It is now accepted that variations in the concentration of skatole in fat tissue are important for the odour and flavour characteristics of pigmeat. Higher values lead to more complaints of ‘off odours’ and taints. Certain husbandry systems and diets have been implicated as producing high skatole concentrations whereas a previous study showed that increasing the concentration of a highly fermentable fibre source such as sugar beet feed reduced skatole levels (Wood, Longland, Enser and Nute, 1993). This was a surprising finding based on the literature (Lundstrom, Malmfors, Malmfors, Stern, Petersson, Mortensen and Sorensen, 1988) and this study was done to provide confirmatory information.
Forty-eight pigs, equal numbers of males and females, were fed a concentrate diet (15.3 MJDE, 215g crude protein per kg) containing different proportions of molassed sugar beet feed (MSBF) between 25 and 85 kg live weight. The proportions were 0, 150, 200 and 250 g/kg MSDF and 12 pigs in each treatment were fed ad libitum.