A comparison of product-based energy intensity metrics for cheese and whey processing

Remy Briam*, Michael E. Walker, Eric Masanet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Dairy processing is one of the most energy intensive sectors within the food processing industry. Accordingly, reducing energy use and energy-related air emissions is of critical importance to improve its economic and environmental performance. This paper focuses on product-based energy intensity (PEI) metrics for improving the energy efficiency of dairy processing by presenting a process-by-process (PBP) method to determine PEIs in a multi-product system, with a focus on U.S. dairy processing operations. This method is compared with two alternative methods in the case of a cheese and whey processing system. For all three methods, energy use is allocated on a mass and solids basis. The results show that the PEI values depend highly on the choice of method. In the case of an energy benchmarking program relying on the PBP method, the choice of PEI basis has an impact on the allowances permitted for each plant and should be chosen carefully.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Food Engineering
StatePublished - Apr 2015


  • Benchmarking
  • Cheese
  • Energy allocation
  • Energy intensity
  • Whey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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