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Last update: May 2021

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Influence of social and sanitary status on the boar taint of entire pork meat

Thesis : Influence of social and sanitary status on the boar taint of entire pork meat
Solutions to solve the problem of boar taint in the pork meat are needed in order to stop the surgical castration of entire male pigs by 2018

Welfare, animal health and meat quality

Considering the animal welfare, the pork industry has committed to stop the surgical castration of male piglets by 2018. Raising entire male pigs has already been adopted or is in progress in several European countries. However, such option raises several concerns. The most important is related to meat quality.
About 10% of entire male pigs have troubles of boar taint due to the accumulation of androstenone and scatol in fat tissue. Therefore, it is necessary to find solutions to produce a high quality meat without boar taint taking into account the welfare and the health of these animals.

Key factors responsible for the development of boar taint?

Some factors such as the social rank and the sanitary status of the animal could influence the development of boar taint. Indeed, these two factors could be linked to the testicular activity of the animal, which is responsible for a more or less abundant  storage of androstenone in the back fat. The objective will be to determine the importance of both factors in the variability of boar taint in the entire male pigs.

  • The study of social rank will be realized thanks to the data collected on 2000 entire  male pigs raised for the ANR project Utopige. The project will also provide information on feeding behaviour, testicular activity, health markers measured one week before slaughtering and, on meat boar taint.
  • The study of the sanitary status will be realized on about 100 entire male pigs raised in a degraded environment (“dirty” room) or not (“clean” room). The measures will be related to the variation of the testicular activity and the sanitary status during the last month preceding slaughter and to the boar taint at slaughter.
porc abreuvement
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Séverine Parois has been working on this subject of thesis since the 1st September of 2013 for 3 years. She is supervised by Armelle Prunier in the team Physiology of the adaptation, nutrition and animal health.

Contact :

Armelle Prunier, armelle.prunier[at], 02 23 48 50 56 (Supervisor)
Séverine Parois, severine.parois[at], 02 23 48 59 63 (PhD student)