Energy assessment in product chain of pasteurized milk: agronomy, animal farm and processing plant
Journal article, 2014
The objectives for this study were first to understand and estimate energy consumption in each stage of production and processing of milk using regional data and second, suggesting improvement opportunities. A cradle to gate assessment of market milk was performed by separating the system into three stages: agronomy, animal farm and processing plant. Data were collected from multiple sources e.g. questionnaire, published papers, national and international databases, and the processing plant database. Throughout the study, ISO framework and International Dairy Federation guideline on life cycle assessment were used. The functional unit (FU) was one liter of pasteurized milk packaged in plastic pouch at the processing plant gate. The average energy demand for producing 1 kg of fat-protein corrected milk at farm-gate was 10.8 MJ, although for the final packaged milk, it was 12.5MJ. Main stages in overall energy use of FU were agronomy 68 %, animal farm 19 % and processing plant 13%. The average energy use for raw milk production was 2-5 times higher than previous European reports. To enhance efficiency in this sector, we need to assess other regions’ potentials for feed and milk production and then to focus on agronomy stage for lower energy use by optimization of irrigation, or even importing energy intensive feed such as barley and alfalfa from other countries.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)