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Influence of breed and slaughter weight on boar taint prevalence in entire male pigs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 February 2011

M. Aluwé
Affiliation:
Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Animal Sciences Unit, Scheldeweg 68, B-9090 Melle, Belgium
S. Millet
Affiliation:
Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Animal Sciences Unit, Scheldeweg 68, B-9090 Melle, Belgium
K. M. Bekaert
Affiliation:
Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Animal Sciences Unit, Scheldeweg 68, B-9090 Melle, Belgium Laboratory of Chemical Analysis, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Research Group of Veterinary Public Health and Zoonoses, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
F. A. M. Tuyttens
Affiliation:
Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Animal Sciences Unit, Scheldeweg 68, B-9090 Melle, Belgium
L. Vanhaecke
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Chemical Analysis, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Research Group of Veterinary Public Health and Zoonoses, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
S. De Smet
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Animal Product Quality, Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Proefhoevestraat 10, B-9090 Melle, Belgium
D. L. De Brabander
Affiliation:
Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Animal Sciences Unit, Scheldeweg 68, B-9090 Melle, Belgium
Corresponding
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Abstract

Piétrain (P), Large White (LW) and Belgian Landrace stress negative (BN) boars were slaughtered at 50, 70, 90 or 110 kg live weight to investigate breed differences and the effect of slaughter weight on boar taint prevalence. Boar taint was quantified by four different methodologies: sensory evaluation of neckfat heated with a hot iron in the slaughterhouse, sensory evaluation of meat by consumer panels, sensory evaluation of fat and meat by expert panels and laboratory analysis of indole, skatole and androstenone in backfat. Skatole levels in backfat were significantly higher for LW and BN than for P boars. The androstenone levels and the hot iron method revealed a significant interaction between breed and slaughter weight. On the other hand, experts detected an effect of weight on the androstenone odour perception, which was significantly higher in fat from boars slaughtered at 90 kg compared with 50 kg, and significantly higher in meat from boars slaughtered at 110 kg compared with 50 kg. Consumers did not detect differences in the sensory characteristics among breeds or slaughter weight. These results indicate opportunities to minimise the risk of boar taint in entire male pigs by carefully selecting a combination of breed and slaughter weight. Along with the optimal slaughter weight, the effectiveness of reducing boar taint by lowering slaughter weight appeared to be breed dependent.

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Copyright © The Animal Consortium 2011

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