Life Cycle Assessment of fungi based alternatives for meat products

Life Cycle Assessment of fungi based alternatives for meat products

The fungi based protein alternatives are every day a relevant option for meat products, as these stand out by their sustainability because they generate low environmental impacts. Additionally, they are beneficial for the human health because of their nutrients, low on saturated fat and an alternative for a sustainable diet.

To determine the impact of the fungi based alternatives, a life cycle assessment for two of the most popular products in the market was conducted. The study identified and communicate the life cycle stages that have a bigger environmental impact from a kilogram of soy and fungi based hamburger and meatballs shipped in Chile.

The analysis conformed to the ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 norms, which made the findings of the assessment reliable, comparable to other environmental profiles and validated by a third party authorized reviewer.

The main objectives were to identify the life cycle stages with the greatest environmental impacts and to communicate them to guide future product improvements and generate a sustainable marketing campaign. The scope ranged from the extraction of raw materials, import and transportation of consumables, to manufacture and preparation for product shipment.

To evaluate the environmental impact of the product, eight categories of impacts were considered, which included climate change, aquatic eutrophication, land use, extraction of minerals, among others.

From the assessment, it was observed that the life cycle stage with most contribution to environmental was the production and import of consumables, specifically Paris and Shiitake mushrooms, canola oil and soy protein.

The LCA report presents the Life Cycle Assessment findings for eight environmental impact categories, followed by everyday equivalences to support the interpretation of the values, as they are not usually easy to understand. Additionally, the conclusions and recommendations based on the findings of the analysis were added to create more effective mitigation actions.

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