The carbon footprint of chocolate and the other environmental impacts of sweets have been studied by researchers at the University of Manchester, assessing the environmental impacts of ingredients, manufacturing process, packaging, transportation and resulting waste.
The carbon footprint shows how much direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions are in the air during the life cycle of the product. In their study published in Food Research International, Professionals estimated that the United Kingdom chocolate industry emits 2.1 million tonnes of greenhouse gases a year. This is the same size city as the annual carbon dioxide emissions of Belfast with 290,000 inhabitants. It has also been shown that a single slice of chocolate requires about one thousand liters of water.
Britain is the world’s sixth largest chocolate-consuming country, on average, one person consumes about eight kilograms of chocolate, corresponding to about 157 Mars slots. In 2014, the UK chocolate industry traded four billion pounds of chocolate and is projected to grow by 9 percent in 2019.
Researchers have found that the essential ingredients for chocolate – including milk powder, cocoa derivatives, sugar and palm oil – and packaging have the greatest environmental impact.
“Many of us love chocolate, but we do not often think of what chocolate is the chocolate store in the store. Cocoa grows in the Equator area, primarily in West Africa, Central and South America, so it has to be a long distance away , even before making the chocolate in the United Kingdom, “cited Professor Adisa Azapagic at the University of Manchester.
According to the International Cocoa Organization, in 2016, the annual cocoa production was 4.25 million tons. Chocolate distribution has reached more than $ 101 billion, and 45 percent of global consumption reaches Europe.
Researchers have pointed out that milk production for milk chocolate is also an important environmental factor. Milk production is a process that requires a lot of energy, and milk-producing cattle are also major greenhouse gas emissions. This also significantly increases the carbon footprint of chocolate.
“We do not want to say that people are abandoning chocolate. The essence of our study is to increase consumer awareness. We also hope our work helps the chocolate industry to cope with the environmental impact of the manufacturing process and make the chocolate the most productive product” Professor Azapagic said.
Source: MTI / Image: profitonline.hu /