Estimating the risk of dislike: An industry tool for setting sorting limits for boar taint compounds

Rune H. Christensen, Dennis B. Nielsen, Margit D. Aaslyng

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


Producing entire male pigs entails a risk of boar taint in the meat due to increased levels of the compounds skatole and androstenone in the carcass. Allowing meat from entire male pigs to be marketed and sold together with meat from castrates and female pigs increases the risk of consumers being dissatisfied due to boar tainted samples. To reduce this risk, it is necessary to set sorting limits for androstenone and skatole preventing meat from the most boar-tainted entire males from reaching the market. This paper presents a model framework in which the risk of consumer expressions of dislike is modelled as a function of the concentrations of skatole and androstenone. A bivariate log-normal model of skatole and androstenone concentrations is estimated from a representative sample of entire male pigs, and, by combining these two models, the expected risk of dislike and the number of discarded carcasses is estimated as a function of sorting limits. If the risk of dislike of meat from entire male pigs equals the risk of dislike of meat from castrates, up to 80% of the carcasses should be discarded. However, there is a huge variation in consumer response. This new analytical approach allows the industry to set appropriate sorting limits by balancing the risk of dissatisfied consumers with the proportion of discarded entire male carcasses.
TidsskriftFood Quality and Preference
Sider (fra-til)209-216
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 1 jan. 2019
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Boar taint
  • Mixed-effects logistic regression
  • Risk analysis
  • Sorting limits