Semi-finished products are often used in the case of the high degree of perishability, like, for example, in the case of some fruits. The treatment of those fresh fruits allows the extension of foodstuffs’ shelf life, maintaining low the level at which microbial spoilage and deterioration reactions can occur. These semi-finished products are frequently used as starting materials by jams' and marmalades’ industries. The Southern Italy industry under study uses two different techniques to produce and preserve semi-finished peaches: one is based on low-pressure superheated steam drying with far-infrared radiation, and one on an ohmic aseptic treatment.
The aim of this work is to use a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach to compare the environmental emissions of those two different production and preservation techniques on two large scale plants. The environmental impacts were evaluated using a detailed LCA analysis, normalizing all the consumptions and emissions to the functional unit (one peaches’ kg on a dry basis). Data were analysed using SimaPro 8.5.2 software, whereas the Ecoinvent 3.4 database and information collected from the chosen industrial site were used for the life cycle inventory, according to the reference standard for LCA (i.e., ISO 14040 and 14044).