Next Article in Journal
Promoting Smallholder Adoption of Conservation Agriculture through Mechanization Services
Previous Article in Journal
Forage Plant Ecophysiology: A Discipline Come of Age
Article Menu
Issue 8 (August) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Agriculture 2017, 7(8), 62; doi:10.3390/agriculture7080062

Analyzing the Environmental Impact of Chemically-Produced Protein Hydrolysate from Leather Waste vs. Enzymatically-Produced Protein Hydrolysate from Legume Grains

Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (DAFNE), University of Tuscia, Via S. Camillo de Lellis snc, Viterbo 01100, Italy
Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation, Guglielmo Marconi University, via Plinio 44, Roma 00193, Italy
Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria, Centro di ricerca Agricoltura e Ambiente (CREA-AA), via della Navicella 2-4, Roma 00184, Italy
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, via Università, 100, Portici 80138, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Brad Ridoutt
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 27 July 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1426 KB, uploaded 27 July 2017]   |  


Protein hydrolysates are largely used as plant biostimulants for boosting crop growth, and improving crop tolerance to abiotic stresses and fruit quality. Protein hydrolysate-based biostimulants are mostly produced by chemical hydrolysis starting from animal wastes. However, an innovative process of enzymatic hydrolysis of legume-derived proteins has been recently introduced by few companies. The objective of this study was to evaluate the energy use and environmental impact of the production processes of enzymatically-produced protein hydrolysate starting from lupine seeds and protein hydrolysate obtained from chemical hydrolysis of leather wastes through the application of life cycle assessment (LCA). The LCA method was applied through the software GEMIS “Global Emission Model for Integrated Systems”, elaborated at L’Oko-Institute in Germany, and the parameters taken into account were: CO2 emissions in g per kg of protein hydrolysate; the consumption of fossil energy expressed in MJ per kg of protein hydrolysate; and water consumption reported in kg per kg of protein hydrolysate. In the case of legume-derived protein hydrolysate, the evaluation of the energy use and the environmental impact started from field production of lupine grains and ended with the industrial production of protein hydrolysate. In the case of animal-derived protein hydrolysate, the LCA method was applied only in the industrial production process, because the collagen is considered a waste product of the leather industry. The type of hydrolysis is the step that most affects the energy use and environmental impact on the entire industrial production process. The results obtained in terms of CO2 emissions, fossil energy consumption and water use through the application of LCA showed that the production process of the animal-derived protein hydrolysate was characterized by a higher energy use (+26%) and environmental impact (+57% of CO2 emissions) in comparison with the enzymatic production process of lupine-derived protein hydrolysate. In conclusion, the production of legume-derived protein hydrolysate by enzymatic hydrolysis is more environmentally friendly than the production of animal-derived protein hydrolysate through chemical hydrolysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: biostimulants; protein hydrolysates; hydrolysis; LCA; sustainability biostimulants; protein hydrolysates; hydrolysis; LCA; sustainability

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Colantoni, A.; Recchia, L.; Bernabei, G.; Cardarelli, M.; Rouphael, Y.; Colla, G. Analyzing the Environmental Impact of Chemically-Produced Protein Hydrolysate from Leather Waste vs. Enzymatically-Produced Protein Hydrolysate from Legume Grains. Agriculture 2017, 7, 62.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Agriculture EISSN 2077-0472 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top