Submitted to: Advances in Food and Nutrition Research
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: December 30, 2010
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Citation: Tomasula, P.M., Nutter, D.W. 2011. Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in the production of fluid milk. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research. 62:41-88.
Global climate change, driven by the buildup of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the atmosphere, is challenging the dairy industries in the U.S. and throughout the world to develop sustainable initiatives to reduce their environmental impact. The U.S. dairy industry has committed to lowering the GHG emissions, primarily CH4, N2O and CO2, in each sector of the fluid milk value chain which extends from the farm, to the processing plant, and to distribution of the packaged product, where it is refrigerated by the retailer and then the consumer. This study provides an overview of the life cycle analysis (LCA) technique and its use in identifying the GHG emissions in each sector of the fluid milk value chain and the best practices and research that is currently being conducted to reduce or mitigate GHG emissions in each sector. We also discuss the use of on-farm and off-farm process simulation as tools for evaluating on-farm mitigation techniques, off-farm alternative processing scenarios, and use of alternative energy management practices.