Chemical analyses of boar taint

Daniel Halling Breiner

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Chemical analyses of boar taint

Boar taint is a distinct and offensive flavour (odour and taste), which may develop in meat and fat from uncastrated male pigs. The tainted flavour is released during cooking and is primarily caused by the two compounds, skatole and androstenone. As the number of uncastrated male pigs is generally increasing, the concern of tainted meat is growing. Therefore, the need to measure and document the degree of boar taint is increasing as basis for sorting.

Watch our video from the webinar on Boar taint detection methods - September 2023


lamAbout us

The ISO 17025 accredited chemical laboratory at the Danish Meat Research Institute has been pioneering the development and implementation of chemical methods of boar taint detection with the analysis of skatole based on liquid chromatography (HPLC) in the 90´s and latest in the later 10’s, the simultaneous analysis of skatole and androstenone based on mass spectrometry (LDTD-MS/MS).

The analysis of samples using LDTD-MS-MS is now offered on commercial terms.


The LDTD-MS/MS method is DANAK accredited and implemented in our chemical laboratory. Samples may be a suitably sized piece of back fat (typically 5x10 cm) or a fat biopsy.



Additional information:


Borggaard, C., Birkler, R., Meinert, L., Støier, S. (2017) ICoMST . At-line rapid instrumental method for measuring the boar taint... 



Lund, B., Borggaard, C., Birkler, R., Jensen, K., Støier, S. (2021) Food Chemistry vol 9, 100113. High throughput method for quantifying androstenone and skatole in adipose tissue from uncastrated male pigs by laser diode thermal desorption-tandem mass spectrometry.