Food production significantly contributes to consumption of resources and presents remarkable environmental impacts to be evaluated through a life cycle approach. The present paper aims to present and discuss the results of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) performed on 13 tomato based products (tomato purée, chopped tomatoes and peeled tomatoes in tomato juice) produced in Italy by a Group representing one of largest agri-food industry European companies. The environmental hotspots of the whole supply chains of the investigated products have been identified and technical and managerial solutions have been defined. Agricultural phase and packaging production resulted to be the life-cycle stages with the highest impact in all the considered categories. The identified improvement options related to packaging subsystem are the reduction of weight and the switch to different packaging materials. Other improvement options can be adopted in the cultivation phase, such as use of organic fertilizers or inorganic fertilizers with lower nitrogen and phosphorus content, crop rotation and use of efficient irrigation systems. The application of LCA methodology to tomato product systems has highlighted some methodological issues that will be taken into account during the CPC 2132 and CPC 2139 Product Category Rules (PCR) development in the framework of the International EPD® System.

An evaluation of environmental sustainability in the food industry through Life Cycle Assessment: the case study of tomato products supply chain

DEL BORGHI, ADRIANA;GALLO, MICHELA;STRAZZA, CARLO;DEL BORGHI, MARCO
2014-01-01

Abstract

Food production significantly contributes to consumption of resources and presents remarkable environmental impacts to be evaluated through a life cycle approach. The present paper aims to present and discuss the results of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) performed on 13 tomato based products (tomato purée, chopped tomatoes and peeled tomatoes in tomato juice) produced in Italy by a Group representing one of largest agri-food industry European companies. The environmental hotspots of the whole supply chains of the investigated products have been identified and technical and managerial solutions have been defined. Agricultural phase and packaging production resulted to be the life-cycle stages with the highest impact in all the considered categories. The identified improvement options related to packaging subsystem are the reduction of weight and the switch to different packaging materials. Other improvement options can be adopted in the cultivation phase, such as use of organic fertilizers or inorganic fertilizers with lower nitrogen and phosphorus content, crop rotation and use of efficient irrigation systems. The application of LCA methodology to tomato product systems has highlighted some methodological issues that will be taken into account during the CPC 2132 and CPC 2139 Product Category Rules (PCR) development in the framework of the International EPD® System.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/718791
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