Environmental design of food processes aims at improving their environmental, technological and socio-economic performance while securing the overall quality of the food. Cumulative legislative, economic and ecological pressure along with a growing demand for food in developing and emerging, and functionalized food in Western countries call for revision of the state-of-the-art food processing. The aforementioned constraints merely reduce the degrees of freedom with respect to design and prevent the search for a real compromise between the different and often conflicting technological, economic and environmental objectives of a process. Within this scope, the purpose of this talk is to present previous environmental design attempts of food manufacturing processes on the one hand and emerging, promising approaches on the other. These attempts will be illustrated with examples taken from the dairy sector, and explicitly discussed with respect to the potential rewards and challenges of their respective application. This talk will also highlight the gaps and hence the requirements for further work including better understanding of food processes and particularly the interaction of process parameters on the properties of the food product, optimization of cleaning stages, and development of food process modelling.