The reactions of different food classes during alkaline subcritical water gasification have been investigated with a view on hydrogen gas production. Experiments were conducted with sub-stoichiometric amounts of H 2O2 for partial oxidation. NaOH was added to aid sample decomposition, reduce char/tar formation and to promote water-gas shift reaction. In general, hydrogen gas production depended on the class of food wastes including their chemical structure. Carbohydrate-rich food waste (glucose, molasses, tropical fruit mixture, whey powder) produced higher H 2 gas yields than others (proteins and lipids). Lipid-rich samples were the most difficult to decompose into gasifiable intermediates and therefore produced the lowest H2 yield. Generally, the addition of NaOH led to higher H2 generation from all sample types. However, two separate side reactions namely, neutralization and saponification involving NaOH with protein- and lipid-rich samples, respectively were significant. Hydrogen production from carbohydrate-rich samples was most suited for the reaction conditions applied.