Study into alternatives to the human nose

As part of the five-year research programme a�?Boars Heading for 2018a��, the detection of skatole and adrostenone occasioned a plethora of sub studies. In close cooperation with, among others, the French research institutes IFIP and INRA, a feasibility study was carried out in 2011 into an electronic nose.

This system is based on Ionisation Mass Spectronomy (IMS). Alongside practical problems such as the time required to detect skatole (10 seconds) and androstenone (5 minutes) the system also proved not to meet the other requirements set for fast, accurate detection systems. The current state of the technology means IMS detection does not meet these requirements. It is clear that more research is required to arrive at a fast, but above all accurate detection method.

HNS comes out top

The researchers regularly asked themselves what could best predict consumer boar taint perception. To this end, a study was carried out in 120 German and 120 Dutch households. Skatole proved to be a substantially better predictor of consumer perception than androstenone and, in turn, the Human Nose System detection method was better than prediction on the basis of skatole. The HNS is, for the time being, the best available method to guarantee quality.

Detailed information can be obtained straight from the researcher in question. For the (English-language) research report and contact details click here.