Innovative smoking technology protects resources and climate
Our diet has a significant impact on climate change. Before food ends up on our table, large amounts of energy are needed for cultivation, harvesting, transport, storage and further processing, thus releasing direct and indirect CO2 emissions. The food industry, therefore, faces enormous challenges in terms of energy efficiency. According to a survey conducted by the German trade journal “Fleischwirtschaft”, 82 percent of consumers would like more information on more environmentally friendly food production.
Compared to conventional smoking, the innovative CleanSmoke smoking process not only makes it possible to produce safe and healthy products, but at the same time to sustainably relieve the burden on the environment. For example, energy consumption can be reduced by about half. The CleanSmoke Coalition (CSC), a joint initiative of companies, associations and private individuals with a professional interest in smoked foods and the smoking industry, has set itself the goal of educating consumers and the interested public about the potential of CleanSmoke technology. When smoking with CleanSmoke, a fresh stable smoke is produced from the primary smoke condensate.
Saving 600 million kilowatt hours of energy
According to a Life Cycle Assessment by the German Institute of Food Technology (DIL), CleanSmoke technology, as compared to conventional smoking, can save around 50 percent of energy in the German smoked goods market and around 30 percent of greenhouse gases. Currently, CleanSmoke is only used in about one tenth of smoked foods, which allows a reduction in energy consumption of 7.2 percent and in greenhouse gases of eight percent. The total savings potential in Germany alone is around 600 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy. An amazing amount. This would make it possible, for example, to cook food in microwave ovens for nine million people.
Along the entire supply chain, one tonne of meat smoked with CleanSmoke requires around 700 kWh of energy, over 90 percent of which is used in smoking plants. The ecological “footprint” is thus 120 kg CO2 equivalents per ton of smoked food. By comparison, conventional smoking processes consume around 1,050 kWh of energy per tonne of meat, of which more than 90 percent is consumed in smoking plants. This corresponds to about 166 kg CO2 equivalents.
72,000 tons less CO2 equivalent in the atmosphere
If all smoked goods in Germany were smoked with CleanSmoke, energy consumption would amount to about one billion kWh, of which 97.6 percent would be for the smoking process and 2.4 percent for the production of raw materials. The resulting climate-relevant emissions would amount to around 228,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents, of which 2.5 percent would be for the production of raw materials. Much higher would be the energy input and ecological “footprint” of conventional smoking: this would require 1.6 billion kWh of electricity, 18.2 percent of which would be used to provide the raw materials. This means emissions of 300,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents, almost 90 percent of which is needed for smoking.
And what advantage would that have for the climate? The approximately 72,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents that could be saved each year correspond to the amount emitted during the production of about 14,000 cars – or 100 people flying around the world 72 times.
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