Residues from the food manufacturing industry require management options with the best overall environmental outcome. The identification of sustainable solutions depends however, on many influencing factors such as energy input, transport distance, and substituted product. This study shows the influence of the choice of substituted products on the overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for three specific food side-flows and their treatment in the European Union: animal blood, apple pomace and brewers’ spent grain (BSG). In a direct comparison of possible treatment options, it is notable that the conversion to food ingredients (valorisation) does not always result in reduced environmental net impacts (GHG savings), which means that other options at lower levels of the waste hierarchy might be more beneficial to the environment. The further use of apple pomace or BSG for the production of food ingredients is only advantageous if the processing emissions are smaller than the emissions from the substituted products. The use of food side-flows as animal feed shows environmental advantages in all scenarios, as the use of conventional feed, such as soybean meal or hay, is reduced and so are the GHG emissions. The anaerobic digestion of food side-flows is associated with significant GHG emissions, but alternative energy also display a high GHG factor when based on fossil resources. The measuring of circularity in the food sector is a challenge in itself due to the complexity of renewable materials. This study shall help to understand the interwoven influences of certain parameters to the results.

Environmental assessment of the valorisation and recycling of selected food production side flows

De Menna F.;Vittuari M.;
2020

Abstract

Residues from the food manufacturing industry require management options with the best overall environmental outcome. The identification of sustainable solutions depends however, on many influencing factors such as energy input, transport distance, and substituted product. This study shows the influence of the choice of substituted products on the overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for three specific food side-flows and their treatment in the European Union: animal blood, apple pomace and brewers’ spent grain (BSG). In a direct comparison of possible treatment options, it is notable that the conversion to food ingredients (valorisation) does not always result in reduced environmental net impacts (GHG savings), which means that other options at lower levels of the waste hierarchy might be more beneficial to the environment. The further use of apple pomace or BSG for the production of food ingredients is only advantageous if the processing emissions are smaller than the emissions from the substituted products. The use of food side-flows as animal feed shows environmental advantages in all scenarios, as the use of conventional feed, such as soybean meal or hay, is reduced and so are the GHG emissions. The anaerobic digestion of food side-flows is associated with significant GHG emissions, but alternative energy also display a high GHG factor when based on fossil resources. The measuring of circularity in the food sector is a challenge in itself due to the complexity of renewable materials. This study shall help to understand the interwoven influences of certain parameters to the results.
Scherhaufer S.; Davis J.; Metcalfe P.; Gollnow S.; Colin F.; De Menna F.; Vittuari M.; Ostergren K.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/799873
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