Journal of Food Engineering, Vol.91, No.1, 49-55, 2009
Life cycle inventory (LCI) of different forms of rice consumed in households in Japan
Rice is the most important agricultural commodity in Japan. It is consumed in various forms, each of which uses different amounts of resources and energy. This study attempts to evaluate the life cycle of rice (well- and partially-milled, brown, and germinated brown rice) and compare it to the parboiled milled rice to determine if the environmental load from the life cycle of rice can be reduced. The life cycle inventory (CO(2) emission) increases gradually from partially-milled (milling 2%) to the parboiled rice. The paper-bag option seems to be more environmentally friendly than the polyethylene-bag option. It is worthwhile to note that the partially-milled rice not only reduces the environmental load but also retains more food nutrients compared to the well-milled rice. A change in rice production and consumption patterns would be helpful to reduce about 2-16% of the negative environmental impact coming from the current life cycle of rice in Japan. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.