Food wastes disposed from residential and industrial kitchens have gained attention as a substrate in microbial fermentations to reduce product costs. In this study, the potential of simultaneously hydrolyzing and subsequently fermenting the mixed carbohydrate components of kitchen wastes were assessed and the effects of solid load, inoculum volume of baker's yeast, and fermentation time on ethanol production were evaluated by response surface methodology (RSM). The enzymatic hydrolysis process was complete within 6 h. Fermentation experiments were conducted at pH 4.5, a temperature of 30 C, and agitated at 150 rpm without adding the traditional fermentation nutrients. The statistical analysis of the model developed by RSM suggested that linear effects of solid load, inoculum volume, and fermentation time and the quadratic effects of inoculum volume and fermentation time were significant (P < 0.05). The verification experiments indicated that the developed model could be successfully used to predict ethanol concentration at >90% accuracy. An optimum ethanol concentration of 32.2 g/l giving a yield of 0.40 g/g, comparable to yields reported to date, was suggested by the model with 20% solid load, 8.9% inoculum volume, and 58.8 h of fermentation. The results indicated that the production costs can be lowered to a large extent by using kitchen wastes having multiple carbohydrate components and eliminating the use of traditional fermentation nutrients from the recipe. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.