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Meat science

Different scalding techniques do not affect boar taint.


PMID 22445490

Abstract

The prevention of unpleasant boar taint is the main reason for castration of male piglets. For animal welfare reasons, castration is announced to be banned in the European Community. This study aimed to investigate whether androstenone, skatole and indole in backfat of boars may be reduced by different scalding technologies. To discriminate ante and post mortem effects, carcasses were sampled before and after scalding in two abattoirs using either horizontal (TANK) or vertical (TUNNEL) scalding. Backfat samples were analysed using gas chromatography (androstenone) and liquid chromatography (skatole, indole). Neither TANK nor TUNNEL scalding did significantly reduce malodorous compounds. Skatole and androstenone in backfat obtained after scalding averaged 112 ± 123 ng/g and 1196 ± 885 ng/g melted fat, respectively; significant differences between abattoirs were observed for skatole. Increased skatole levels were tentatively assigned to longer transport duration. Concluding from recent consumer research and subsequent application of suggested sensory rejection thresholds for androstenone (2000 ng/g) and skatole (150 ng/g), nearly 30% of the carcasses may be unacceptably tainted.

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