Special Edition: Farm to Fork
April, 2015

We are excited to present our Special Edition, Farm to Fork newsletter!  The NYS Pollution Prevention Institute has worked on a variety of sustainability initiatives within the farm to fork sector over the past 6 years.  One of our primary goals through our programs at NYSP2I is to partner with industries to offer technical expertise and develop innovative solutions which directly result in reductions in cost and overall environmental footprint.  We have received inquiries for assistance from a range of farm-to-fork companies, from start-up breweries to large scale food processors, as there is interest and awareness in the competitive advantages industries have when integrating sustainability into their business practices.  In this edition, we will introduce you to our tools and experiences working within this sector.  


Anahita Williamson, Ph.D.

Director, New York State Pollution Prevention Institute

NYSP2I Expertise:
NYSP2I programs that have provided assistance to the food industry include Direct Assistance, Sustainable Supply Chain (SSC), and the Green Technology Accelerator Center (GTAC).  Additionally, through a grant sponsored by the Economic Development Administration to promote sustainability and job growth in the Finger Lakes region , NYSP2I completed 24 projects with 21 different food processing companies including a refrigeration efficiency study at Dudley Poultry. 

In This Issue:

Perry's Ice Cream 

Glenora Wine Cellars

  • Through the Direct Assistance Program, NYSP2I works with New York State companies on manufacturing process optimization and the development of cost-effective and environmentally preferable solutions.  NYSP2I engineers utilize a source reduction approach that goes well beyond end-of-pipe activities. 
  • The SSC Program helps position New York State manufacturers in the global marketplace by identifying gaps in sustainable business practices, meeting customer demands and capturing targeted markets. 
  • Through its GTAC Program, NYSP2I helps companies accelerate the commercialization of green technologies, supporting job creation and economic growth.
NYSP2I technical staff includes engineers (chemical, mechanical, electrical, industrial), environmental scientists, and environmental/health specialists. Interdisciplinary approaches have been used in collaboration with the food sector on various projects that involve food waste-to-energy, life cycle assessment, water footprint, water conservation, waste minimization, and energy reduction. Past projects include work with food processors and beverage producers such as wineries and breweries. Additional  resources are available from NYSP2I's four University Partners and the ten Regional Technology Development Centers around the state.
NYSP2I Tools:
  •  Solid-Liquid Separation Technology Selector for Wastewater Recovery: Building on the knowledge gained on organic waste and wastewater generated by NYS food manufacturers and working with its university partner, Clarkson University, NYSP2I developed an interactive database-driven tool to assist food manufacturers in the selection of technologies for solid-liquid separation, waste concentration and water recovery.
  • The Sustainable Supply Chain Information Hub is an online resource for companies to gain information about supply chain sustainability, the benefits, and how to find assistance to implement sustainable practices both as a member of their own primary supply chain, and of a larger, global supply chain.
  • Streamlined LCA of food waste End of Life (EOL) management NYSP2I uses Life Cycle Assessment tools and methodologies to model and quantify the impacts that products, services, and processes have on the environment. As an example, NYSP2I developed a model  for a project with Wegmans to quantify the influence that food waste disposal processes and the waste transportation method, distance and utilization have on the Green House Gas (GHG) impacts of food waste.
  • The Organic Resource Locator is a web-based mapping tool that provides information on organic waste sources and utilizers in New York State.  

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NYSP2I Projects:

LiDestri Foods:
LiDestri Foods, Inc. (LiDestri) is a privately owned food manufacturing company specializing in contract and private label manufacturing. The main products manufactured consist of tomato based sauces and salsas. At the Lee Road manufacturing facility, the total combined cost of water usage and wastewater discharge (including a wastewater surcharge due to higher Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) in the wastewater) is roughly $465,000 per year. In addition, an estimated $12,000 is spent annually to dispose of large heavy plastic totes in which raw ingredients are received at the facility. The objective of this assessment had multiple focus areas, including developing a baseline profile of water usage for the food manufacturing operations, and identifying opportunities for water recovery for reconditioning and reuse. The study found that up to 66% or 108,700 GPD of total daily water usage (an estimated 164,250 GPD) could potentially be recovered. At a 75% recovery efficiency, this could result in the recovery of 81,525 GPD of water for reuse and an annual savings of $61,144. 

For the full case study, click  here

Channing Daughters Winery:
Channing Daughters Winery is located on Long Island and produces 12,000 cases/year of red, ros? and white wines. While Channing Daughters has achieved certification through the Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing association for vineyard-related operations (e.g., pesticide management, irrigation), the winery was interested in learning about potential sustainable opportunities for the winery operations that include harvesting, fermentation, chilling and bottling. NYSP2I performed a water, energy and chemical assessment of the winery operations.
NYSP2I identified various environmental improvement/cost saving opportunities including: 1) utilization of high pressure washers for cleaning equipment would reduce water consumption by 22% 2) replacement of fluorescent lighting with LED lighting in hospitality room would result in $414/year savings (already implemented, 2.4 year payback) 3) insulation of chiller tanks can lead to $3,500 savings annually (several tanks have already been insulated as part of implementation) 4) installation of a control system that staggers use of high energy equipment to avoid "spikes" and prevent excessive charges would reduce electrical costs; and 5) switchover from propane to natural gas heating would save $10,000 per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 18%.  


For the full case study, click  here

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Perry's Ice Cream:
Perry's Ice Cream, located in Akron, NY, produces over 10 million gal/year of ice cream and spends over $200,000 annually on city water and treated wastewater discharge to the municipal sewer system. Perry's has been working with NYSP2I to determine optimum water recovery and reuse options from their on-site water treatment facility. The treated water is relatively low in solids and organic loading but not clean enough to be reused directly in their operations, as determined by Perry's.
The primary objective was to assess various filtration technologies typically used for potable water to reuse in the plant. The best options appear to be utilization of ultrafiltration (UF) or nanofiltration (NF) membranes with the use of a rotary drum vacuum filter as prefiltration. An NYSP2I R&D project is also underway at the University at Buffalo focusing on improving membrane performance and utilizing wastewater samples from Perry's for its experiments. If 50% of the water can be reused, over $100,000/year savings can be realized.


For the full case study, click  here

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Glenora Wine Cellars:
Located in the Finger Lakes Region in Dundee, NY, Glenora Wine Cellars produces ~60,000 cases/year of red, ros ? and white wines. Glenora is committed to sustainability and asked NYSP2I to assist in evaluating two current operations that require the use of hazardous materials and significant amounts of energy: solids filtration where diatomaceous earth is used and cold stabilization for tartrate removal where long-term refrigeration is used.  NYSP2I provided assistance to analyze two different processes that can potentially replace the current methods, namely cross-flow filtration and electrodialysis (ED).
Hazardous materials use, energy consumption and labor costs would be reduced using cross-flow filtration and ED. NYSP2I performed engineering and economic analyses and calculated a payback of 1.5-2 years for the implementation of cross-flow filtration and < 3 years for ED. The use of diatomaceous earth would be completely eliminated and worker risk reduced, and energy use for tartrate removal would decrease by 96%.. Glenora expects to implement cross-flow filtration in the upcoming year.

For the full Cross-Flow Filtration case study, click here
For the full Electrodialysis case study, click here



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Fox Run Vineyards:
Fox Run Vineyards, a family-owned business, is comprised of fifty acres of vineyards on Seneca Lake whose winery produces 15,000 cases annually.  With the first grapes planted in 1984 and a winemaking facility established in 1990, Fox Run is dedicated to a program of minimal intervention winemaking.  With sustainable practices in both vineyard and cellar, Fox Run adheres to a philosophy of protecting the diverse ecosystem present on its land and the pristine waters of Seneca Lake.

NYSP2I expanded on current efforts at Fox Run by conducting a supply chain sustainability assessment.  Opportunities to advance their sustainability efforts were evaluated which include:
  • Informing procurement personnel of sustainable purchasing alternatives such as cleaning chemicals and packaging;
  • Improving the process and detail of  measuring impacts on all levels to set meaningful objectives and targets and to track performance;
  • Adding policy, objectives and targets, performance and action plans to marketing and communications material. 

Fox Run anticipates an 8% increase in sales due to communicating its sustainability commitment and performance, resulting in retaining 10 jobs and creating an additional 1 job.    


For the full case study, click here 



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O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative, Inc:

O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative, Inc. (O-AT-KA) is a manufacturer of canned milk, powdered milk, butter, and ready-to-drink nutritional and other specialty beverages. O-AT-KA is owned by two highly respected dairy cooperatives, namely Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc. and Dairy Farmers of America.


The demand for "green suppliers" in the supply chain has created the opportunity for sustainable organizations to become preferred business partners. Organizations that strategize, set targets, measure, monitor, and report their sustainability efforts will likely generate more revenue, retain and potentially create jobs, and reduce the risk of jeopardizing potential business.


O-AT-KA requested assistance with responding to customer inquiries and improving their ability to report their sustainability status. NYSP2I reviewed O-AT-KA's documentation for sustainability policies, initiatives, and relevant company data. NYSP2I then performed a one-day assessment by interviewing O-AT-KA's management, procurement, marketing, and production staff while also evaluating the manufacturing facility. The assessment included a review of the production process, inputs, outputs, procedures, targets, and measures.


O-AT-KA anticipates retaining and increasing business by successfully completing sustainability scorecard requests including those from large global customers. 


For the full case study, click here



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Rohrbach Brewing Company:  
Rohrbach Brewing Company (Rohrbach's), in downtown Rochester, NY, has been brewing handcrafted beverages since 1991. Their ales, lagers, and sodas are sold mainly in western New York but some are sold direct to customers through their restaurant and brewery tasting room and distributed to other restaurants, bars and retail outlets.
The demand for sustainability-minded brewers exists, especially with "millennial-generation" consumers. Rohrbach's recognizes this, and tapping into their ongoing philosophy of continuous improvement, feels strengthening their sustainability and communicating their efforts, is an opportunity to become the brand of choice .
NYSP2I examined Rohrbach's operations to establish a baseline and identify areas for improvement. NYSP2I used its comprehensive supply chain sustainability assessment tool, developed using internationally accepted guidelines, to address the economic, social, and governance aspects of how Rohrbach's practices sustainability. Ultimately, this will position Rohrbach's as a leader and a preferred brand with sustainability-minded customers, such as "millennials".
Rohrbach's anticipates a 10% increase in customer demand due to communicating its sustainability commitment and performance, resulting in retaining 13 jobs and creating an additional 2 jobs at the brewery.

For the full case study, click here  



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Genessee Biogas:
Genesee Biogas, LLC. (Genesee Biogas) has licensed a unique anaerobic digestion (AD) process, utilizing 100% food waste as input and producing energy, vehicle fuel and class-A bio-solid products. Genesee Biogas is planning to design, build, own and operate this cost effective AD system in Genesee County, diverting organic waste away from other disposal methods and towards anaerobic digestion and the production of renewable energy. In support of Genesee Biogas, NYSP2I identified the availability of organics and food waste sources in the surrounding area, enabling Genesee Biogas to optimize the location of the new AD system and confirm organic material availability. NYSP2I summarized data and mapped the locations of existing digesters and food waste sources within a 60-mile radius of the Agri-Business Park in Batavia, NY. NYSP2I identified organic waste sources from supermarkets and processors including: wineries, breweries, animal slaughterers, chocolate manufacturers, soft drink manufacturers, and bakeries. Genesee Biogas is forecasting the creation of 6 jobs over the next 3 years in support of this new anaerobic digestion technology implementation in Batavia, NY.


For the full case study, click here



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American Aerogel:
American Aerogel (AAC) develops and manufactures performance-leading aerogel-based insulation currently used in thermal packaging systems. AAC successfully perfected the process to manufacture organic monolith aerogels, having developed a new "High-R value" insulation material with inherent characteristics that make it an exceptional thermal insulator. AAC has researched areas to further expand their business, identifying thermally insulated refrigerated truck trailers as a potential for market expansion. Consistent with this, NYSP2I assisted AAC in the identification of potential clients through the "Farm to Fork" initiative, and administered a survey to assess the industry's insulation requirements for food transportation in the Finger Lakes region of NY State. Under the Green Technology Acceleration Center (GTAC), NYSP2I identified ten (10) refrigerated food transporters and food manufacturers to survey their specific application requirements, such as payload capacity and fuel efficiency. In the process, NYSP2I connected American Aerogel with critical clients who managed their own refrigerated food transport fleets and had knowledge of their product requirements. American Aerogel anticipates the addition of 2 new jobs as a result of the forecasted product expansion.


For the full case study, click here



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Epiphergy, LLC (Epiphergy) has developed a unique bioprocess that enables the conversion of a wide variety of compostable materials and organic wastes into ethanol fuel, animal feed and organic fertilizer. Epiphergy's pilot process produces valuable biofuels and secondary products, while providing significant environmental benefits including a redirection of landfill waste and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. NYSP2I evaluated the process to determine the ethanol producing capability and the environmental impact, structuring the project to document the process yields, identify the environmental impact and document potential improvements.
NYSP2I engineers applied Life Cycle Assessment tools to the pilot process, evaluating energy use and performing mass balances while processing over six tons of solid and liquid food waste products. NYSP2I engineers further analyzed the chemistry at various process stages, including the feedstock, ethanol and co-products produced. The environmental assessment included a calculation of the carbon impact of the observed pilot process, concluding that Epiphergy's process achieved net GHG reductions as compared to the production of both corn based ethanol and gasoline, while avoiding landfilling of food waste. 

For the full case study, click here



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Upcoming Events:
Earth Day at RPI: 
One of our clients in the food industry, Perry's Ice Cream will be giving out free novelty ice cream at our Earth Day Student Competition which will be held at RPI this year. The event showcases our R&D Student competition where graduate and undergraduate teams from across NYS with sustainability projects compete for cash prizes. It also showcases our statewide K-12 Student Poster Competition which received over 100 posters this year!

Sustainability for Craft Beverage Producers:
NYSP2I will partner with the Carey Institute for Global Good to offer a free workshop on Sustainability for Craft Beverage Producers on May 14th, 2015 just outside of Albany. FX Matt Brewing Co., Abandon Brewing Co., Tutthilltown Spirits Distillery and NYSERDA are some of the industry leaders represented on the workshop panel. Key topics will be discussed including opportunities for making beverage operations more sustainable, including efficient solid waste management, energy reduction, and water/wastewater recycling and reuse. 


Food Scrap Management-Models for Replication Webinar:
Food waste disposal is a national problem. Food waste is the largest discarded material category in the U.S. accounting for 14.1 percent of the municipal waste stream at 34.3 million tons per year. This webinar will provide an in-depth look at two programs initiated by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, along with other food scrap management tools and models.  


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If your industry or organization would like assistance from the experts at NYSP2I, please contact us.
New York State Pollution Prevention Institute | (585) 475-2512 | nysp2i@rit.edu | 111 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623