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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Food Processing
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The food processing industry is the fourth largest consumer of energy in the US industrial sector. Food processors use nearly 1,200 trillion Btu of energy per year. The industry is comprised of more than 21,000 processing plants. Total production values make it $400 billion industry. While energy represents on average between one and two percent of total operating costs, in some industry sub-sectors energy comprises as much as 20%. Major energy end-uses include drying, refrigeration, process heating and cooling, and machine drives. Energy efficiency becomes more important in an industry of tight margins. Today, Americans spend the same percentage of disposable income on food as they did 20 years ago. The Food Marketing Institute notes that supermarket sales were only expected to rise about 2% in 2000. Rising energy costs, increasing restrictions on land application of waste, sanitation standards, and a high demand for product quality, and processed foods contribute to the industry's energy and power quality needs. In addition to documenting a variety of energy end uses in the industry in spring 2000, E SOURCE surveyed 148 plant managers by telephone and conducted in-depth interviews with 8 corporate energy managers. We asked the plant managers to respond to a variety of questions on topics such as decision-making, plant energy use, electricity and deregulation, natural gas use, energy services and outsourcing, energy efficiency, and plans for plant renovations and new construction. In our interviews with the corporate energy managers, we explored their current strategies for purchasing energy and energy services and asked them what they expect to do in the future. This paper provides some of the key findings from this report including an overview of industry challenges, key energy end-uses and innovations, and valuable insights from energy managers on the energy issues that food processors face.
Adams, N.; Milmoe, P. H. (2001). Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Food Processing. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from