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dc.contributor.authorFinnegan, William
dc.contributor.authorGoggins, Jamie
dc.contributor.authorClifford, Eoghan
dc.contributor.authorZhan, Xinmin
dc.identifier.citationFinnegan, William, Goggins, Jamie, Clifford, Eoghan, & Zhan, Xinmin. (2017). Environmental impacts of milk powder and butter manufactured in the Republic of Ireland. Science of The Total Environment, 579, 159-168. doi:
dc.description.abstractThe abolition of the milk quota system that was in place in Europe was abolished in 2015, which instigated an immediate increase in milk production in many European countries. This increase "will aid in addressing the world's ever growing demand for food, but will incur increased stresses on the environmental impact and sustainability of the dairy industry. In this study, an environmental life cycle assessment was performed in order to estimate the environmental impacts associated with the manufacture of milk powder and butter in the Republic of Ireland. A farm gate to processing factory gate analysis, which includes raw milk transportation, processing into each product and packaging, is assessed in this study. Operational data was obtained from 5 dairy processing factories that produce milk powder (4 of which also produce butter).Results for each environmental impact category are presented per kilogram of product. Energy consumption (raw milk transportation and on-site electrical and thermal energy usage) contributes, on average, 89% and 78% of the total global warming potential, for milk powder and butter respectively, for the life cycle stages assessed. Similarly, energy consumption contributes, on average, 86% and 96% of the total terrestrial acidification potential for milk powder and butter respectively, for these life cycle stages. Emissions associated with wastewater treatment contribute approximately 10% and 40% to the total freshwater eutrophication potential and marine eutrophication potential, respectively, for both milk powder and butter production. In addition, packaging materials also has a significant contribution to these environmental impact categories for butter production.Results were also presented for three milk powder products being manufactured by the factories surveyed: skim milk powder, whole milk powder and full fat milk powder. The analysis presented in this paper helps to identify opportunities to reduce the environmental impacts associated with post-farm processing of milk powder and butter. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.en_IE
dc.description.sponsorshipThe authors would like to acknowledge the funding provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for the DairyWater project (Ref.: 13-F-507); for additional details: The second author would like to acknowledge the support of Science Foundation Ireland through the Career Development Award programme (Grant No. 13/CDA/2200).en_IE
dc.relation.ispartofScience Of The Total Environmenten
dc.subjectLife cycle assessmenten_IE
dc.subjectMilk powderen_IE
dc.subjectMilk processingen_IE
dc.subjectLife cycle assessmenten_IE
dc.subjectCarbon footprinten_IE
dc.subjectDairy industryen_IE
dc.titleEnvironmental impacts of milk powder and butter manufactured in the Republic of Irelanden_IE
dc.local.contactWilliam Finnegan, College Of Engineering, & Informatics, Nui Galway. Email:

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