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Meat Sci. 2012 Feb;90(2):330-7. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2011.07.019. Epub 2011 Jul 31.

Acceptability of entire male pork with various levels of androstenone and skatole by consumers according to their sensitivity to androstenone.

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INRA, UMR1079 SENAH, F-35590 Saint Gilles, France.


Consumer acceptability of entire male pork at eating was assessed in three experiments. The 140 consumers involved in each experiment were classified as insensitive (INSENS) to the odor of pure androstenone or sensitive perceiving it as pleasant (SENS-PLEA) or unpleasant (SENS-UNPL). Entire male pork with very low skatole and androstenone levels (LS-LA) was as well accepted as gilt pork, whatever the consumer category. Entire male pork with elevated levels in both skatole and androstenone (HS-HA) was clearly differentiated from LS-LA pork by SENS-UNPL, but not by SENS-PLEA or INSENS consumers. Whatever the consumer category, entire male pork with elevated levels of androstenone and very low levels of skatole (LS-HA and LS-HHA) were not significantly differentiated from LS-LA pork. The results suggest that, in the conditions of the present experiment, androstenone and skatole totally explain boar taint at eating and that the acceptability threshold for androstenone, in the absence of skatole, is in the range of 2-3 μg/g liquid fat.

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