At the ICoMST 2017 conference in Cork Ireland Claus Borggaard and his colleagues from the Danish Meat Research Institute presented the At-line rapid instrumental method for measuring the boar taint components androstenone and skatole in pork fat. An increase in the number of slaughtered male pigs has led to demands for a rapid, reliable and inexpensive instrumental means of measuring androstenone and skatole. The aim was to develop an accurate method for measuring boar taint components in backfat from uncastrated male pigs, matching industrial demands for speed of operation and robustness. A rapid instrumental at-line method for simultaneous measurement of androstenone and skatole in back fat samples from entire male pigs that has been developed with an automated sample pre-treatment, will make it possible with a single LDTD-MS-MS system to keep up with a line speed of 360 male pig carcasses per hour and to run 16 hours per workday. Cost of operations is expected to be below 0.7 carcass.
Boars on the way is a collaboration of stakeholders from the Dutch pig sector, aiming to end castration of male pigs within the European Union. Members of the steering committee include the Dutch Pig Farmers Organisation (POV), Vion, Topigs Norsvin, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Dutch Organisation for the Protection of Animals.