• Assessing the Carbon Emission Driven by the Consumption of Carbohydrate-Rich Foods: The Case of China

      Yang, Xiaoke; Zhang, Zhihang; Chen, Huangyixin; Zhao, Rongrong; Xu, Zhongyue; Xie, Anguo; Chen, Qiuhua; Fujian Provincial Social Science Research Base for Ecological Civilization; Guangdong Planning Projects of Philosophy and Social Science; Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province; et al. (MDPI AG, 2019-03-28)
      Background: Carbohydrate-rich (CR) foods are essential parts of the Chinese diet. However, CR foods are often given less attention than animal-based foods. The objectives of this study were to analyze the carbon emissions caused by CR foods and to generate sustainable diets with low climate impact and adequate nutrients. Methods: Twelve common CR food consumption records from 4857 individuals were analyzed using K-means clustering algorithms. Furthermore, linear programming was used to generate optimized diets. Results: Total carbon emissions by CR foods was 683.38g CO2eq per day per capita, accounting for an annual total of 341.9Mt CO2eq. All individuals were ultimately divided into eight clusters, and none of the popular clusters were low carbon or nutrient sufficient. Optimized diets could reduce about 40% of carbon emissions compared to the average current diet. However, significant structural differences exist between the current diet and optimized diets. Conclusions: To reduce carbon emissions from the food chain, CR foods should be a research focus. Current Chinese diets need a big change to achieve positive environmental and health goals. The reduction of rice and wheat-based foods and an increase of bean foods were the focus of structural dietary change in CR food consumption.
    • Effects of different cooling methods on the carbon footprint of cooked rice

      Zhou, Shengnan; Zhu, Zhiwei; Sun, Da-Wen; Xu, Zhongyue; Zhang, Zhihang; Wang, Qi-Jun; International S&T Cooperation Program of China; Collaborative Innovation Major Special Projects of Guangzhou City; Guangdong Provincial Science and Technology Plan Projects; Key Projects of Administration of Ocean and Fisheries of Guangdong Province; et al. (Elsevier, 2017-07-18)
      Global warming has become a serious problem facing the international community. All countries strive to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The food system produces a large amount of GHGs, and thus study of the carbon footprint (CF) in the food industry has attracted the attention of researchers. Based on the lifecycle assessment (LCA) method, the present study calculated CFs of cooling of cooked rice, as a unit operation under different operational conditions. The results showed that the carbon footprints for cooling 200 g cooked rice were 54.36 ± 1.07 gCO2eq for refrigerator cooling at 0 °C, 66.05 ± 2.00 g CO2eq for refrigerator cooling at 8 °C, 741.55 ± 27.26 g CO2eq for vacuum cooling, 1914.10 ± 141.24 g CO2eq for air blast cooling at 0 °C, 2463.61 ± 221.21 g CO2eq for air blast cooling at 3 °C, and 3916.54 ± 202.28 g CO2eq for air blast cooling at 8 °C. In addition, the CF for the cooling process was positively correlated with the output power of equipment and the cooling time. The carbon emissions arising from electricity consumption contributed to most of the CF for the cooling process. Sensitivity analysis of the parameters for the CF for the cooling process revealed that the CF of cooling process was stable for the applied equipment emission factor, but sensitive to the efficiency of electricity use and the extent of load. Improving the efficiency of electricity use and increasing cooling load could reduce the final CF of a product.
    • Use of an NIR MEMS spectrophotometer and visible/NIR hyperspectral imaging systems to predict quality parameters of treated ground peppercorns

      Esquerre, Carlos A.; Achata, Eva M.; García-Vaquero, Marco; Zhang, Zhihang; Tiwari, Brijesh K; O'Donnell, Colm P. (Elsevier BV, 2020-09)
      The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of a micro-electromechanical NIR spectrophotometer (NIR-MEMS) and visible (Vis)/NIR hyperspectral imaging (HSI) systems to predict the moisture content, antioxidant capacity (DPPH, FRAP) and total phenolic content (TPC) of treated ground peppercorns. Partial least squares (PLS) models were developed using spectra from peppercorns treated with hot-air, microwave and cold plasma. The spectra were acquired using three spectroscopy systems: NIR-MEMS (1350–1650 nm), Vis-NIR HSI (450–950 nm) and NIR HSI (957–1664 nm). Very good predictions of TPC (RPD > 3.6) were achieved using NIR-MEMS. The performance of models developed using Vis-NIR HSI and NIR HSI were good or very good for DPPH (RPD > 3.0), FRAP (RPD >2.9) and TPC (RPD > 3.8). This study demonstrated the potential of NIR-MEMS and Vis-NIR/NIR HSI to predict the moisture content, antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content of peppercorns. The spectroscopy technologies investigated are suitable for use as in-line PAT tools to facilitate improved process control and understanding during peppercorn processing.