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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPING PROCESSING INTERVENTION TECHNOLOGIES

Location: Food Safety and Intervention Technologies

Title: Cost analysis and environmental impact of nonthermal technologies

Authors
item Sampredo, Fernando -
item McAloon, Andrew
item Yee, Winnie
item Fan, Xuetong
item Geveke, David

Submitted to: Food and Bioprocess Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 10, 2014
Publication Date: April 3, 2014
Citation: Sampredo, F., Mcaloon, A.J., Yee, W.C., Fan, X., Geveke, D.J. 2014. Cost analysis and environmental impact of nonthermal technologies. Food and Bioprocess Technology. DOI:10.1007/s11947-014-1298-6.

Interpretive Summary: Pasteurization of orange juice by nonthermal technologies such as high pressure processing (HPP) and pulsed electric fields (PEF), produces a higher quality product than that from traditional thermal processing. However, industry has not embraced these new technologies and the main reason for this may be the lack of comprehensive cost analyses. In addition, the environmental impact of these nonthermal technologies is unknown. Therefore, this study estimated and compared the costs, as well as the environmental impact, of HPP, PEF and thermal pasteurization of orange juice. The total pasteurization cost of HPP was estimated to be 10.7 cents/L for processing 3,000 L/h. The HPP cost was seven times higher than that of conventional thermal processing (1.5 cents/L) and 3 times higher than that of PEF (3.7 cents/L). The equivalent annual CO2 emission was projected to be 90,000 kg for thermal processing and 700,000 and 773,000 kg for PEF and HPP, respectively. A deeper knowledge of the processing costs and environmental impact of nonthermal technologies will afford companies a better understanding of the benefits and limitations of these novel systems.

Technical Abstract: The cost of high pressure processing (HPP) orange juice and its environmental impact were estimated. In addition, the environmental impact of pulsed electric fields (PEF) and thermal pasteurization were assessed for comparison. The cost analysis was based on commercial processing conditions that were validated for a two month shelf-life of orange juice under refrigeration conditions. Total pasteurization cost of HPP was estimated to be 10.7 cents/L for processing 16,500,000 liters per year (3,000 L/h). Of this, capital costs accounted for 59% (6.3 cents/L), labor costs accounted for 37% (4.0 cents/L) and utility charges, mainly electricity, accounted for 4% (0.4 cents/L). The total HPP cost was 7-fold higher than that of conventional thermal processing (1.5 cents/L). The equivalent CO2 emission was 90,000 kg for thermal processing and 700,000 and 773,000 kg for PEF and HPP, respectively. This corresponds to an increase between 7 and 8-fold in comparison to thermal processing. Increasing the production output by 2 to 6-fold reduced the total production costs of nonthermal processing by 50-75%. A deeper knowledge of the processing costs and environmental impact of nonthermal technologies will afford companies a better understanding of the benefits and limitations of these novel systems.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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