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Meat Sci. 2013 May;94(1):125-32. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2013.01.006. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

Evaluation of different heating methods for the detection of boar taint by means of the human nose.

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Ghent University, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Merelbeke, Belgium.


No automated detection system for boar taint detection is currently available, thus boar taint at the slaughterline can currently only be assessed using the singeing method (olfactory scoring). This study compares several heating methods (microwave, soldering iron and pyropen) and evaluates the effect of habituation, cleaning the soldering iron, singeing the fat twice in the same place, and variations in the technical procedures. All methods seem to be suitable for detecting boar taint but the choice of heating method for sensory scoring of boar taint depends on habituation of the trained assessor and specific conditions applied. The pyropen seems to be most suitable because it does not contact the fat and is easy to handle (wireless). Finally, the intensity score may also be influenced by: contamination from not cleaning the soldering iron, singeing the fat twice in the same place, and the effect of habituation.

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