Short communication: A food-systems approach to assessing dairy product waste

B. G. Ridoutt, D. L. Baird, K. Bastiaans, R. Darnell, G. A. Hendrie, M. Riley, P. Sanguansri, J. Syrette, M. Noakes, B. A. Keating

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Concern about world population increase, food security, and the environmental burdens of food production have made food-waste reduction a social and environmental priority. In this context, the quantification of dairy product waste is especially difficult due to the varied means of disposal, by solid and liquid waste streams, and due to inclusion as an ingredient in many processed foods. In this study, food intake data from the Australian National Nutrition Survey (>13,000 participants; >4,500 food items) were disaggregated into basic foods and total national dairy product intake was expressed in whole-milk equivalents. This result was compared with total domestic milk supply, indicating a level of waste of 29% for dairy products in the Australian food system. With national food-waste reduction targets becoming increasingly common, reliable estimates of food waste at the national scale are important for goal setting, baseline reporting, and performance monitoring. For this purpose, the systems approach to assessing food waste demonstrated in this project is deemed to have advantages over other common methods of food-waste assessment, such as bin audits, waste diaries, and surveys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6107-6110
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Food waste
  • Household waste
  • Supply-chain waste
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Ridoutt, B. G., Baird, D. L., Bastiaans, K., Darnell, R., Hendrie, G. A., Riley, M., ... Keating, B. A. (2014). Short communication: A food-systems approach to assessing dairy product waste. Journal of Dairy Science, 97(10), 6107-6110.