In this work, the cradle-to-grave environmental profile of a not-stuffed, egg-free fresh pasta was assessed and compared to that of a conventional durum wheat semolina dry pasta by using a well-known life-cycle assessment software in compliance with the Product Environmental Footprint standard method. Both products made use of national common bread or durum wheat grains, were manufactured in Italian small- and medium-sized pasta factories and were packed in 0.5-kg plastic bags. Whereas dry pasta production was characterized by a cradle-to-grave carbon footprint (CFB2C) of 1.88 kg CO2e/kg and an overall weighted eco-indicator (EI) of 141 µPt/kg, fresh pasta manufacture was distinguished by a CFB2C of 2.59 kg CO2e/kg and an EI of 236 µPt/kg. Their different environmental impact mainly derives from the refrigerated transport of fresh pasta, its moisture content (24% w/w) being quite the double of that of dry pasta (12.5% w/w), and chilled preservation till final consumption. Even if the use of new smart energy-saving home appliances might mitigate the overall environmental impact of both products, the consumption of dry pasta instead of fresh pasta is more eco-sustainable, mainly because it is shelf-stable and needs no refrigerated supply chain.
KEYWORDS: Carbon footprint, fresh and dry pasta, LCA, Product Environmental Footprint, sensitivity analysis.