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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Energy Efficiency Improvement and Cost Saving Opportunities for the Fruit and Vegetable Processing Industry. An ENERGY STAR Guide for Energy and Plant Managers


The U.S. fruit and vegetable processing industry--defined in this Energy Guide as facilities engaged in the canning, freezing, and drying or dehydrating of fruits and vegetables--consumes over $800 million worth of purchased fuels and electricity per year. Energy efficiency improvement is an important way to reduce these costs and to increase predictable earnings, especially in times of high energy price volatility. There are a variety of opportunities available at individual plants in the U.S. fruit and vegetable processing industry to reduce energy consumption in a cost-effective manner. This Energy Guide discusses energy efficiency practices and energy-efficient technologies that can be implemented at the component, process, facility, and organizational levels. A discussion of the trends, structure, and energy consumption characteristics of the U.S. fruit and vegetable processing industry is provided along with a description of the major process technologies used within the industry. Next, a wide variety of energy efficiency measures applicable to fruit and vegetable processing plants are described. Many measure descriptions include expected savings in energy and energy-related costs, based on case study data from real-world applications in fruit and vegetable processing facilities and related industries worldwide. Typical measure payback periods and references to further information in the technical literature are also provided, when available. Given the importance of water in fruit and vegetable processing, a summary of basic, proven measures for improving plant-level water efficiency are also provided. The information in this Energy Guide is intended to help energy and plant managers in the U.S. fruit and vegetable processing industry reduce energy and water consumption in a cost-effective manner while maintaining the quality of products manufactured. Further research on the economics of all measures--as well as on their applicability to different production practices--is needed to assess their cost effectiveness at individual plants.

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