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Sonesson, U., Davis, J., Hallström, E. & Woodhouse, A. (2019). Dietary-dependent nutrient quality indexes as a complementary functional unit in LCA: A feasible option?. Journal of Cleaner Production, 211, 620-627
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dietary-dependent nutrient quality indexes as a complementary functional unit in LCA: A feasible option?
2019 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 211, p. 620-627Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although food production is a main driver of environmental pressure and resource use globally, food delivers critical nutrition to humans. In life cycle assessment (LCA) of foods, the dominant functional unit is mass, despite the ISO requirement that the LCA unit should reflect the actual function. Studies have used various dietary quality scores in environmental assessments of foods, but the consideration of the dietary context is largely missing. The main function, i.e., nutrient supply, is complex since the nutritional value of a food item depends on its dietary context. Moreover, overall nutritional value is a combination of multiple nutrients. The aim was to combine scientific knowledge from the fields of nutrition and LCA to generate a basis for further research. The long-term aim was to help develop methods to support sustainability-based planning and decision making by food chain stakeholders. The proposed functional unit expresses the nutrient content of individual foods in relation to the nutritional supply of the complete diet, to create a single score reflecting the nutrient quality in a given dietary context. The nutrient quality index developed was evaluated by analyzing how relationships in global warming potential (GWP) between single products differed when using as functional unit either the mass of the food product, a nutrient quality index not considering the dietary context (the Nutrient Rich Foods Index 9.3, NRF9.3) and the new dietary dependent nutrient quality index (NQI) proposed. Two dietary scenarios were explored, an average Swedish diet and a typical unhealthy diet. The products considered were: bread, apples, tomatoes, milk, hard cheese, spread and chicken fillets. The results, calculated using bread as the reference, indicated that in both dietary contexts apples, tomatoes, and hard cheese had lower NQIadjusted GWPs compared to when GWPs were calculated using mass as the functional unit. Milk's NQI-adjusted and mass-calculated GWPs differed little, while the chicken fillet GWPs were the same in the unhealthy diet and performed better in the average diet. The NRF9.3-adjusted GWPs differed from the NQI-adjusted ones for all analysed foods. The main conclusions were: 1) considering nutritional value in the LCA of foods improves our understanding of how the environmental impacts and nutritional functions of food are related; 2) the environmental performance of different products varies with dietary context; and 3) application of the NQI could help industry, authorities, and consumers improve products and diets.

Keywords
Animals, Decision making, Environmental impact, Environmental management, Fruits, Functional food, Global warming, Life cycle, Nutrients, Quality assurance, Sustainable development, Environmental assessment, Environmental performance, Environmental pressures, Global warming potential, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Multiple nutrients, Nutritional value, Scientific knowledge, Nutrition
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-37011 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.11.171 (DOI)2-s2.0-85059313964 (Scopus ID)
Note

Funding details: 2016-00308; Funding text 1: Funding for this study was provided by Arla Foods Amba, Viborg Denmark and complementary funding for the literature review was provided by Formas – the Swedish Research Council for Environment , Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (grant number 2016-00308 ).

Available from: 2019-01-21 Created: 2019-01-21 Last updated: 2019-01-21Bibliographically approved
Sonesson, U. & Östergren, K. (2019). Underlag till Färdplan för en väsentligt mer hållbar livsmedelskedja.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Underlag till Färdplan för en väsentligt mer hållbar livsmedelskedja
2019 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Syftet med rapporten är att skapa ett underlag för mer operativa, eller konkreta, hållbarhetsmål för aktörerna i livsmedelskedjan. Dessa mål ska i möjligaste mån vara kopplade till kvantifieringar av en hållbar nivå för resursförbrukning och miljöpåverkan globalt.

Rapporten beskriver en process som startar med att identifiera de relevanta hållbarhetsaspekterna för livsmedelsystemet och baserat på litteratur kvantifiera dessa på global nivå, nedbrutet till en globalt hållbar nivå per capita. Som ett komplement till det globala användes också nationella källor för de miljömål som är av mer regional karaktär. Livsmedelssektorns hållbarhetsprestanda är en kombination av konsumtionsmönster och hur effektiva och hållbara produktionssystemen är. Då rapporten syftade till att ge underlag för konkreta mål för alla aktörer i systemet skapades två typer av mål, en typ som berör konsumtionsmönster och en typ som berör produktionskedjornas hållbarhetsprestanda. För att de totala hållbarhetsmålen ska nås måste både konsumtionen och produktionen förändras, och med hjälp av dessa två mål kan båda aspekterna hanteras i samma ramverk. Om produktionssystemen inte förbättrar sin hållbarhetsprestanda krävs större förändringar i konsumtionen och vice versa.

De mål som sätts för försäljning/tillhandahållning till konsument i rapporten är avsedda att användas av aktörer som säljer eller på annat sätt har möjlighet att påverka konsumtionsmönster, som exempelvis handel, food service och den offentliga måltidssektorn. Dessa mål ger en bild av faktisk slutkonsumtion. De mål som sätts för produktionen, alltså produktionens värdekedjor, är avsedda att användas av aktörer som producerar livsmedel, alltså lantbruk och livsmedelsindustri.

Det var inte möjligt att sätta kvantitativa mål för alla relevanta hållbarhetsaspekter, för vissa aspekter finns inga vetenskapliga uppskattningar av den hållbara nivån för påverkan. Brist på metodik och data är ett annat allvarligt hinder för att sätta operativa mål. I rapporten har dessa kunskapsluckor identifierats och alternativa mål har föreslagits för att alla aspekter ska kunna hanteras konkret. Med alternativa mål menas mål som kan bygga på indirekta mått på hållbarhet som exempelvis energibesparingsmål istället för ett mål om hur stor den totala energianvändningen kan vara, då detta inte finns kvantifierat.

Publisher
p. 36
Series
RISE Rapport ; 2019:20
Keywords
Hållbara livsmedelssystem, Mat, Livsmedel, Planetära gränser
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-38872 (URN)978-91-88907-46-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2019-05-22 Created: 2019-05-22 Last updated: 2019-05-22Bibliographically approved
Gontard, N., Sonesson, U., Birkved, M., Majone, M., Bolzonella, D., Celli, A., . . . Sebok, A. (2018). A research challenge vision regarding management of agricultural waste in a circular bio-based economy. Critical reviews in environmental science and technology, 48(6), 614-654
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A research challenge vision regarding management of agricultural waste in a circular bio-based economy
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2018 (English)In: Critical reviews in environmental science and technology, ISSN 1064-3389, E-ISSN 1547-6537, Vol. 48, no 6, p. 614-654Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Agricultural waste is a huge pool of untapped biomass resources that may even represent economic and environmental burdens. They can be converted into bioenergy and bio-based products by cascading conversion processes, within circular economy, and should be considered residual resources. Major challenges are discussed from a transdisciplinary perspective, focused on Europe situation. Environmental and economic consequences of agricultural residue management chains are difficult to assess due to their complexity, seasonality and regionality. Designing multi-criteria decision support tools, applicable at an early-stage of research, is discussed. Improvement of Anaerobic Digestion (AD), one of the most mature conversion technologies, is discussed from a technological point of view and waste feedstock geographical and seasonal variations. Using agricultural residual resources for producing high-value chemicals is a considerable challenge analysed here, taking into account innovative eco-efficient and cost-effective cascading conversion processes (bio-refinery concept). Moreover, the promotion of agricultural residues-based business is discussed through industrial ecology, to promote synergy, on a local basis, between different agricultural and industrial value chains. Finally, to facilitate a holistic approach and optimise materials and knowledge flows management, the connection of stakeholders is discussed to promote cross-sectorial collaboration and resource exchange at appropriate geographic scales. © 2018, © 2018 Nathalie Gontard, Ulf Sonesson, Morten Birkved, Mauro Majone, David Bolzonella, Annamaria Celli, Hélène Angellier-Coussy, Guang-Way Jang, Anne Verniquet, Jan Broeze, Burkhard Schaer, Ana Paula Batista, and András Sebok.

Keywords
Agriculture, bio-based materials, biogas, circular economy, eco-design, waste, Agricultural wastes, Anaerobic digestion, Biomass, Chains, Cost effectiveness, Decision support systems, Ecodesign, Knowledge management, Wastes, Conversion technology, Economic consequences, Environmental burdens, High-value chemicals, Industrial value chains, Multicriteria decision support
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-36578 (URN)10.1080/10643389.2018.1471957 (DOI)2-s2.0-85052320801 (Scopus ID)
Note

 Funding details: Bureau of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Republic of Taiwan, BOE, 107-EC-17-A-22-0894; Funding details: 16.0058; Funding details: REF-1131-52107; Funding details: 688338;

Available from: 2018-12-06 Created: 2018-12-06 Last updated: 2018-12-06Bibliographically approved
Hallström, E., Håkansson, N., Åkesson, A., Wolk, A. & Sonesson, U. (2018). Climate impact of alcohol consumption in Sweden. Journal of Cleaner Production, 201, 287-294
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Climate impact of alcohol consumption in Sweden
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 201, p. 287-294Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Knowledge about the environmental impact of alcohol is limited and as an effect alcohol is often excluded from environmental studies of diets or included in incomplete ways. This paper describes the climate impact of beer, wine and liquor by using life cycle assessment. The climate impact is quantified per litre of specific alcoholic beverages and per total amount of alcohol consumed based on self-reported data of 50 000 individuals from 2009 within two population-based cohorts in Sweden. The results show that alcoholic beverages generate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the range of 0.73–2.38 kg carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) per litre. Alcohol consumption in the population studied generates on average 52 kg CO2e per person and year. Within the 10% of the population with the highest intake of alcohol GHG emissions are up to 202 kg CO2e per person and year. Consumption of wine is responsible for the largest share of GHG emissions from alcoholic beverages (61%) followed by beer (33%), while liquor and strong wine account for a smaller share (6%). Alcohol consumption among men generates 90% higher GHG emissions than among women. Alcohol consumption and in consequence alcohol-related emissions are decreasing with increasing age of men and women. Our results indicate that alcohol consumption in Swedish men and women is responsible for an average of 3% of total diet-related GHG emissions and in sub-populations with the highest consumption up to 6–11%. Limiting alcohol could be an effective option to reduce the climate impact of diets, especially among men.

Keywords
Alcohol, Beer, Climate impact, LCA, Liquor, Wine, Alcohols, Carbon dioxide, Environmental impact, Gas emissions, Life cycle, Population statistics, Alcohol consumption, Climate impacts, Environmental studies, GHG emission, Sub-populations, Swedishs, Using life, Greenhouse gases
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-35031 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.07.295 (DOI)2-s2.0-85051273064 (Scopus ID)
Note

 This study was supported by FORMAS-The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (grant number 2016-00308 )

Available from: 2018-08-27 Created: 2018-08-27 Last updated: 2018-08-28Bibliographically approved
Hallström, E., Davis, J., Woodhouse, A. & Sonesson, U. (2018). Using dietary quality scores to assess sustainability of food products and human diets: A systematic review. Ecological Indicators, 93, 219-230
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using dietary quality scores to assess sustainability of food products and human diets: A systematic review
2018 (English)In: Ecological Indicators, ISSN 1470-160X, E-ISSN 1872-7034, Vol. 93, p. 219-230Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The increased recognition of inter-relationships between the environmental and health effects of food has resulted in a new fast-growing research area. Development of methods for integrated analysis of environmental and nutritional impacts is essential to facilitate policy decisions and actions for sustainable food systems. Dietary quality scores is one of the methods suggested to combine environmental and nutritional assessments of foods, meals and diets. This systematic review provides an overview of how dietary quality scores are used in environmental sustainability studies of food products and diets. The review includes 24 articles applying 20 different types of dietary quality scores. We describe current approaches used to combine environmental and nutritional assessments, discuss methodological choices of importance and their impact on results, and identify research gaps that require further efforts to push the current frontier of knowledge. Based on our analysis we identify two different categories of dietary quality scores and four approaches used to integrate environmental and nutritional assessments. There is a large number of methods available to quantify a dietary quality score: which one is chosen as well as how they are combined with environmental assessments can affect the results, and hence also the conclusions of which foods that are more sustainable to eat. This is critical to understand for the set-up of studies and for the interpretation of results and drawing conclusions. Our categorization of existing methods used, how they differ, what applications they are suited for, and which methodological challenges they involve increases the understanding of what analyzes are possible today and point out areas where methods are lacking and where more research is required. Continued efforts are needed to bring about a transition to sustainable food systems that do not exceed the planets ecological limits and promote healthy populations. This systematic review provides guidance for future use and development of methods within the field of sustainable nutrition.

Keywords
Dietary quality, Environmental impact, Food, Health, Indicator, Nutrition, Food products, Indicators (instruments), Quality control, Sustainable development, Environmental and health effects, Environmental assessment, Environmental sustainability, Healthy population, Integrated analysis, Inter-relationships, Number of methods, Systematic Review
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-34360 (URN)10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.04.071 (DOI)2-s2.0-85046632349 (Scopus ID)
Note

 Funding details: 2016-00308, Svenska Forskningsrådet Formas; Funding details: Svenska Forskningsrådet Formas; Funding text: The study was financially supported by FORMAS – The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (grant no 2016-00308 )

Available from: 2018-08-07 Created: 2018-08-07 Last updated: 2018-08-17Bibliographically approved
Hessle, A. K., Kumm, K. I., Bertilsson, J. A., Stenberg, B. & Sonesson, U. (2017). Combining environmentally and economically sustainable dairy and beef production in Sweden. Agricultural Systems, 156, 105-114
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Combining environmentally and economically sustainable dairy and beef production in Sweden
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2017 (English)In: Agricultural Systems, ISSN 0308-521X, E-ISSN 1873-2267, Vol. 156, p. 105-114Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To achieve a more sustainable food sector, a supply chain approach is needed. In this study, experts in different areas along supply chains co-operated in an interactive process to define future environmentally sustainable supply chains of milk and beef. The basis was to use existing techniques, to have production performance corresponding to the best quartile of today and to consider other sustainability aspects, such as economics. The work resulted in concrete descriptions of alternative product chains for delivered milk and beef. To also permit concrete descriptions of the latter part of the product chains, two consumer-packed end products were selected for monitoring, namely fresh milk and sirloin steak. The production systems investigated comprised cropping, livestock production, industrial processing and production, logistics, packaging and wastage and distribution, but not retailers or consumers. The study area was a Swedish county and the reference level was its production of milk and beef in 2012. The future product chains were assumed to deliver the same amounts of commodities as in 2012, but with reduced environmental impact. Primary production was required to be at least as profitable as today. Beside description of the current situation, three alternative scenarios were created, focusing on delivery of ecosystem services, plant nutrient circulation and minimising climate impact, respectively. Life cycle assessments were performed for these four scenarios (reference plus three alternative scenarios) for single-product chains and county-wide. Furthermore, production costs in primary production were calculated for the four scenarios. The results revealed great potential to reduce the negative environmental impact of Swedish dairy and beef production at current volumes, irrespective of whether ecosystem services, plant nutrient circulation or climate impact is in focus. The single most important factor for decreased environmental impact for livestock production was increased production efficiency. Measures in agriculture, especially concerning feeds, were critical, but actions in processing and distribution also contributed. All alternative scenarios resulted in lower production costs than at present. It was obvious that as dairy and beef systems are connected, the potential for their environmental improvement must be analysed together. In conclusion, increased efficiency can decrease the negative environmental impact of Swedish cattle production and also reduce costs to the farmer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd, 2017
Keywords
Beef, Cattle, Food system scenarios, LCA, Milk, Sustainable food chains, alternative agriculture, cost analysis, dairy farming, ecosystem service, environmental impact assessment, food science, life cycle analysis, milk production, production system, supply chain management, Sweden, Bos
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-38062 (URN)10.1016/j.agsy.2017.06.004 (DOI)2-s2.0-85020923159 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-03-15 Created: 2019-03-15 Last updated: 2019-03-19Bibliographically approved
Huseinovic, E., Ohlin, M., Winkvist, A., Bertz, F., Sonesson, U. & Brekke, H. K. (2017). Does diet intervention in line with nutrition recommendations affect dietary carbon footprint?: Results from a weight loss trial among lactating women. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 71(10), 1241-1245
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Does diet intervention in line with nutrition recommendations affect dietary carbon footprint?: Results from a weight loss trial among lactating women
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2017 (English)In: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, ISSN 0954-3007, E-ISSN 1476-5640, Vol. 71, no 10, p. 1241-1245Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background/Objectives:Results from studies evaluating the sustainability of diets combining environmental and nutritional aspects have been diverse; thus, greenhouse gas emissions (that is, carbon footprint (CF)) of diets in line with dietary recommendations in free-living individuals warrants further examination. Here, changes in dietary CF related to changes in food choice during a weight loss trial among lactating women who received a 12-week diet intervention based on the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) 2004 were analyzed. The objective of this study was to examine if a diet intervention based on NNR 2004 results in reduced dietary CF.Subjects/Methods:Changes in dietary CF were analyzed among 61 lactating women participating in a weight loss trial. Food intake data from 4-day weighed diet records and results from life cycle analyses were used to examine changes in dietary CF across eight food groups during the intervention, specified in the unit carbon dioxide equivalent (CO"2eq/day). Differences in changes in dietary CF between women receiving diet treatment (D-group) and women not receiving it (ND-group) were compared.Results:There was no difference in change in dietary CF of the overall diet between D- and ND-group (P>0.05). As for the eight food groups, D-group increased their dietary CF from fruit and vegetables (+0.06±0.13 kg CO"2eq/day) compared with a decrease in ND-group (-0.01±0.01 kg CO"2eq/day) during the intervention, P=0.01.Conclusions:A diet intervention in line with NNR 2004 produced clinically relevant weight loss, but did not reduce dietary CF among lactating women with overweight and obesity. Dietary interventions especially designed to decrease dietary CF and their coherence with dietary recommendations need further exploration. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.

National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-32438 (URN)10.1038/ejcn.2017.63 (DOI)2-s2.0-85030654140 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, K2009-70X-21091-01-03
Note

This work was supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council (K2009-70X-21091-01-03), the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (2006-0339), the Swedish Nutrition Foundation and the climate fund at the University of Gothenburg

Available from: 2017-10-31 Created: 2017-10-31 Last updated: 2019-01-03Bibliographically approved
Sala, S., Assumpcio, A., McLaren, S. J., Notarnicola, B., Saouter, E. & Sonesson, U. (2017). In quest of reducing the environmental impacts of food production and consumption. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, 387-398
Open this publication in new window or tab >>In quest of reducing the environmental impacts of food production and consumption
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2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, p. 387-398Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Food supply chains are increasingly associated with environmental and socio-economic impacts. An increasing global population, an evolution in consumers’ needs, and changes in consumption models pose serious challenges to the overall sustainability of food production and consumption. Life cycle thinking (LCT) and assessment (LCA) are key elements in identifying more sustainable solutions for global food challenges. In defining solutions to major global challenges, it is fundamentally important to avoid burden shifting amongst supply chain stages and amongst typologies of impacts, and LCA should, therefore, be regarded as a reference method for the assessment of agri-food supply chains. Hence, this special volume has been prepared to present the role of life cycle thinking and life cycle assessment in: i) the identification of hotspots of impacts along food supply chains with a focus on major global challenges; ii) food supply chain optimisation (e.g. productivity increase, food loss reduction, etc.) that delivers sustainable solutions; and iii) assessment of future scenarios arising from both technological improvements and behavioural changes, and under different environmental conditions (e.g. climate change). This special volume consists of a collection of papers from a conference organized within the last Universal Exposition (EXPO2015) “LCA for Feeding the planet and energy for life” in Milan (Italy) in 2015 as well as other contributions that were submitted in the year after the conference that addressed the same key challenges presented at the conference. The papers in the special volume address some of the key challenges for optimizing food-related supply chains by using LCA as a reference method for environmental impact assessment. Beyond specific methodological improvements to better tailor LCA studies to food systems, there is a clear need for the LCA community to “think outside the box”, exploring complementarity with other methods and domains. The concepts and the case studies presented in this special volume demonstrate how cross-fertilization among difference science domains (such as environmental, technological, social and economic ones) may be key elements of a sustainable “today and tomorrow” for feeding the planet.

Keywords
Ecoinnovation, Food supply chain, Food waste, Future scenarios, Global challenges, Life cycle assessment, Macro scale assessment, Climate change, Environmental impact, Environmental impact assessments, Food supply, Supply chains, Sustainable development, Eco-innovation, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Macro scale, Life cycle
National Category
Medical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-29200 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.09.054 (DOI)2-s2.0-84993983155 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-04-03 Created: 2017-04-03 Last updated: 2018-12-20Bibliographically approved
Sonesson, U., Davis, J., Flysjö, A., Gustavsson, J. & Witthöft, C. (2017). Protein quality as functional unit – A methodological framework for inclusion in life cycle assessment of food. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140(Part 2), 470-478
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Protein quality as functional unit – A methodological framework for inclusion in life cycle assessment of food
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2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 2, p. 470-478Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In order to develop more sustainable food systems, there is a need to find methods that simultaneously consider environmental impacts and nutritional benefits. The purpose of this study was to develop a functional unit to be used in LCA of foods that builds on the nutritional value of food products. We used the content and quality of proteins as a basis, and included dietary context as part of our method, since the nutritional value of a nutrient depends on the total dietary intake. Our method uses the digestible intake of the nine essential amino acids in the product and relates these values to the equivalent total dietary intake of the same amino acids. We also employed simpler functional units such as “gram (g) protein” and “g digestible protein.” We quantified the functional units for three dietary contexts and applied it on LCA results for bread, chicken fillet, minced pork, minced beef, milk and pea soup. The results showed that the relative differences between products changed when using a protein-based functional unit, with the largest change occurring when going from mass as the functional unit to g protein. By introducing protein digestibility, the systematic under-valuation of the animal products was partly avoided with little additional effort. The most advanced functional unit affected the results compared to the mass-based functional unit most, but required significantly more data. The impact of dietary context was smaller than expected; hence, it might be possible to simplify the inclusion of dietary context by using aggregated descriptions of diets. The method presented is valuable for adding an important aspect of nutrition (protein quality and content) to the LCA results of single products, but there is a large scope for development.

Keywords
Food, Functional unit, LCA, Nutrition, Protein, Amino acids, Animals, Environmental impact, Food products, Life cycle, Meats, Proteins, Animal products, Essential amino acids, Functional units, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Methodological frameworks, Nutritional benefits, Nutritional value, Protein digestibility, Functional food
National Category
Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-29196 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.06.115 (DOI)2-s2.0-84977151162 (Scopus ID)
Note

Export Date: 3 April 2017; Article; CODEN: JCROE

Available from: 2017-04-03 Created: 2017-04-03 Last updated: 2018-08-17Bibliographically approved
Notarnicola, B., Sala, S., Assumpcio, A., McLaren, S. J., Saouter, E. & Sonesson, U. (2017). The role of life cycle assessment in supporting sustainable agri-food systems: A review of the challenges. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, 399-409
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of life cycle assessment in supporting sustainable agri-food systems: A review of the challenges
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2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, p. 399-409Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Life cycle thinking is increasingly seen as a key concept for ensuring a transition towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns. As food production systems and consumption patterns are among the leading drivers of impacts on the environment, it is important to assess and improve food-related supply chains as much as possible. Over the years, life cycle assessment has been used extensively to assess agricultural systems and food processing and manufacturing activities, and compare alternatives “from field to fork” and through to food waste management. Notwithstanding the efforts, several methodological aspects of life cycle assessment still need further improvement in order to ensure adequate and robust support for decision making in both business and policy development contexts. This paper discusses the challenges for life cycle assessment arising from the complexity of food systems, and recommends research priorities for both scientific development and improvements in practical implementation. In summary, the intrinsic variability of food production systems requires dedicated modelling approaches, including addressing issues related to: the distinction between technosphere and ecosphere; the most appropriate functional unit; the multi-functionality of biological systems; and the modelling of the emissions and how this links with life cycle impact assessment. Also, data availability and interpretation of the results are two issues requiring further attention, including how to account for consumer behaviour.

Keywords
Agri-food products, Food LCA, Food supply chains, Food waste, Sustainable production and consumption, Biological systems, Decision making, Food processing, Food products, Food supply, Supply chains, Sustainable development, Waste management, Food production systems, Intrinsic variabilities, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Life cycle impact assessment, Manufacturing activities, Scientific development, Sustainable production, Life cycle
National Category
Medical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-29199 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.06.071 (DOI)2-s2.0-84993952377 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-04-03 Created: 2017-04-03 Last updated: 2019-01-03Bibliographically approved
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-0167-5603

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