WIT Press


HONEY AND SUGAR AS SURROGATE PRODUCTS: AN ENERGY EVALUATION



Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/DNE-V4-N2-143-153

Volume

Volume 4 (2009), Issue 2

Pages

10

Page Range

143 - 153

Author(s)

E. SIMONCINI, F. COPPOLA, S. BORSA & F.M. PULSELLI

Abstract

Exploitation of natural resources has reached an unsustainable level, due to the enormous growth of world population. Industrialized intensive agriculture, in particular, demands a great quantity of natural resources. White sugar is a widespread agricultural product. Its production from sugar beet or sugarcane is very expensive from the point of view of resource exploitation and sustainability. The aim of this paper is to compare white sugar and honey as sweeteners. We compared both processes of production in terms of emergy in order to establish the environmental costs and benefits of both. Transformities of honey and sugar were calculated per unit product and per unit area of land. Honey was found to have a better environmental performance than sugar production, due to the low quantity of non-renewable resources required. The environmental loading ratio indicated that honey production is more environmentally friendly than sugar production.

Keywords

agriculture, emergy, environmental loading ratio, honey, sugar, sugar beet, sugarcane, surrogate products