Rapid boar taint detection methods used or being developed at slaughter plants in the European Union

    Project Details


    Main research question/goal
    How can potential boar taint in entire male pigs and immunocastrates be detected in a reliable and fast way at the slaughter line ? The main objective  of this European project is to identify and evaluate currently-used or innovative methods for rapid detection of boar taint at the slaughter line. A good method of detection must be able to test a large number of samples with sufficiently high sensitivity, repeatability and accuracy.

    Research approach
    Based on both literature and a survey of slaughterhouses in Europe and some other countries (e.g. USA, Canada, Brazil and New Zealand) we list the sensory and analytical detection methods currently used or under development and the requirements (industrial applicability, feasibility and cost) for a detection system. This results in a list of the current, most relevant methods for online boar taint detection. During an international workshop with representatives from both industry and research, this list is further divided into short- and long-term solutions for the detection of boar taint. Last, these methods are evaluated by a ring test to evaluate sensitivity, repeatability and accuracy of all the methods.

    To date, there is no harmonised, rapid and reliable method for the detection of boar taint at the slaughter line. A number of methods are already being used or are under development, but their usability and reliability are not known. This project lists all of these detection methods and gives a final ranking of the methods tested. It also provides a protocol to evaluate potential on-line detection methods. The results of this project are a road map for the pork industry to further harmonise the methods and develop new rapid detection methods for boar taint.


    Funding provider(s)

    External partner(s)
    Institut de Recerca I Technologia Agreoalimentaries
    Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek (DLO)
    Effective start/end date17/12/1216/06/14