Archivi categoria: Food

FOOD LCA 2016: Pubblicati i proceedings


Sono stati pubblicati gli Atti della 10th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food 2016 che si è svolta a Dublino dal 19 al  21 October 2016.

Il lavoro presentato dall’Agrifood LCA LAB riguarda la valutazione dell’impatto ambientale del grana padano (Life Cycle Assessment of Grana Padano cheese production lca_food_2016_finale), il poster può essere liberamente scaricato mentre l’abstract è qui di seguito riportato:

Objective: the aim of the study was to evaluate environmental impact of Grana Padano PDO cheese production through a “cradle to cheese factory gate” Life Cycle Assessment.

Methods: system boundaries included upstream and downstream processes. Primary data were directly collected thought questionnaires in a representative dairy farm and in a cheese factory that produces about 3.6% of the total Grana Padano (tab. 1). The functional unit was 1 kg of cheese. Gas emissions from dairy farm were calculated using IPCC (2009) and EEA (2009) equations; impact categories were evaluated with midpoint ILCD method. At cheese factory level, an economic allocation was performed among cheese, whey, butter and buttermilk. To produce 1 kg of Grana Padano about 12.8 kg of milk are needed; the low cheese yield is due to the production process: cutting and cooking (until 56°C) of the curd and a long ripening (> 9 months), with high losses of whey and water.

Results: Results: GWP (tab. 2) is higher than the one reported on fresh and semi-hard cheeses. Dairy farm activities are the main responsible of GWP (mainly due to CH4 and N2O emissions from enteric fermentations and slurry management and feed production) and Acidification and Eutrophication (mainly due to feed production and emission of NH3 and NO3)..

Implications: mitigation strategies have to be searched primarily at farm level. MFRD can be moderately mitigated reducing the transportation of purchased feed and milk. Grana Padano is a food with high nutritional value (high protein and fat per kilogram), expressing the impact per serving portion (equal to 50 g) the GWP is 0.78 kg CO2 eq.

Insetti come fonte di proteine per l’alimentazione umana


L’approvvigionamento di fonti proteiche per l’alimentazione umana ed animale è da sempre un aspetto molto dibattuto perchè responsabile di un considerevole impatto ambientale. Sulla rivista  Agronomy for Sustainable Development è stata recentemente pubblicata una review degli studi affrontati finora relativamente alla produzione di insetti come fonte proteica per l’alimentazione umana.

Di seguito riportiamo l’abstract:

Compared to their vertebrate counterparts in traditional husbandry, insects are extremely efficient at converting organic matter into animal protein and dietary energy. For this reason, insects for food and feed show great potential as an environmentally friendly choice in future food systems. However, to obtain a true assessment of this, more information is needed about the production systems. Currently, only six studies applying the life cycle assessment (LCA) method to insect production systems have been published. The studies are heterogenous and thus difficult to compare. The aim of this paper was to establish a versatile reference framework that would allow for the selection of standardized settings for LCA applications in insect production systems, taking both the peculiarity of each system and the latest developments in food LCA into account. It is recommended that future LCAs of insect production systems take the following into account: (1) clear definition of the insect species and life stages included in the LCA, (2) use of at least two of the following types of functional units: nutritional, mass, or economic-based, (3) collection of empirical data in situ (e.g., on farms/production sites), (4) comparative analysis where production systems produce products that are realistic alternatives to the insect species under investigation, (5) inclusion of additional or previously unconsidered unit processes, such as processing and storage and waste management, and (6) use of a wide range of impact categories, especially climate change, resource consumption, nutrient enrichment potential, acidification potential, and impacts on land and water consumption in order to allow for comparison between studies.