The use of pork from entire male and immunocastrated pigs for meat products—an overview with recommendations

Martin Škrlep, Igor Tomašević, Daniel Mörlein, Saša Novaković, Macarena Egea, María Dolores Garrido, María Belén Linares, Irene Peñaranda, Marijke Aluwé, Maria Font-I-furnols

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


Due to the strong public initiative in Europe and increased regulator focus to mitigate pain, surgical castration of pigs is being gradually abandoned, while the importance of other sex categories like entire males (EM) and immunocastrates (IC) increases. Although beneficial for animal welfare and economics, their use also brings forward several quality problems. Besides the occurrence of boar taint in EM, these include excessive carcass leanness, softer fat, meat color and pH deviations, inferior water holding capacity and increased meat toughness. In this paper, the raw material differences between the male sex categories and their influence on product quality are reviewed, and possible solutions are presented. Using EM for dried or thermally processed products may result in lower processing yields and inferior sensory quality, which may partially be prevented by applying specific processing adaptations. Immunocastration is a viable solution, especially when prolonging the vaccination to slaughter interval. Low to medium levels of boar taint can be effectively managed in most of the meat products, applying procedures like cooking, microbial inoculation or masking (by spices and especially smoking), while highly tainted material can be valorized only by combining various methods and/or with dilution of the tainted meat.
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
Pagina's (van-tot)1-26
Aantal pagina’s26
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 26-sep.-2020


  • Boar taint reduction and masking
  • Entire males
  • Fat quality
  • Immunocastrates
  • Meat processing
  • Meat quality
  • Pig
  • Product quality


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