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Resources 2019, 8(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8010056

Environmental Sustainability of Pasta Production Chains: An Integrated Approach for Comparing Local and Global Chains

1
Department of Innovation and Information Engineering, Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi, via Plinio 44, 00193 Rome, Italy
2
Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Systems (GESAAF), University of Florence, Piazzale delle Cascine 16, 50144 Firenze, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 December 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract

Major pasta industries have started to evaluate the environmental footprint of their productions exploiting both Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and, in some cases, Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) methodologies. In this research, two different pasta production chains were considered: a “high-quality pasta” chain (referred here as “local or regional scenario”), which follows traditional procedures in a Tuscan farm that uses only ancient wheat varieties; and a “conventional pasta” one (referred here as “global or industrial scenario”), in which pasta is produced using national and international grains, following industrial processes. An integrated methodology based on both an Environmental Impacts ANalysis (EIAN) approach and the LCA has been developed, analyzing five environmental compartments (i.e., soil, water, air, resources, climate change) and a total number of ten expected environmental pressures. As a result, the high-quality pasta chain shows a better performance in terms of risk reduction of soil degradation and agrobiodiversity loss, as well as the consumption of non-renewable resources; this is mainly due to the use of lower quantity of chemicals, a lower mechanization level in the agricultural phase, and the use of ancient grains. However, the conventional pasta chain prevails in terms of a more efficient exploitation of land and water resources, due to higher yields and the use of more efficient sprayers, and also in reducing noise emitted by the overall production equipment. View Full-Text
Keywords: durum wheat environmental sustainability; ancient grains; pasta production; environmental impacts analysis; Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) durum wheat environmental sustainability; ancient grains; pasta production; environmental impacts analysis; Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
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Recchia, L.; Cappelli, A.; Cini, E.; Garbati Pegna, F.; Boncinelli, P. Environmental Sustainability of Pasta Production Chains: An Integrated Approach for Comparing Local and Global Chains. Resources 2019, 8, 56.

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