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Life Cycle Assessment of Dried Organic Apple Value Chains Considering Conventional and Heat-Pump-Assisted Drying Processes: The Case of Sweden

Bosona, Techane


The increasing population pressure and demand for quality food, and the significant burden of agriculture on the environment, impede the sustainable development of the food sector. Understanding the environmental performance of different agricultural technologies and food value chains and identifying improvement opportunities play important roles in the sustainable development of this sector. This article presents the results of an environmental impact assessment of organic dried apples produced and supplied in Sweden, which was conducted using primary and literature-based data. A "cradle-to-consumer gate" life cycle analysis (LCA) method with a functional unit (FU) of 1 ton of fresh organic apples at the farm stage was used while considering conventional drying and heat-pump (HP)-assisted apple-drying techniques. The main environmental impact categories investigated were cumulative energy demand (CED), climate change impact (GWP), acidification potential (AP), and eutrophication potential (EP). The results indicate that the total CED values were 7.29 GJ and 5.12 GJ per FU for the conventional drying and HP-assisted drying methods, respectively, i.e., a reduction of about 30%. Similarly, the GWP values were 130 kg CO2 eq and 120 kg CO2 eq per FU, respectively. These findings highlight the importance of improving energy use and process efficiency to increase the sustainability of dried organic apple value chains.


organic apple; apple drying; environmental impact; life cycle assessment; Sweden

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2024, Volym: 14, nummer: 3, artikelnummer: 461
Utgivare: MDPI

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