Breeding and preventing boar taint

shutterstock_biggetjesIn the Netherlands, researchers from Wageningen University and Research Centre are cataloguing the chromosomes related to the development of boar taint. The underlying idea is that targeted breeding can, over time, reduce the incidence of boar taint. The researchers think an up to 65% reduction is possible. A lot is already known about the role of the chemical components skatole and androstenone in the development of boar taint. However, other chemicals such as indole also prove to be involved.

Complex subject

The Wageningen University and Research Centre researchers have collected a great deal of information on the chemical components that play a role in the development of boar taint. Over the coming period, the genetic and genomic boar taint parameters for breeders and the relationship with (re)productive characteristics will be further detailed. However, developing a breeding programme that focuses on reducing the risk of boar taint should also take the animals’ other (economic) properties into account. The researchers think that there is still a long way to go due to the complexity of the subject matter.

The solution

In the meantime, a good detection method has been developed for recognising boar taint on the slaughter line in order to prevent meat from pigs with boar taint reaching the market. Humans provide the solution as the human nose can be employed for these slaughter line checks.