Consumer acceptance of (tainted) boar meat

Two independent studies of the University of Göttingen tested the consumer acceptance of Frankfurter sausages made with varying contents of (tainted) boar meat. They simultaneously studied four factors relevant for the production of emulsion-type sausages: 

  • percentage tainted meat in the sausages; (skatole concentrations up to 0.3 μg/g and androstenone up to 3.8 μg/g in melted backfat)
  • duration of traditional smoke;
  • concentration levels of the spices macis and coriander.

Consumer acceptance tests
The acceptance tests were conducted in a commercial sensory laboratory using a pre-recruited consumer sample. Sausages were served warm. In total 216 consumers evaluated all 16 sausages on two testing days. Consumer olfactory acuity (sense of smell) to androstenone and skatole was assessed using a dedicated smell test. The duration in smoke and concentration of spices did not significantly influence consumers’ flavor liking of the sausages. 

Up to one third of tainted boar meat can be used without negative effects
To identify the percentage of tainted boar meat that can be processed without impairing consumer liking, the researchers used a statistical approach called non-inferiority testing. In result it was shown that up to one third of tainted boar meat can be used without a negative impact on consumer acceptance for the type of product studied (Frankfurter type sausages). Due to the fact that the researchers created a high risk scenario using a high fat product (20%) that was consumed hot, which facilitates off-flavor release and perception, they support the idea that up to 33% tainted boar raw material can also be used in other processed pork products.

The researchers suggest applying the non-inferiority test approach, for which a margin needs to be set, which is defined as a scale dependent liking loss compared to the reference product. In other words, in order to test for sufficient acceptability, a liking gap needs to be determined because it is otherwise statistically impossible to conclude on similarity. 

In conclusion it was shown that up to one third of tainted boar meat can be used without a negative impact on consumer acceptance for the type of product studied (Frankfurter type sausages). Further studies are recommended in order to identify a liking gap and further study the consumer acceptance of (tainted) boar meat.

Click here to view the publication of the study