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Business Water Use in
The Meat Production Industry

Meat Production Water Management

Average meat consumption per capita in the United Kingdom is nearly double the global average, an impressive 226 g of meat a day. The global average is that it takes 15,415 litres of water to 1kg of beef, 5,988 litres for 1 kg of pork and 4,325 litres in 1kg to make poultry.

The meat production industry must be very careful about supplying and coordinating its huge water resources. Since the process is aimed at meat for human consumption, it’s not only the environment that would be harmed by contaminated water. People’s health could be double affected through contaminated drinking water and through their eating of contaminated meat.

Water Usage in The Meat Industry

Water is used in the meat industry in brine heating, drying, cooking, blanching, pickling, pasteurising, sterilising, dehydrating and cleaning. To ensure a sustainable cold chain, water compressor-based process cooling systems are used, among other things. These systems ensure thermally optimal production environments – not only for the food itself but also for storage and distribution areas.

Sustainability Within the Meat Water Industry

The industry motto for food safety is: “As much water as necessary, as little as possible”. Various options can be considered to reduce water, such as reprocessing wastewater in the company’s own or municipal sewage treatment plants. Innovative control and measurement systems that analyse water consumption and identify parameters for further reduction are also helpful.



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Why Is So Much Water Needed In The Meat Industry?

The high water requirement is not the animals' thirst but their nutrition because most of the water in cattle farming goes into the cultivation of animal feed. This applies not only to cattle but to all farm animals. One reason for the high water requirements of cattle farming: cattle convert their feed into meat in a particularly resource-intensive manner if, as in industrial factory farming, they are given little roughage and instead large amounts of grain and soy. The type of farming and feeding is, therefore, an essential factor. The amount of water used for one kilogram of beef can vary greatly.

What Is The Water Footprint In The Meat Industry?

When it comes to livestock water consumption in agriculture or meat production, the Water Footprint is often used. The water footprint divides water into green, blue, and greywater. The green water stands for precipitation. The blue water represents the water reserves from ground and surface water used by livestock and irrigating the fields. The greywater is the water that is drained out.

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