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(searched for: doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.09.187)
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Violeta Maricruz García-Orozco, Ivonne Linares-Hernández, Reyna Natividad, Patricia Balderas-Hernández, Claudia Alanis-Ramírez, Carlos E. Barrera-Díaz, Gabriela Roa-Morales
Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, Volume 10; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jece.2022.107969

Published: 6 May 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Foods
Abstract:
The usefulness of food packaging is often questioned in the public debate about (ecological) sustainability. While worldwide packaging-related CO2 emissions are accountable for approximately 5% of emissions, specific packaging solutions can reach significantly higher values depending on use case and product group. Unlike other groups, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and life cycle assessment (LCA) of cereal and confectionary products have not been the focus of comprehensive reviews so far. Consequently, the present review first contextualizes packaging, sustainability and related LCA methods and then depicts how cereal and confectionary packaging has been presented in different LCA studies. The results reveal that only a few studies sufficiently include (primary, secondary and tertiary) packaging in LCAs and when they do, the focus is mainly on the direct (e.g., material used) rather than indirect environmental impacts (e.g., food losses and waste) of the like. In addition, it is shown that the packaging of cereals and confectionary contributes on average 9.18% to GHG emissions of the entire food packaging system. Finally, recommendations on how to improve packaging sustainability, how to better include packaging in LCAs and how to reflect this in management-related activities are displayed.
Published: 26 February 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Foods
Abstract:
In both public and private sectors, one can notice a strong interest in the topic of sustainable food and packaging. For a long time, the spotlight for optimization was placed on well-known examples of high environmental impacts, whether regarding indirect resource use (e.g., meat, dairy) or problems in waste management. Staple and hedonistic foods such as cereals and confectionary have gained less attention. However, these products and their packaging solutions are likewise of worldwide ecologic and economic relevance, accounting for high resource input, production amounts, as well as food losses and waste. This review provides a profound elaboration of the status quo in cereal and confectionary packaging, essential for practitioners to improve sustainability in the sector. Here, we present packaging functions and properties along with related product characteristics and decay mechanisms in the subcategories of cereals and cereal products, confectionary and bakery wares alongside ready-to-eat savories and snacks. Moreover, we offer an overview to formerly and recently used packaging concepts as well as established and modern shelf-life extending technologies, expanding upon our knowledge to thoroughly understand the packaging’s purpose; we conclude that a comparison of the environmental burden share between product and packaging is necessary to properly derive the need for action(s), such as packaging redesign.
Published: 29 January 2022
Agroforestry Systems, Volume 96, pp 417-434; https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-022-00729-8

Abstract:
The current expansion of cacao cultivation in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is associated with deforestation, forest degradation, biodiversity loss and high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Global concerns about emissions that are associated with tropical commodity production are increasing. Consequently, there is a need to change the present cacao-growing practice into a more climate-friendly cultivation system. A more climate-friendly system causes lower GHG emissions, stores a high amount of carbon in its standing biomass and produces high cacao yields. GHG emissions and carbon stocks associated with the present cacao production, as assessed in 509 farmers’ fields, were estimated by using the Perennial GHG model and the Cool Farm Tool. On average, the production of 1 kg cacao beans is associated with an emission of 1.47 kg CO2e. Deforestation contributed largely to GHG emissions, while tree biomass and residue management contributed mainly to carbon storage. The collected data combined with the model simulations revealed that it is feasible to produce relatively high yields while at the same time storing a high amount of carbon in the standing biomass and causing low GHG emissions. The climate-friendliness of cacao production is strongly related to farm management, especially the number of shade trees and management of residues. Calculated emissions related to good agricultural practices were 2.29 kg CO2e per kg cacao beans. The higher emissions due to the use of more agro-inputs and other residue management practices such as recommended burning of residues for sanitary reasons were not compensated for by higher yields. This indicates a need to revisit recommended practices with respect to climate change mitigation objectives.
Giovanna Maria Cappa Hernandes, Priscilla Efraim, Adriana Reis De Andrade Silva, Guilherme De Castilho Queiroz
Published: 1 January 2022
by SciELO
Brazilian Journal of Food Technology, Volume 25; https://doi.org/10.1590/1981-6723.26320

Abstract:
Pará is the main cocoa producing state in Brazil. To provide a comprehensive picture of the carbon cootprint from cocoa production (conventional and organic cultivation systems in Brazilian Trans-Amazon and Xingu regions), the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol methodology was used to calculate greenhouse gas emissions with a focus on the impact of climate changes. The carbon footprint was calculated based on original data collected in the conventional and organic cocoa cultivation of the Trans-Amazon and Xingu regions in the State of Pará. The harvesting, fermentation and drying steps were analyzed, with data collection in nine farms, three of each type of agricultural production: conventional; organic; and organic-fairtrade. The fruit is harvested manually, the husk is left at the field for natural fertilization without composting. The small amount of inputs, such as herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers, are used only on farms with cocoa conventional production. Eliminating the use of nitrogen fertilizers and implementing an efficient method of composting without the emission of methane in the air, the carbon footprint will be only 2.01 kg CO2 eq./kg cocoa, i.e., total reduction of 81%.
Published: 23 December 2021
by MDPI
Journal: Sustainability
Sustainability, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010136

Abstract:
Cocoa farming in São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) faces several challenges due to its poor socioeconomic context, the adverse impact of climate changes, the complex and limited access to global value chains, and worldwide demand pressure for higher cocoa quality and productivity. This exploratory research investigates potential pathways to a more sustainable organic cocoa (OC) production in STP by mapping the perceptions of the stakeholders involved in its value chain. Qualitative interviews, field observation, and focus group discussions were applied to understand how sustainability dimensions, drivers, impacts, and challenges of OC are perceived and how these three dimensions can be improved and balanced. The gathered perceptions are rather diverse, reflecting the stakeholders’ position and knowledge of the specific contexts and processes. Producers do not perceive how governance is adopting new organizational structures or practices that allow for an effective sustainability improvement. Most stakeholders recognize that market-related factors drive the sustainability adoption and that financing-related constraints challenge their wide implementation. There are trade-offs and power asymmetries in the OC value chain, which manifest differently, due to the governance approaches, processes, overall regulations, and training of producers. An alignment of perceptions and activities as well as a stronger cooperation between cooperatives, private firms, and public institutions is strongly recommended.
Published: 30 May 2021
by MDPI
Journal: Sustainability
Sustainability, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116155

Abstract:
Ghana is an important cocoa producer and exporter and this production is of high economic importance. Increasing interest in the sustainable productions of cocoa/chocolate necessitated the need to assess the environmental impacts associated with the production of different chocolate variants (extra dark (EDC), dark (DC), milk (MC) and flavoured milk (FMC) in Ghana, including the identification of environmental hotspots for improvement. The life cycle assessment tool was used following the CML_IA and CED impact assessment methods. EDC had the lowest scores for most of the impact categories while FMC was most impactful. For Global Warming Potential (GWP), EDC and FMC were estimated to be 1.61 kg CO2 eq. and 4.21 kg CO2 eq., respectively. CED ranged from 1.44 × 102 to 1.50 × 102 MJ-eq. Chocolate manufacturing phase was generally more impactful than cocoa cultivation due to high emissions from milk and sugar production. The impact scores for 100 g packaged chocolate bar were the lowest in comparison to 300 g chocolate pouches and 12.5 g packaged chocolate strips. GWP for 100 g and 12.5 g were 0.20 kg CO2 eq. and 0.39 kg CO2 eq., respectively. Comparing different destination points for the manufactured chocolate, impact scores for the international destination were similar to those recorded for local destinations. Improvement options are suggested for all phases to ensure more sustainable chocolate production and distribution.
Published: 15 December 2020
by MDPI
Journal: Sustainability
Sustainability, Volume 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410515

Abstract:
Green agri-food supply chains are increasingly attracting research interest, owing to their potential capacity of resilience against recent crises (e.g., financial, COVID-19) as well as end-consumers’ concerns on sustainability issues. In this context, this paper aims to explore the relationship between green supply chain management practices and three different performance aspects, namely, supply chain, green (environmental) and business performance, controlling for environmental dynamism. Field research was conducted through a structured questionnaire contacted to 134 executives of firms in the agri-food sector in Greece. Results reveal that information sharing, logistics networking and transportation are the most powerful factors that impact sustainable, business and supply chain performance. In addition, green packaging is related to financial and social performance aspects. Interestingly, green warehousing and logistics emissions failed to establish any relationship with performance outcomes. The conclusions and recommendations drawn in the present study are expected to provide meaningful guidance for the supply chain decision-making process, as logistics managers are becoming increasingly aware of exploiting all available resources, knowhow and competitive advantages for attaining sustainable performance.
, Marijn Bauters, Koen Dewettinck
Published: 30 October 2020
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 47, pp 106-111; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2020.10.012

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
F. R. Bianchi, L. Moreschi, M. Gallo, E. Vesce,
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Volume 26, pp 807-821; https://doi.org/10.1007/s11367-020-01817-6

Abstract:
Purpose: Environmental impact evaluation in the food sector is a key topic, due to both stricter legislations and higher consumer awareness towards sustainable choices. The case of chocolate is a remarkable example, owing to the increasing demand and the complex production process from cocoa beans to final bars. The present study aims at assessing the environmental impacts related to three chocolate types (dark, milk and white) through life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Methods: Consistent with food Product Category Rules (PCRs) and previous LCA literature, the study follows a cradle to grave approach. Among different raw material productions, it focuses above all on cocoa farming assuming three possible producer countries (i.e. Ghana, Ecuador and Indonesia), so that the influence of specific weather conditions and soil properties is underlined. Since the manufacturing step is supposed in the North Italian factory, different transport distances are also taken into account. Moreover, the work focuses on the possible use of several packaging materials and following disposal issues. In view of the open discussion about the most suitable functional unit in food sector, mass and energy amount approaches are compared. Results and discussion: Along chocolate supply chain, different phases are evaluated according to LCA methodology. Among analyzed producer countries: Indonesia monoculture case results to be the most impacting situation, due to an intensive use of agrochemicals; pesticides give a wide contribution in Ecuador, whereas Ghana is penalized by the highest water consumption. The transport of beans to manufacturing plant influences mostly the GWP, owing to long travelled distances. Considering the whole production process, cocoa derivatives and milk powder are the main contributors to every impact category. From packaging point of view, the best solution is the use of a single polypropylene layer. A sensitivity analysis is performed to check the validity of different allocation procedures: both mass and energy content allocations lead to similar results. Conclusions: Through LCA methodology, the life cycle of dark, milk and white chocolate is compared. The study assesses different potential environmental impacts, assuming mass and energy content as possible functional units and references for allocation procedures. For all combinations of functional units and allocation rules, dark chocolate globally presents the best environmental performance, whereas the other two types have similar environmental impacts.
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Volume 25, pp 698-718; https://doi.org/10.1007/s11367-020-01732-w

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Taufik Nur, Akhmad Hidayatno
Abstract:
The sustainability of agricultural sector is becoming an increasing concern in Indonesia, with the shock of the palm oil's products export restrictions to several countries. Therefore, it is vital to avoid the same case for all other export-oriented agricultural products, such as cocoa. This study aims to map the challenges and opportunities in developing a sustainable cocoa supply chain. The study commenses with mapping the role of stakeholders along the supply chain, studying the supply chain mapping literature in a sustainable perspective, and identifying the indicators used to measure the supply chain. The results of this study propose a conceptual model to be utilized as a base reference for research of the agricultural supply chain sustainability model development in Indonesia.
Published: 13 February 2019
by MDPI
Journal: Sustainability
Sustainability, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11040948

Abstract:
Manufacturing activities carry significant burdens for all three dimensions of sustainability, i.e., environment, economy and society. However, most of the available sustainability assessment methods for manufacturing are based on environmental concerns only. Moreover, it is hard to find a sustainability assessment method that considers both stochastic and fuzzy uncertainties concurrently and a comprehensive set of weighted and applicable indicators. Thus, the main purpose of this paper was to develop and test an integrated sustainability assessment method that included both stochastic and fuzzy uncertainties. Both quantitative and qualitative, and weighted sustainability indicators for the Malaysian food manufacturing industry needed to be considered, with reliable assessment results. In order to achieve the objective, the Monte Carlo simulation and fuzzy logic approaches were employed. An overall unit-less sustainability index was calculated to evaluate the current sustainability level. This method was demonstrated using a real-world case study of a Malaysian food manufacturing company. The results highlighted and traced the company-wide major low and high performing areas for all three dimensions of sustainability. The results unveiled that the case company could improve its sustainability performance more effectively by decreasing the amount of air emissions, polluted wastewater, etc., and improving the working conditions. This would enable the practitioners and decision-makers to allocate resources accordingly and more efficiently. Finally, the developed method was validated and the implications and conclusions of the research were presented.
Laura Batlle-Bayer, Alba Bala, , Elodie Lemaire, Guobao Song, Rubén Aldaco,
Published: 21 December 2018
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 213, pp 588-598; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.12.215

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Antonios Konstantas, Harish K. Jeswani, ,
Published: 1 April 2018
Food Research International, Volume 106, pp 1012-1025; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2018.02.042

Abstract:
This study evaluates life cycle environmental impacts associated with chocolate products made and consumed in the UK. The paper focuses on three representative chocolate products occupying 90% of the market: 'moulded chocolate', 'chocolate countlines' and 'chocolates in bag'. The impacts were estimated using life cycle assessment (LCA) as a tool and following the ReCiPe impact assessment method. The water footprint was also considered. For example, the global warming potential ranges between 2.91 and 4.15 kg CO eq., primary energy demand from 30 to 41 MJ and the water footprint, including water stress, from 31 to 63 l per kilogram of chocolate. The raw materials are the major hotspot across all impact categories for all three product types, followed by the chocolate production process and packaging. The raw material impacts are mainly due to milk powder, cocoa derivatives, sugar and palm oil. The sensitivity analysis shows that the results for global warming potential are sensitive to land-use change (LUC) associated with cocoa production, increasing the impact of the chocolate products by three to four times if LUC is involved. The improvement opportunities targeting the key contributing stages suggest that GWP of chocolates could be reduced by 14%-19%. Chocolate countlines have the highest contribution to the total impacts at the UK level (37%-43%), followed by chocolates in bag (28%-33%). Moulded chocolates and other chocolate confectionary make up the rest of the impacts, with a roughly equal share each. Chocolate consumption in the UK contributes 4.7% to the primary energy consumption and 2.4% to the GHG emissions from the whole food and drink sector. The results of this work will be of interest to policy makers, chocolate producers and consumers, helping them to make more informed decisions towards sustainable production and consumption of chocolate products.
, A. Arrigoni, G. Scaccabarozzi, D. Marveggio, P. Melià,
Published: 1 January 2018
Journal: Procedia Cirp
Procedia Cirp, Volume 69, pp 557-561; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2017.11.003

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
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