production origin (3)


Grass-based milk production is a major contributor to Irish agricultural output, and the terms "grass-fed" and "pasture-raised" are appreciated by many consumers as a more sustainable and welfare friendly means of producing milk. This study characterised the Irish raw milk pool using SIRA of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and sulphur. Authentic raw milk samples were collected from 50 farms on five occasions over 13 months. δ13C values reflected a high level of grass input, and values increased with increasing cereal concentrate feed input (P < 0.001). δ18O values were most negative in spring. There was a significant interaction between feed and season for δ13C and δ15N values (P < 0.05), with the impact of concentrate feeding most evident in spring. The isotopic ratio values of the Irish milk pool may serve as authenticity markers with the potential to discriminate Irish milk and dairy products from similar commodities from other countries.

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As part of the Defra Project FA0159 on production and geographical origin of food, Fera are conducting a survey on the need for and availability of pork data bases for geographical origin determination.  Anyone who is interested in the country of origin labelling of pork should complete the survey. The results will be collated and incorporated into the final Defra project report which will be made publicly available at the end of 2018.

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This paper reviews the use of SIRA of biological isotopes (H, C, O, N, S) in determining geographical origin for meat, poultry and dairy products, and production origin for seafood (wild or farmed). 

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