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Front. Nutr. | doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00020

Some recent advances in improving water and energy efficiencies in food processing factories

Nooshin NIKMARAM1 and  Kurt A. ROSENTRATER2*
  • 1University of Manitoba, Canada
  • 2Iowa State University, United States

Rapid development of food factories in both developed and developing countries, owing to continued growth in the world population, plays a critical role in the food supply chain, including environmental issues such as pollution, emissions, energy and water consumption, and thus food system sustainability. The objective of this study was to briefly review various environmental aspects of food processing operations, including aquatic, atmospheric, and solid waste generation, and also discuss several strategies that many companies are using to reduce these negative impacts, as well as improve water and energy efficiency. To obtain higher energy efficiencies in food processing factories, two key operations can play critical roles: non-thermal processing (e.g., high pressure processing) and membrane processes. For higher water efficiency, reconditioning treatments resulting in water reuse for other purposes can be conducted through chemical and/or physical treatments. With regards to reducing volumes of processing food waste, two approaches include value-added by-product applications (e.g., animal feed), and/or utilization of food waste for energy production. Finally, we present trends for lowering operational costs in food processing.

Keywords: Food, Energy, Water, sustainability, Efficiency

Received: 10 Aug 2018; Accepted: 11 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Kathleen L. Hefferon, Cornell University, United States

Reviewed by:

Victor C. Castro-Alves, University of São Paulo, Brazil
Zheng Feei Ma, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China  

Copyright: © 2019 NIKMARAM and ROSENTRATER. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Kurt A. ROSENTRATER, Iowa State University, Ames, United States, Karosent@iastate.edu