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Food Manufacturing Pollution Prevention Techniques

This page has innovative and practical technical suggestions that can help a food manufacturing facility reduce water, chemical and energy use, and operate more efficiently and save money. EPA provides these ideas as technical and procedural suggestions that can possibly be implemented in manufacturing plants and further developed by food industry professionals. EPA will periodically update the table with additional techniques, resources and case studies.

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Food Manufacturing Pollution Prevention Techniques

Technique Benefit Resources and Case Studies
Optimize Clean-In-Place (CIP) process Reduce toxics.
Save money.
Optimize cleaning and sanitizing Reduce toxics.
Save money.
Extend the useful life of heat transfer fluids Reduce maintenance costs.
Reduce disposal costs.
Extend the useful life of lubricants Reduce maintenance costs. Reduce disposal costs.
Lowering energy consumption with lubricants Energy savings.
Review refrigeration options and prevent the release of ammonia Reduce toxics.
Reduce spill events.
Use CO2 cleaning Reduce toxic chemicals.
Use dry steam cleaning Reduce toxic chemicals.
Reduce water use.
Reduce compressed air usage Energy savings.
Optimize washdown and sanitation Reduce costs and water usage.
Use excess heat for other processes Energy savings.
Use economizers on oven exhausts Energy savings.
Heat plant water.
Heat building spaces.
Insulate chilled water systems Energy savings.
Plant wide energy savings initiatives Energy savings.
Use flash steam Energy savings.
Use electric actuators vs. pneumatic or hydraulic Reduce lubricants leakage.
Optimize chiller performance Energy efficiency savings.
Thermal storage and transfer between food items Energy savings.
Generate biogas from organics like chicken manure Energy savings.
Means of disposal.
Implement Department of Energy (DOE) Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program Energy savings and performance above ISO 50001.
Pesticide reduction Toxic use reduction.
Produce nitrogen on site Reduce losses, purchase and transportation costs.
Install heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) to replace or reduce the use of a boiler Reduce emissions and increase efficiencies.
Switch individual refrigeration condensing units to parallel-compressor refrigeration systems Reduce installation cost, energy consumption and improve food preservation.
Refrigerant free cooling (evaporative) Energy savings, reduce use of refrigerant.
Boiler upgrades Reduce energy usage and emissions.
Prevent mold Personnel safety & prevent food contamination.
Implement variable speed drive pumps Energy savings.
Boiler maintenance Energy savings, reduce capital cost.
Implement modular on-demand steam boilers High pressure output, low energy consumption and compact design.
Use absorption chillers Reduce emissions and energy efficiency improvements.
Explore using heat pump food dryers Reduce energy consumption.
Monitor and maintain pneumatic cylinders for efficiency and up-time Efficiency improvement and cost savings.
Implement rainwater harvesting More efficient water usage and cost savings.
Explore using recycled water for cooling towers Reduced water usage.
Consider EPA Energy Star program Reduce energy consumption.
Implement manufacturing efficiency improvements Cost savings, energy savings.
Choose electrical enclosures that are easy to clean Reduce toxic chemicals and water usage.
  • When purchasing new electrical enclosures, consider the design and material of the electrical enclosure. Stainless steel is easy to clean and consider a sloped angle on the top of the enclosure which helps prevent corrosion from any liquids being discharged above or condensation from the facility itself.
Additional resources