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Feasibility of on/at Line Methods to Determine Boar Taint and Boar Taint Compounds: An Overview

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IRTA-Product Quality, Finca Camps i Armet, 17121 Monells, Spain
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ILVO-Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Animal Sciences Unit, 9090 Melle, Belgium
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IFIP, Domaine de la Motte au Vicomte, 35650 Le Rheu, France
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NOFIMA-Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, P.O. Box 210, N-1431 Ås, Norway
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Department of Animal Sciences, University of Göttingen, Albrecht-Thaer-Weg 3, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
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KIS-Kmetijski inštitut Slovenije, Hacquetova ulica 17, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1886; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101886
Received: 14 August 2020 / Revised: 21 September 2020 / Accepted: 9 October 2020 / Published: 15 October 2020
Due to welfare issues, the physical castration of male pigs is decreasing, and the entire male pig production is increasing. Fattening entire male pigs requires control due to the possibility of accumulating off odour/flavour called boar taint, which is mainly due to two compounds - skatole and androstenone. If carcasses with boar taint reach the market, it can cause a negative consumer reaction which may have economic consequences for the whole meat chain. Thus, it is necessary to sort out carcasses at the slaughter line. Today, a sensory quality control (human nose method) is used in some slaughter plants for this purpose. Detection by physical or chemical methods is also envisaged. A colorimetric method to determine skatole has been used in Danish abattoirs for decades, but it is foreseen that it will soon be replaced by the laser diode thermal desorption ion source coupled with a mass spectrometry equipment that allows a fully automated classification based on skatole and androstenone levels at speed line, with a delay of less than 40 min. Other potential methods such as the electrochemical biosensors, rapid evaporative ionization mass spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy, still need further development and validation for an application at abattoir level.
Classification of carcasses at the slaughter line allows an optimisation of its processing and differentiated payment to producers. Boar taint is a quality characteristic that is evaluated in some slaughter plants. This odour and flavour is mostly present in entire males and perceived generally by sensitive consumers as unpleasant. In the present work, the methodologies currently used in slaughter plants for boar taint classification (colorimetric method and sensory quality control-human nose) and the methodologies that have the potential to be implemented on/at the slaughter line (mass spectrometry, Raman and biosensors) have been summarized. Their main characteristics are presented and an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) has been carried out. From this, we can conclude that, apart from human nose, the technology that arises as very promising and available on the market, and that will probably become a substitute for the colorimetric method, is the tandem between the laser diode thermal desorption ion source and the mass spectrometry (LDTD-MS/MS) with automation of the sampling and sample pre-treatment, because it is able to work at the slaughter line, is fast and robust, and measures both androstenone and skatole. View Full-Text
Keywords: boar taint; human nose; LDTD-MS/MS; REIMS; Raman; biosensors; colorimetric method; SWOT analysis boar taint; human nose; LDTD-MS/MS; REIMS; Raman; biosensors; colorimetric method; SWOT analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Font-i-Furnols, M.; Martín-Bernal, R.; Aluwé, M.; Bonneau, M.; Haugen, J.-E.; Mörlein, D.; Mörlein, J.; Panella-Riera, N.; Škrlep, M. Feasibility of on/at Line Methods to Determine Boar Taint and Boar Taint Compounds: An Overview. Animals 2020, 10, 1886. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101886

AMA Style

Font-i-Furnols M, Martín-Bernal R, Aluwé M, Bonneau M, Haugen J-E, Mörlein D, Mörlein J, Panella-Riera N, Škrlep M. Feasibility of on/at Line Methods to Determine Boar Taint and Boar Taint Compounds: An Overview. Animals. 2020; 10(10):1886. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101886

Chicago/Turabian Style

Font-i-Furnols, Maria; Martín-Bernal, Raúl; Aluwé, Marijke; Bonneau, Michel; Haugen, John-Erik; Mörlein, Daniel; Mörlein, Johanna; Panella-Riera, Núria; Škrlep, Martin. 2020. "Feasibility of on/at Line Methods to Determine Boar Taint and Boar Taint Compounds: An Overview" Animals 10, no. 10: 1886. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101886

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