Skatole and indole, compounds formed in the large intestine by microbial breakdown of tryptophan, are associated with carcass taint (Hansson et al., 1980). The present work involved the development of a method for detecting the absolute values of the analytes in fat and faeces. The effect on faecal excretion of skatole was also examined following infusion of skatole directly into the caecum. Finally as substrate effects the type and extent of fermentation in the large intestine, different diets were fed and the corresponding faecal and fat skatole levels were determined.
Skatole analysis involved homogenising adipose tissue with methanol and removal of fat by cooling and filtering. Solid phase extraction columns concentrated the analytes to produce samples which gave good resolution by gas liquid chromatography (Porter, Hawe and Walker, 1989). Due to higher levels of skatole in faeces, no concentrating phase was required before detection.