Boar Taint Threshold Should be Lower

NORWAY - New research indicates that some consumers detect boar taint even at levels below the current maximum guide levels.
calendar icon 16 August 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

K. Lunde of the Norwegian Meat Research Centre and co-authors there and at University of Life Science in Ås and Nofima Mat investigated the acceptance of boar-tainted meat with different levels of androstenone or skatole by Norwegian consumers with varying sensitivity to androstenone. Their paper, published in Meat Science, indicates that the maximum level of skatole in pork should be lowered.

The aim of work, explain Lunde and co-authors was to study Norwegian consumers' acceptance of pork meat with different levels of skatole and androstenone.

One group of androstenone-sensitive consumers (n=46) and one group of non-sensitive consumers (n=55) participated in a home test and evaluated 11 samples with different skatole (range 0.00 to 0.35ppm) and androstenone (range 0.0 to 9.0ppm) levels.

Liking of odour during frying and the odour and flavour of the fried meat were evaluated.

The results showed that the non-sensitive consumers accepted all levels of androstenone in the samples. Sensitive consumers gave a significantly lower liking score for androstenone samples containing 3ppm (and more) than the reference sample when evaluating these samples above the frying pan although no significant differences were found between 3ppm samples and the reference sample when liking of fried meat was evaluated.

Lunde and co-authors concluded that while the sensitive consumers accepted 3ppm in fried meat, they could detect if 3ppm was present in the sample during the frying process. The same consumers differentiated skatole samples with regard to flavour at 0.15ppm. The Norwegian established practice with a threshold value of 0.21ppm skatole is higher than the value accepted by the consumers, they said.


Lunde K., E. Skuterud, M. Hersleth and B. Egelandsdal. 2010. Norwegian consumers' acceptability of boar tainted meat with different levels of androstenone or skatole as related to their androstenone sensitivity. Meat Sci. 2010 Jun 16. [Epub ahead of print] doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2010.06.009.

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