Life cycle assessment of bread produced on different scales

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Abstract

A case study of white bread has been carried out with the purpose of comparing different scales of production and their potential environmental effects. The scales compared are: home baking, a local bakery and two industrial bakeries with distribution areas of different sizes. Data from the three bakeries and their suppliers have been collected. The systems investigated include agricultural production, milling, baking, packaging, transportation, consumption and waste management. Energy use and emissions have been quantified and the potential contributions to global warming, acidification, eutrophication and photo-oxidant formation have been assessed.

The large industrial bakery uses more primary energy and contributes more to global warming, acidification and eutrophication than the other three systems. The home baking system shows a relatively high energy requirement; otherwise, the differences between home baking, the local bakery and the small industrial bakery are too small to be significant.