Boar taint doubted in Dutch research
A report by Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR) denies the
necessity of castrating male piglets. According to these researchers, boar taint
hardly develops when frying the meat of these uncastrated
The research, carried out by WUR's Agricultural Economic Institute (LEI) and
CCL Nutricontrol, showed that a maximum of several percent of the meat from male
non-castrated pigs matches the definition of boar taint. Up until now it was
assumed that percentage would be between 5-25%.
No recognition of boar
In addition, the research showed that consumers hardly ever not
recognise bacon with boar taint and hence do not value this meat less than
conventional pork. A research, conducted in Switzerland at the same time,
reached similar conclusions.
In the Netherlands, male piglets have to be
anaesthesised before castration as from next year, but no party involved is
really happy with that outcome. Dutch authorities, supermarkets and industry
organisations agreed to aim for a ban on piglet castration by
Researcher Gé Backus said this could be done earlier. "Boar taint
is hereditary, so if we will apply specific breeding, we can lower the amount of
components that cause boar taint. Whatever is left over, can be detected in the
Example from practice
in Gorinchem, the Netherlands, sometimes dealing with uncastrated pigs, said it
finds on average 2-4% boar taint at the slaughterline. The carcasses are tested
using a singeing test.
Generally, a slaughterhouse spokesman said, boar
taint occurs more when the average weight is higher, especially with animals
heavier than 100 kg.
Board member Jaap de Wit added
that in discussions on boar taint experiences and sentiments from the past are
still very important. "In the past even gilts could smell as they had been lying
in their own manure and urine," De Wit told Dutch newspaper Agrarisch
Over the years, however, the average age of slaughter has
come down - thus reducing the number of animals with an unpleasant
"Castrating, however, is still a necessary evil, which we cannot
do without. Even our company is dependent on supplying the German and Italian
markets and these do not want to sell boar meat."
â€¢ Wageningen University and Research
â€¢ Agricultural Economic
â€¢ Agrarisch Dagblad
Click here to receive the
latest Pig Progress newsletter
To comment, login here
Or register to be able to comment.