Shelf Life Extension to Reduce Food Losses: the Case of Mozzarella Cheese
Falcone, G.
De Luca, A.I.
Stillitano, T.
Iofrida, N.
Strano, A.
Piscopo, A.
Branca, M.L.
Gulisano, G.
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Falcone G., De Luca A., Stillitano T., Iofrida N., Strano A., Piscopo A., Branca M., Gulisano G., 2017, Shelf Life Extension to Reduce Food Losses: the Case of Mozzarella Cheese, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 57, 1849-1854.
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Agro-food is considered one of most polluting economic sector, in particular due to the large amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emission, the contribute to the terrestrial acidification, the depletion of water resources and the large amount of wastes linked to agricultural production, end of life of food products and food losses. Among agro-food systems, livestock sector represents the worse performance, producing, for example, about 60 % of GHG emissions. Dairy production amplifies this phenomenon, requiring a large amount of input materials to produce little quantity of products and generating, along the supply chain, a great quantity of wastes.
The aim of this study is to evaluate, from an environmental and economic point of view, the introduction of an innovative shelf life extension (SLE) technique and its effects in terms of reduction of wastes and food losses in the Lacto Fermented Mozzarella Cheese production. A new liquid formulation containing antimicrobials, that extends the shelf-life of mozzarella, was tested as governing liquid to contrast the product degradation due to the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae. The use of calcium lactate and bergamot extract in freshwater solution, allowed an extension of shelf life close to 50 %.
Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing methodologies were applied to evaluate the effects of SLE implementation, taking also into account the potential reduction of food loss and returned goods.
Results showed that despite a minimal increase of impacts and costs due to the introduction of the innovation, the SLE could allow reducing the share of losses up to 50%. Expressing results in terms of days of product shelf life, the innovative solution is more sustainable from both the environmental and the economic point of view. Insights can be used for the eco-design of high quality products.
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