A comparative evaluation of the environmental/economic performance of High Pressure Processing (HPP) technology for food processing is made using Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodologies. Thermal pasteurization (TP), in the form of indirect system (with energy recovery) and of retort process, and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), are taken as benchmark during the evaluation, as traditional food processing technologies typically used to process orange juice (TP) and sliced Parma ham (MAP). Primary data on costs and consumption of HPP, TP and MAP plants were obtained from companies. Secondary data for LCA analysis was retrieved from the Ecoinvent 3.4 database and from available scientific literature. As a result of the assessment, HPP appears as more expensive than both TP processes, but turns out to have a lower environmental impact in almost all impact categories. Compared to MAP, HPP is less expensive and also has a lower impact in most of the impact categories, as MAP requires a significant amount of packaging materials and food gases. Industrial relevance: High pressure processing (HPP) is a well-known non-thermal technology, which since its introduction has had limited use, mainly due to the high cost of the electricity required for the process. Nowadays, however, new technologies in the food processing and new food product applications could make it more widely used. To correctly evaluate whether HPP technology is actually cost-effective and has low impact on the environment, detailed economic and environmental analyses have been carried out in this paper. Results are expected to enhance the use of HPP technology in industry.
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