Determining the geographic origin of milk in Australasia using multi-element stable isotope ratio analysis

R. G. Crittenden*, A. S. Andrew, M. LeFournour, M. D. Young, H. Middleton, R. Stockmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


A pilot study was conducted to evaluate the suitability of multi-element isotope ratio analysis for determining the origin of cows' milk produced within Australasia. A milk sample from pasture-fed cows was obtained from seven dairying regions in Australia and New Zealand and analysed for the ratios of 13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O, 34S/32S, and 87Sr/86Sr. Each milk sample displayed a distinct isotopic fingerprint. Isotope ratios for 18O/16O and 13C/12C, in particular, conformed to predicted isotope fractionation patterns based on the latitude and climate of each region. Relative to skim milk, casein was enriched in 13C and 15N, and depleted of 34S, whereas, predictably, 87Sr/86Sr ratios remained equivalent in both skim milk and casein. The milk samples from Australasia were considerably enriched in 18O and 34S compared with reported values for most European dairy products. Overall, multi-element isotopic analysis has good potential for determining the geographic origin of dairy products produced within Australasia. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-428
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Dairy Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Appellation
  • Dairy
  • IRMS
  • Isotopes
  • Milk
  • Origin

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