The olive oil industry is an important sector in Europe, the related production process is characterized by different practices and techniques associated to several adverse effects on the environment, both for the agricultural procedures and for olive oil extraction process. The goal of this work is to develop a new packaging solution to better preserve the oil quality trying to reduce food losses and environmental impact. In detail, a comparison between traditional and innovative packaging was carried out. This work is part of a larger project “Sustainability of olive oil System project (S.O.S.)”, financed by AGER – Agroalimentare e Ricerca, whose purpose is to improve the environmental sustainability in the olive-oil production system. The traditional packaging considered for the study is a three layers packaging: polyethylene (PE), aluminum, polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Instead, the new solution considered is a three layers packaging made from two bio-based polymers: polylactic acid (PLA) treated with metallization and Bio-polyethylene (BIO PE). To calculate the environmental impact of each packaging, raw materials, instruments and relative energy used to create the films, and material disposal phase were considered. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), “from cradle to grave” was used to assess the environmental impact of studied packaging. The functional unit was defined in the single-use packaging (olive oil content equal to 10 ml). Respect to traditional packaging, the innovative one has obtained better performances in the human health impact categories (e.g. climate change - 44% CO2 eq). On the other hand, the fermentation process of sugar cane, even if is considered a biological process, showed higher impacts in the ecosystem quality impact categories (e.g. water resource depletion, freshwater ecotoxicity and land use). The final comparison between the two packaging shows that the improvement of environmental sustainability of the innovative packaging is not confirmed for all the impact categories used to assess the environmental impact. This work shows how the bio-based product does not always represent the better way in term of environmental sustainability, especially nowadays where recycling processes have become an important topic.

Environmental benefits: Traditional vs innovative packaging for olive oil / V. Giovenzana, A. Casson, R. Beghi, A. Tugnolo, S. Grassi, C. Alamprese, E. Casiraghi, S. Farris, I. Fiorindo, R. Guidetti. - In: CHEMICAL ENGINEERING TRANSACTIONS. - ISSN 2283-9216. - 75(2019), pp. 193-198. [10.3303/CET1975033]

Environmental benefits: Traditional vs innovative packaging for olive oil

Giovenzana V.;Casson A.;Beghi R.;Tugnolo A.;Grassi S.;Alamprese C.;Casiraghi E.;Farris S.;Fiorindo I.;Guidetti R.
2019

Abstract

The olive oil industry is an important sector in Europe, the related production process is characterized by different practices and techniques associated to several adverse effects on the environment, both for the agricultural procedures and for olive oil extraction process. The goal of this work is to develop a new packaging solution to better preserve the oil quality trying to reduce food losses and environmental impact. In detail, a comparison between traditional and innovative packaging was carried out. This work is part of a larger project “Sustainability of olive oil System project (S.O.S.)”, financed by AGER – Agroalimentare e Ricerca, whose purpose is to improve the environmental sustainability in the olive-oil production system. The traditional packaging considered for the study is a three layers packaging: polyethylene (PE), aluminum, polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Instead, the new solution considered is a three layers packaging made from two bio-based polymers: polylactic acid (PLA) treated with metallization and Bio-polyethylene (BIO PE). To calculate the environmental impact of each packaging, raw materials, instruments and relative energy used to create the films, and material disposal phase were considered. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), “from cradle to grave” was used to assess the environmental impact of studied packaging. The functional unit was defined in the single-use packaging (olive oil content equal to 10 ml). Respect to traditional packaging, the innovative one has obtained better performances in the human health impact categories (e.g. climate change - 44% CO2 eq). On the other hand, the fermentation process of sugar cane, even if is considered a biological process, showed higher impacts in the ecosystem quality impact categories (e.g. water resource depletion, freshwater ecotoxicity and land use). The final comparison between the two packaging shows that the improvement of environmental sustainability of the innovative packaging is not confirmed for all the impact categories used to assess the environmental impact. This work shows how the bio-based product does not always represent the better way in term of environmental sustainability, especially nowadays where recycling processes have become an important topic.
Settore AGR/09 - Meccanica Agraria
Settore AGR/15 - Scienze e Tecnologie Alimentari
Sustainability of the Olive-oil System
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING TRANSACTIONS
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/651397
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