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Handbook of Sustainability for the Food Sciences

ISBN: 978-0-8138-1735-4
396 pages
March 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Handbook of Sustainability for the Food Sciences (0813817358) cover image


Many books on sustainability have been written in the last decade, most of them dealing with agricultural systems, communities, and general business practices. In contrast, Handbook of Sustainability for the Food Sciences presents the concept of sustainability as it applies to the food supply chain from farm to fork but with a special emphasis on processing.

Structured in four sections, Handbook of Sustainability for the Food Sciences first covers the basic concepts of environmental sustainability and provides a detailed account of all the impacts of the food supply chain. Part two introduces the management principles of sustainability and the tools required to evaluate the environmental impacts of products and services as well as environmental claims and declarations. Part three looks at ways to alleviate food chain environmental impacts and includes chapters on air emissions, water and wastewater, solid waste, energy, packaging, and transportation. The final part summarizes the concepts presented in the book and looks at the measures that will be required in the near future to guarantee long term sustainability of the food supply chain. Handbook of Sustainability for the Food Sciences is aimed at food science professionals including food engineers, food scientists, product developers, managers, educators, and decision makers. It will also be of interest to students of food science.

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Table of Contents

Preface xvii


1 Introduction to Sustainability 3

Introduction 3

Sustainability: a term to stay 3

Defining a sustainable company 4

Example of an unsustainable food industry 5

The promoted three dimensions of sustainability 7

Shortcomings of three-dimensional representation 8

A quest for the environment 10

Nonsustainable versus sustainable 10

The nonsustainable food company 10

The sustainable food company 12

Reliance on renewable energy 12

Ingredients and materials from renewable resources 12

Water neutral 13

Net-zero air emissions 13

Biodegradable liquid and solid wastes 14

Is a 100-percent sustainable food company attainable? 15

A short-term approach to sustainability 16

Defining boundaries 16

Differentiating efficiency from sustainability 17

Sustainability from the business point of view 17

Weakness of doing nothing 18

Strengths and opportunities 19

Summary 19

References 20

2 Sustainability and the Environment 23

Introduction 23

The Earth as a system 24

Biogeochemical cycles 25

The carbon cycle 25

The preindustrial cycle 25

The modern carbon cycle 26

The hydrologic cycle 27

The nitrogen cycle 29

Alteration of the nitrogen cycle 30

The oxygen cycle 31

The phosphorus cycle 31

The sulfur cycle 32

Importance of Earth’s ecosystems 32

Natural ecosystems 32

Services provided by natural ecosystems 33

Overexploitation of “common goods” 34

Man-made ecosystems: the food production system 35

Ecological footprint and earth’s carrying capacity 36

Ecological footprint 36

Earth’s carrying capacity 36

Collision of society and economy with the environment 38

The environment 38

Climate change 38

The political aspects of climate change 38

Society 40

Increasing population 40

Rising standards of living 41

Faster lifestyle demands more energy 42

The economy 42

Consumerism 42

Economic system based on growth 43

Summary 43

References 43

3 The Environmental Impact of the Food Supply Chain 47

Food supply chain 47

A food supply chain model 47

Environmental impact of the food supply chain 49

Impact of production of raw materials 49

Agriculture 49

Animal production 61

Fisheries 62

Food ingredients and additives 64

Case of selected additives/ingredients impacts 65

Impact of packaging 68

Impact of processing 68

Electricity and thermal energy 70

Water 70

Solid waste 71

Chemicals used in cleaning and sanitation 71

Impact of distribution 72

Distribution centers 72

Data processing 72

Transportation 73

The refrigerated supply chain 73

Impact of consumption 74

Postconsumption 75

Summary 75

References 75


4 Impact Assessment and Intensity Metrics 81

Introduction 81

Life cycle assessment 81

Applications of LCAs 82

Problems associated with LCAs 84

Conducting an LCA using ISO standards 84

Definition of goal and scope 85

Life cycle inventory analysis 87

Allocation 89

Life cycle impact assessment 91

Life cycle interpretation 95

Reporting 95

Single indicators for LCAs 95

Variations of LCAs 96

Well-to-wheel LCA 97

BASF’s eco-efficiency analysis 98

Ecological footprint with spider web diagrams 99

SC Johnson’s GreenList™ 100

Intensity indicators and metrics 100

Indicators applied to the food industry 101

Ecological indicators 101

Process indicators 102

Transportation indicators 103

Institutional indicators 104

Summary 105

References 106

5 Improving Efficiency 109

Efficiency and sustainability 109

Extra temporary step in the sustainability staircase 110

Improving efficiency 111

Creating a long-term “genuine green philosophy” 112

Managing efficiency improvements 113

Starting with efficiency improvements 113

Mapping the operation 113

Defining boundaries 117

Selecting metrics 117

Assessing the current situation 117

Ranking processes according to impacts 117

Identifying the main burdens 119

Starting with the low-hanging fruit instead 119

Efficiency improvements using the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle 119

Other tools with application in efficiency improvement 120

Lean manufacturing and sustainability 122

Implementing lean in food manufacturing 123

Sharing knowledge with suppliers and customers 124

Integrating sustainability into management systems 124

Environmental management systems 125

EMS and the ISO 14000 family 125

Elements of an EMS 126

Summary 127

References 127

6 Innovating Technology 129

The need for innovation 129

Technology cycles 130

Technology hype cycles 132

Technology push versus demand pull 132

Technology obsolescence 134

Planned obsolescence 135

Innovation and sustainability 135

Summary 136

References 136

7 Environmental Claims and Reporting 137

Environmental claims and declarations 137

Regulations and guidelines 138

Government regulations 138

U.S. Federal Trade Commission rules 138

European Union guidelines 138

The ISO 14020 family 139

Environmental labeling 140

Types of voluntary environmental labeling 140

Sustainability reporting 143

Global Reporting Initiative 143

AccountAbility 1000 series 144

Compliance and food safety in the context of reporting 144

Carbon offsets and emissions trading 145

Carbon offsets 145

Concerns about carbon offsets 147

Emissions trading 147

Summary 148

References 149


8 Air Emissions 153

Emissions with local, regional, and global impacts 153

Mobile versus stationary sources 153

Primary and secondary pollutants 154

Emissions with local and regional impact 155

Sulfur dioxide 155

Nitrogen oxides 155

Carbon monoxide 156

Particle matter 157

Volatile organic compounds 158

Ammonia emissions 158

Ground-level ozone 158

Emissions with global impact 160

Greenhouse gases 160

Ozone-depleting substances 163

Emissions inventories 165

Emissions inventories for greenhouse gases 166

Conducting a GHG inventory 166

Calculation of emissions 168

Example of calculation of emissions 170

ISO 14064 172

Reducing emissions 173

Increasing the efficiency of energy utilization 173

Selection of energy sources 173

Reducing emissions from stationary sources 174

Carbon dioxide 174

Nitrogen oxides 174

Sulfur dioxide 175

Particle matter 175

Reducing emissions from processes 176

VOCs 176

Waste and waste treatment 176

By-products of the meat industry 177

Emissions from the use of electricity 178

Emissions from refrigeration 178

Carbon capture and storage 183

Carbon capture 183

Carbon storage 184

Optimizing transportation and logistics 185

Summary 186

References 186

9 Water and Wastewater 189

The water resource 189

Freshwater sources 189

Water aquifers 189

Surface water 191

Interactions of surface water with groundwater 192

Freshwater available for consumption 193

Extraction from aquifers 193

Use of surface water 195

Desalinization 196

Toward a water crisis 198

Water and food production 199

Virtual water 199

Water footprint 200

Water footprint of a nation 200

Water footprint of a business 201

Water footprint of agricultural products 202

Water neutrality 202

Efficiency of water use in food processing 204

Water use in food-processing facilities 205

Strategies for water reduction 206

Minimizing consumption 206

Process water reuse 208

Water recycling 208

Rainwater harvesting 209

Condensate recovery 210

Water replenishment 210

Wastewater treatment 210

Aerobic systems 210

Emissions from aerobic wastewater treatment 211

Advanced water treatment 212

Minimizing solids in wastewater 212

Anaerobic systems 214

The anaerobic process 214

Anaerobic wastewater treatment systems 215

Posttreatment after anaerobic step 217

Engineered natural systems 218

Constructed wetlands 219

Stormwater management 220

Summary 222

References 223

10 Solid Waste 227

Generation of solid waste 227

In fields and farms 229

From food-processing plants 231

During distribution and retailing 231

During consumption 232

Minimizing the impact of solid waste 233

Managing food wastes 233

At processing, distribution, and retail levels 233

At consumer’s level 239

Managing nonfood wastes 239

At the field and farm levels 239

At food-processing plants, distribution, and retail levels 240

At consumer’s level 241

Eco-industrial development 241

Industrial ecology 242

Eco-Industrial parks 243

Eco-industrial networks 243

Summary 243

References 244

11 Energy 247

Energy in a sustainability context 247

Energy and food production 247

Energy sources 248

Energy return on the investment 249

Energy quality 251

Embodied energy 253

Improving energy efficiency of food-processing plants 254

Energy in food-processing plants 254

Steam systems in food-processing plants 255

Direct-fire heating in food processing 256

Opportunities for energy-efficiency improvements 256

Process heat and steam systems 257

Efficiency of mechanical systems 259

Energy monitoring and management 266

Energy efficiency at the building’s level 267

Innovating technology 268

Low carbon and neutral carbon energy 269

Buying “green power” 269

On-site generation of “green power” 270

Energy-generation capacity and capacity factor 271

Solar and wind 272

Landfill gas and biogas 272

Biomass 273

Combined heat and power 274

Efficiency of CHP systems 276

Heat recovery 277

Low-grade heat with a heat pump 277

Low-pressure steam by vapor recompression 278

Applications of recovered heat 279

Absorption refrigeration 279

Summary 280

References 281

12 Packaging 285

Food packaging 285

Materials used in food packaging 285

Glass 286

Metals 286

Aluminum 286

Steel 287

Plastics 287

Paper 289

Textiles 289

Wood 289

Environmental impacts of food packaging 290

The positives 290

The negatives 290

Consumption of nonrenewable feedstocks 290

Impact of renewable feedstocks 291

Energy consumption for each material 292

Water consumption 296

Air, liquid, and solid emissions 297

Generation of postconsumer solid waste 300

Reducing the impact of packaging 301

Relative mitigation of packaging environmental impact 302

Recycling 303

Food safety and recycling 304

Use of reusable packages 306

Biobased polymers for packaging 306

Design for “X” 307

Design for the environment 307

Design for recyclability 308

Design for disassembly 308

Design for transportability 309

Design for minimization 309

Design for shelf life extension 309

Summary 310

References 310

13 Transportation 313

Introduction 313

Transportation modes 314

Indicators of transportation distance 317

Food miles 317

Ton-miles per gallon 317

Transportation efficiency 318

Factors that affect fuel economy 318

Transportation method and energy intensity 320

Transportation from grocery store to consumer’s home 322

Energy intensity in the transportation of food products 323

Refrigerated transport 324

Energy consumption in refrigerated transportation 324

Emissions from transportation 325

Diesel-powered vehicles 325

Air transport 326

Refrigerated transport 327

Impact from refrigerant escape 327

Reducing the impact of transportation 328

Trucks 328

Operational improvements 328

Long combination vehicles 330

Weight reduction and increased volumetric capacity 331

Aerodynamic drag and rolling instance 332

Ships 332

Planes 333

Trains 334

Reducing the impact of refrigerated transport 335

Refrigerant leaks in refrigerated transport 335

Potential technologies for refrigerated transport 336

Absorption cycles using waste heat from truck engines 336

Solar photovoltaic 336

Locally produced versus transported 337

Summary 337

References 338


14 A Biobased Economy 343

Introduction 343

The biorefinery 344

Types of biorefineries 344

Biochemical route 347

Thermochemical route 347

Chemicals from sugars 348

Chemicals from syngas 349

Biofuels 351

Bioethanol 351

Biodiesel 353

Biobutanol 354

Biogas 355

Feedstocks for fuels and chemicals 355

Downsides of a biobased economy 357

Summary 358

References 359

15 Conclusions 361

The paradox of industrialized food production 361

The cornerstones of sustainability 361

Energy 362

Water 364

Materials 365

The environment 366

The peaks in the pathway of sustainability 366

Peak oil 366

Peak gas 367

Other peaks 368

Sustainability in the context of declining resources 369

References 370

Index 371

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Author Information

Rubén O. Morawicki, Ph.D., The Author has 6-year degree in Chemical Engineering from Argentina, a Masters in Industrial Engineering with concentration in Engineering Management from State University of New York at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in Food Science from the Pennsylvania State University. During his graduate school years, he also took classes at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), in Syracuse New York, when he became an advocate of environmental issues. Dr. Morawicki's career as a scientist started in Argentina where he worked as a research scientist for five years in the area or simultaneous heat and mass transfer during drying of food products. He moved to the US in 1997 to pursue graduate studies. After graduating with his Ph.D. in 2002, he immediately joined Tyson Foods as a Senior Research Scientist and work in the area of development of new products from industrial co-products. In January of 2005, he left the corporate world to become a Faculty member at the Food Science Department at the University of Arkansas in the rank of Assistant Professor in Food Processing and Packaging. Currently, besides teaching Food Processing, the author leads a research program on Green Food Processing with focus on the development of technologies that minimize the environmental impact of food processing plants and create sustainable practices for the food industry. Some of his research interests are:
  • The replacement of energy intensive processes by alternative technologies
  • Utilization of co-products from the food industry and agricultural commodities to generate value-added products
  • Use of waste streams to produce or isolate valuable compounds or fuel
  • Process Optimization
  • Green technologies applied to food processing and packaging

The author has a very well rounded and diverse academic background in the areas of management, chemical engineering, food sciences, and the environmental. This background – that is strongly complemented with industrial experience in the largest protein animal producer in the world – gives Dr. Morawicki a clear view of the broad picture that is necessary to write a book of this nature as a single author.

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“Although the Handbook of Sustainability for the Food Sciences is a guide for food science professionals, it is written in accessible language and will appeal to anyone who cares about food security.”  (Research Frontiers, 27 November 2012)

“The handbook is comprehensive and solid as a rock.  His ability to collect and summarize the literature available on the subject is stunning.”  (Crosslands, 2012)


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