Local and decentralised scenarios for ice-cream manufacture: a model-based assessment at different production scales

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  • Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham


Decentralised food manufacture – e.g. a cloud of small local production sites and shorter distribution networks – can be a powerful tool in the development of more sustainable and safe food chains. In this context, new processing scenarios based on emerging “on-demand” and “sharing” models, together with distributed manufacture methods, are potential alternatives to the current centralised paradigm. However, studies on how these new processing scenarios might unfold are scarce.

This work presents a techno-economic and carbon footprint assessment of different ice-cream manufacture scenarios, i.e. Multi-Plant (MP), Single-plant (SP), Distributed Manufacturing (DM), Food Incubator (FI) and Home Manufacturing (HM) that cover a wide range of scales (0.01 kg/h to 50,000 kg/h) and increasing decentralised production. Results revealed at what production level different processing scales become profitable, demonstrating that the shift on manufacture paradigm can be studied as a scale-down engineering problem and showing how decisions between local and centralised manufacture can be made.


Original languageEnglish
Article number110099
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Food Engineering
Early online date1 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Carbon footprint, Decentralised food manufacture, Energy use, Ice cream, Modelling, Profit

ASJC Scopus subject areas