12 / 06 / 2018

Life cycle assessment of PEF in potato processing
Substantial impact on sustainability of potato processing

speaker Sergiy Smetana 700x860

Guest article by Dr Sergiy Smetana, Head of Food Data Group at German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL e.V.)

LCA allows characterizing environmental impact of production from cradle-to-gate. A study on PEF use in potato processing has been conducted in an industrial scale using benchmarking data of Elea clients worldwide.

The study has shown, that by replacing conventional preheaters with PEF equipment, the energy requirements can be reduced by 85 % and water consumption can be reduced by 90 %. In addition, a reduced fat uptake, an improved product quality and a 1 to 1.5 % increase of product yield have been observed (McHugh and Toepfl, 2016, Fauster et al., 2018). For a typical 50.000 kg/h line that corresponds to 60 – 70.000.000 litres of water and 20 GJ of thermal energy savings per year.

Similar results have been published in sustainability reports of two major PEF users Simplot (2014) and Lamb Weston (2016). In the scope of cradle-to-gate, it results in around 20-30% overall reduction of environmental impact.


Fauster, T., Schlossnikl, D., Rath, F., Ostermeier, R., Teufel, F., Toepfl, S., Jaeger, H. (2018) Impact of pulsed electric field (PEF) pretreatment on process performance of industrial French fries production. Journal of Food Engineering 235:16-22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2018.04.023

Lamb Weston Sustainability Report 2015-2016 (2016): https://www.lambweston.eu/sustainability/uploads/file/262/LWM_SustainabillityReport_2018_Summary_UK.pdf 

Simplot Sustainability Report 2014 (2014): https://simplot.com.au/media/1252/simplot-sustainability-report-2014.pdf

McHugh, T. and Toepfl, S. (2016) Pulsed Electric Field Processing for Fruits and Vegetables. Food Technology 70:1 73-75. http://www.ift.org/food-technology/past-issues/2016/january/columns/processing-pulsed-electric-field-processing-for-fruits-and-vegetables.aspx



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