The agricultural sector released about 5.4 Gt CO2 eq in 2010, of which 57% was due to the livestock sector. Cattle are the main contributors (65%) to the livestock sector's emissions, while sheep and goats (small ruminants) are responsible for about 6.5%, corresponding to 475 million tonnes CO2 eq. The Life Cycle Assessment method has been largely adopted to assess the environmental impacts connected to the livestock sector and to related products. Despite this, very few pieces of research are specifically addressed to analysis of the environmental performances of sheep cheese and, particularly, to the proposal of improvement strategies that may allow the reduction of environmental impacts. In this context, the Life Cycle Assessment method is applied in order to assess the environmental hot-spots of Tuscan “Pecorino” cheese (a traditional Italian dairy product obtained from sheep milk processing) and to evaluate potential improvement scenarios. The analysis follows a “cradle to gate” approach by including the processes related to sheep breeding (intensive system), milk transport and cheese production. The functional unit selected is 1 kg of “Pecorino” cheese, packaged at dairy farm gate and ready to be distributed. Focusing on Climate Change impacts, the results highlight that the total impacts related to the functional unit are 22.13 kg CO2 eq. The environmental hot-spots are mainly connected to direct emissions from the sheep enteric fermentation and to the production of feed used in sheep breeding, as well as, to waste water treatment and electricity consumption during cheese production. The adoption of a different breeding system (from intensive to extensive) may represent a good improvement option for the reduction of environmental impacts related to the baseline system, as well as the utilisation of a photovoltaic system as an alternative energy source for production of the electricity used in the cheese production phase.
|Titolo:||Environmental hot-spots and improvement scenarios for Tuscan “Pecorino” cheese using Life Cycle Assessment|
|Citazione:||Mondello, G., Salomone, R., Neri, E., Patrizi, N., Bastianoni, S., & Lanuzza, F. (2018). Environmental hot-spots and improvement scenarios for Tuscan “Pecorino” cheese using Life Cycle Assessment. JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, 195, 810-820.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|