Effect of feeding fermentable fibre-rich feedstuffs on meat quality with emphasis on chemical and sensory boar taint in entire male and female pigs

Boar taint in male and female pigs may be reduced by the inclusion of specific ingredients in the finishing diets
Wednesday 4 November 2009 (9 years 4 months 21 days ago)
Skatole, androstenone and other compounds such as indole cause boar taint in entire male pork. However, female pigs also produce skatole and indole. The purpose of this experiment was to minimise boar taint and increase overall impression of sensory quality by feeding entire male and female pigs with fibre rich feedstuffs.

A total of forty eight crossbreed pigs of [Duroc x (Danish Landrace x Large White)] were used. The experiment consisted of two replicates each including 24 pigs (12 males and 12 females). At an average live weight of 90 kg, the pigs were assigned to one of the three feeding treatments (control (CON), dried chicory (DC), lupine (LUP)) according to their initial live weight, litter and gender. The animals have been fed three organic diets for either 1 or 2 weeks prior to slaughter of which two diets contained different fermentable fibre-rich feedstuffs 13.3% dried chicory roots or 25% blue lupines. These two treatments were compared with pigs fed with an organic control diet for either 1 or 2 weeks prior to slaughter.

Lupines reduced (P<0.05) skatole in blood and backfat for both genders after 1 week. Moreover, lupines showed negative impact on growth rate and feed conversion whilst chicory showed no significant differences in this respect (P>0.05). The daily gain of the control (951 g/day) and chicory (912 g/day) fed pigs were similar but the lupine (LUP) group (720 g/day) tended to grow less (P = 0.107). However, the indole concentration was significantly lower (P<0.05) in chicory than lupine fed pigs. From a sensory perspective, chicory and lupine feeding reduced boar taint since odour and flavour of manure related to skatole and urine associated to androstenone were minimised (P<0.05).

It is concluded that the level of boar taint in the entire male pigs was most effectively reduced after 14 days by both fibre-rich feeds while lupine had the largest influence on ‘‘boar” taint reduction in female pigs.

LL Hansen, S Stolzenbach, JA Jensen, P Henckel, JHansen-Møller, K Syriopoulos, DV Byrne. 2008. Meat Science, 80:1165-1173.

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