Designing food supply chains- a structured methodology: a case on novel protein foods

R.K. Apaiah

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


This thesis proposes and implements a structured methodology to aid in chain design and the evaluation and decision making processes that accompany it.It focusesonhow to design the entire chain from start to finish, so that the consumer gets a product that he/she wants, i.e.concentrating on product attributes rather than on the delivery of the product. The novel protein food (NPF) case from the PROFETAS program was used to develop the methodology. Two attributes of quality were investigated with the qualitative model. Some insights obtained from this model were: thegeneric supply chain for a food product constitutes the following links: primary production, ingredient preparation/processing, product processing, distribution and retailing and consumer processing.This entire chain from primary production up to and including consumer processing influences the final product; but the relative contribution of the links varies according to the goal for which the chain is being designed and optimised. Chains have to be designed for a specific end product as the chain pathway changes and the relative contribution of the links changes with the product. Chain design also changes with the goal.A linear programming model was developed to design a supply chain for the NPF with lowest cost of manufacture. Exergy analysis was used to study the environmental impact of the NPF chain. These models were combined with multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) to give a structured methodology to aid in the design, evaluation and decision making processes of chain design. Variables in each link of the chain were screened to generate potential supply chains (alternatives) and these were evaluated with two MCDM models and ranked. The goals used to evaluate the alternatives are the quality of the product, the cost and the environmental load.The most important factor in the choice of these models was the ease with which they could handle a mix of quantitative and qualitative information, quantify the qualitative information and generate an overall value for each alternative and generate a preference order. The methodology was successful in focussing the decision makers' attention to the issues on hand. The stepwise process made the decision making process transparent and easy to review and audit.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • van Boekel, Tiny, Promotor
  • Hendrix, Eligius, Co-promotor
  • Linnemann, Anita, Co-promotor
Award date29 May 2006
Place of Publication[S.l. ]
Print ISBNs9789085044659
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • food chains
  • novel foods
  • peas
  • legume protein
  • design
  • decision making
  • linear models
  • environmental impact
  • methodology
  • quality
  • costs
  • supply chain management
  • agro-industrial chains
  • novel proteins


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