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Article

Life-Cycle Assessment of Dairy Products—Case Study of Regional Cheese Produced in Portugal

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Electromechanical Engineering Department, University of Beira Interior, Rua Marquês d’Ávila e Bolama, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
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C-MAST—Centre for Mechanical and Aerospace Science and Technologies, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
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Agriculture School, Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, Quinta da Senhora de Mércules, 6001-909 Castelo Branco, Portugal
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Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
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UNIDEMI, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology (FCT), Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2020, 8(9), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8091182
Received: 6 August 2020 / Revised: 12 September 2020 / Accepted: 15 September 2020 / Published: 18 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Waste towards Green Growth)
Nowadays, there is a growing promotion to label products ecologically in European markets. Knowing that daily products have relevant environmental impact associated with their production, it is of utmost importance to analyse all the related production processes for a better understanding of each process impact. The present study analysed the potential environmental impacts of a Portuguese regional product, the Beira Baixa cheese, coming from the largest national sheep milk region. So, a life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology is used from -cradle-to -gate, including the supplying of the animal feedstock. Impact calculations are performed using the ReCiPe midpoint 2008 method, allowing an analysis of the environmental impacts contributing to climate change, terrestrial acidification, freshwater and marine eutrophication of all productive processes. The results have shown that the greatest impacts occur within the milk production process for all four selected impact categories. This happens mainly due to the fodder cultivation process, also necessary to produce animal feed, which contain processes of fertilization and land preparation. The enteric fermentation and manure management processes have also shown relevant contributions. The impact assessment also showed that the cheesemaking industry has practically insignificant impacts. Nonetheless, the cheesemaking industry can promote their business with these results, by advertising and marketing their product as environmentally friendly, with production processes causing reduced impacts, and therefore also their products. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; dairy industry; cheese production process; ReCiPe method; cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment; dairy industry; cheese production process; ReCiPe method; cradle-to-gate
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nunes, Ó.S.; Gaspar, P.D.; Nunes, J.; Quinteiro, P.; Dias, A.C.; Godina, R. Life-Cycle Assessment of Dairy Products—Case Study of Regional Cheese Produced in Portugal. Processes 2020, 8, 1182. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8091182

AMA Style

Nunes ÓS, Gaspar PD, Nunes J, Quinteiro P, Dias AC, Godina R. Life-Cycle Assessment of Dairy Products—Case Study of Regional Cheese Produced in Portugal. Processes. 2020; 8(9):1182. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8091182

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nunes, Óscar S., Pedro D. Gaspar, José Nunes, Paula Quinteiro, Ana C. Dias, and Radu Godina. 2020. "Life-Cycle Assessment of Dairy Products—Case Study of Regional Cheese Produced in Portugal" Processes 8, no. 9: 1182. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8091182

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