Work Package 3 focuses on activities relating to food loss and food waste reduction. It is well known that leftover foods and rejection of inglorious fruits and vegetables contribute to food waste. In this context, the Faculty of Agriculture organised a half day workshop on 18th August 2023 from 9.30 to 12.00 in Lecture Theatre 2 of the New Academic Complex.

Purpose of the Workshop:

  •     Create awareness and share practical tips and recipes.
  •     Showcasing the transformation of leftovers into nutritious meals.
  •     Highlighting the importance of supporting local food systems by using leftovers and imperfect fruits and vegetables

The audience included 50 attendees from different sectors including representatives from the National Women Council, Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, cooperatives, hotels and women entrepreneurs. 


The Day's Highlights

This workshop was a mix of information, inspiration, and practical tips and live demonstration by the chef, making the day interactive and insightful. Attendees were introduced to innovative recipes that not only transform leftovers into nutritious meals but also celebrate the beauty of imperfect produce, underlining the importance of not judging agricultural produce solely by its appearance.

Take Away Messages 

The message was clear: Supporting our local food systems means giving love to those slightly bruised carrots and the cold bread from yesterday breakfast. Embracing leftovers and imperfect produce isn't just an eco-friendly move; it's a step towards a sustainable and nourishing future.

Until next time, let's cook responsibly and eat mindfully!