Research into the development of a rapid detection method for boar taint at the slaughter line

01 August 2017 → 31 October 2018
Regional and community funding: various
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Analytical spectrometry
    • Food chemistry
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Veterinary public health and food safety
boar taint slaughter line
Project description

Problem definition: In 2018, as a result of European consultations, surgical castration would be restricted. The two most accessible alternatives from then on are immunocastration or rearing of intact boars. Although the cultivation of intact boars has important positive implications in terms of meat quality, economy, ecology and ergonomics, this also means the irrevocable re-emergence of boar taint. The latter is a very unpleasant odor which is especially easily released when meat is heated. Ideally, boar-scented carcasses should be 100% identifiable at-line for alternative processing. In this way, negative consumer perception can be avoided. However, a fast and reliable at-line detection method is not yet available.Objective: To validate a fast and reliable at-line method for the detection of boar taint with upgrading from the current prototype to an ergonomic, applicable model, including increasing the analysis speed. Description of the project: Previous research within the LCA research group has shown which techniques can or cannot be successfully applied for the detection and quantification of androstenone and / or skatole. Specificity, sensitivity and analysis time play a decisive role (+ - 300 carcasses per 30 min). Good results are currently being obtained through a rapid at-line extraction technique coupled with Rapid Evaporative Ionization Mass Spectrometry (REIMS). However, the MS part in particular appears to be too cumbersome and too expensive to permit practical use.