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Environmental Impact of an Industrial Kitchen: A Case Study

[+] Author Affiliations
T. Dai, A. S. Fleischer, A. P. Wemhoff, R. Lee

Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Paper No. IMECE2017-70545, pp. V006T08A053; 6 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Energy
  • Tampa, Florida, USA, November 3–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5841-7
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


The large number of industrial kitchens and their energy-intense characteristics provides opportunities for pollution prevention. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a proper tool not only for unitizing the environmental impact of the complex system of an industrial kitchen, but also for making environmental food labels for the foods produced in the same industrial kitchen. In this study, a gate-to-gate LCA of 11 types of food was conducted to evaluate the environmental impact of a typical industrial kitchen, Villanova University’s Donahue Hall. First, material and energy flow data, including cold storage, food preparation, food display, lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), and dish washing were collected. This data, along with standard data on energy generation and transmission, were used in the LCA. The results show that global warming, fossil fuel depletion and ecotoxicity are the main environmental impact categories. Furthermore, HVAC, cold storage and cooking are the three largest contributors of environmental burden. Using the metrics developed, tuna salad, tomato soup and pasta are the most environmental friendly foods of the 11 sampled food types, while pizza and cheese quesadillas have the worst environmental performance. Energy saving measures for HVAC, cold storage and cooking are proposed.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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