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Open AccessArticle

Environmental Impact of Corn Tortilla Production: A Case Study

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Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Av. San Juanito Itzicuaro S/N, Col. San Juanito Itzícuaro, Morelia 58000, Mexico
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Facultad de Ciencias Químicas e Ingeniería, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Calzada Universidad No. 14418, Mesa de Otay, Tijuana 22390, Mexico
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CONACYT-Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco, División Académica de Ciencias Biológicas, Carretera Villahermosa-Cárdenas km 0.5 s/n entronque a Bosque de Saloya, Ranchería Emiliano Zapata, Villahermosa, Tabasco 86159, Mexico
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(22), 4852; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9224852
Received: 21 October 2019 / Revised: 31 October 2019 / Accepted: 1 November 2019 / Published: 13 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental and Sustainable Science and Technology)
The research on the environmental impacts of corn-derived products has been mainly on cultivation techniques and the production of biofuels, so there is limited information on the impacts produced by the transformation of corn for human consumption. The tortilla is a millennial product derived from corn of which consumption is increasing in North America. The aim of this study is to identify the environmental hotspots of the tortilla using a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach. The process studied included only the corn–nixtamalisation–dough–tortillas production. The functional unit is one kg of tortillas packed in kraft paper. The impacts of the tortilla production process were evaluated using SimaPro 8.5.0 software, considering ReCiPe Midpoint. The production has the greatest impact in 15 of the 18 impact categories. The normalisation reveals that the most significant impacts concentrate in the categories terrestrial acidification (TA), particulate matter formation (PMF), marine ecotoxicity (MET) and fossil fuel depletion (FD). Improvements in the cultivation could mean more environmentally friendly tortilla production. View Full-Text
Keywords: corn; climate change; life cycle assessment; environmental impact; CO2 emission corn; climate change; life cycle assessment; environmental impact; CO2 emission
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Guzmán-Soria, D.; Taboada-González, P.; Aguilar-Virgen, Q.; Baltierra-Trejo, E.; Marquez-Benavides, L. Environmental Impact of Corn Tortilla Production: A Case Study. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 4852.

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