FORKLIFT (FOod side flow Recovery LIFe cycle Tool): Valorisation spreadsheet tool

FORKLIFT is a spreadsheet learning tool that indicates life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and costs for using selected food side flows . It allows users to interpret the results regarding the effects of intervention with the additional effect of making it possible to compare the results with alternative products available on the market.

The aim of FORKLIFT is to provide a tool for policy makers, researchers, professionals, businesses and other interested parties that are interested in accessible life cycle thinking of using food side streams without doing a detailed  Lifecycle Assessment (LCA).
FORKLIFT applies a partial lifecycle greenhouse gas impact and costing calculation approach for 6 key examples of unpreventable food processing co-products, by-products or wastes (collectively referred to as sideflows):

  • Apple pomace
  • Pigs blood
  • Brewers spent grains
  • Tomato pomace
  • Whey permeate
  • Oilseed press cake

These sideflows were taken from a top 20 identified by REFRESH experts in earlier tasks (D6.9) as most suitable for processing into products with further value.

FORKLIFT has been constructed to allow assessments for each of these sideflows. In each, a number of different processing options have been modelled, from waste disposal to production of further valued products (valorisation) have been modelled. The default processing inventories have been modelled on commercially demonstrated processes where feasible.

These defaults provide a reference point from which key parameters such as transport distance, energy, yields and associated prices can be modified by users to indicate their influence on lifecycle cost and greenhouse gas impacts. The results are shown next to equivalent reference products made from primary resources that are broadly similar in function.

The FORKLIFT tool is subject to limitations that need to be explicit to guarantee a robust interpretation of results:

  • FORKLIFT assesses a static system. Large-scale interventions are only reasonably possible for large-scale studies, with fewer options and clear market interventions.
  • FORKLIFT does not provide results on policy recommendations, as this would demand consequential modelling. However, it reveals hotspots of the different valorisation options and gives insights on effects of certain choices.
  • FORKLIFT is based on generic data but the process inventory data used in key default parameters has been based on particular case/scales. There may be scaling impacts which is why parameters are modifiable. However, Forklift approach should not replace carbon footprint or cost calculations for specific decision-making at company level.

Thus, FORKLIFT should not be used as a precise tool for investment decisions nor for external communication of impacts and costs. However, it can reveal hotspots of the different valorisation options and give indications on effects of certain choices. To properly use the FORKLIFT tool please optimise Excel for performance rather than appearance.


REFRESH 2018: FORKLIFT - Valorisation spreadsheet tool.


  • English

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REFRESH 2018: FORKLIFT - Valorisation spreadsheet tool.



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