Our food production relies on the input of fossil fuels to create the high variety of different food products currently on the market. This reliance has caused challenges due to the inherent emissions generated by the combustion of fossil fuels and the dependence of many countries on only a small number of fossil fuel suppliers. This review aims to look at these challenges and discusses several mitigation strategies to reduce the usage of fossil fuels in the food processing part of the food value chain. In this specific step, there is substantial potential to change the type of energy that is used to transform the raw materials into an edible food matrix because the operations mainly include processes that rely often on natural gas for heating and electricity that is used for machine operation and cooling. Both energy sources can be replaced by clean and renewable alternatives, especially with alternative heating options such as geothermal heating and electrical boilers being installed and offered more frequently. However, short-term solutions like energy reduction through process optimization and the integration of smart sensors can also help to reduce the overall energy use in the short term. These strategies are outlined in this review along with in-depth analyses of the types of energy used in food processing, the available clean and renewable energy technologies that do not rely on fossil fuels, and the current hurdles and limitations. It becomes evident that most of the required technologies are already available on the market and that considerable investments are necessary to implement a comprehensive energy strategy that does not rely on fossil fuels in food manufacturing.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 15 is April 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error