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Ben Williams

Knowledge Transfer Senior Manager

AHDB Pork Knowledge Exchange


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Threshold levels of boar taint compounds

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Research partners: University of Bristol

Sponsors: AHDB Pork-funded studentship (Claudia Richards)

Project duration: 2007 – 2008 

Aims and objectives

  • To investigate the relationship between the concentrations of androstenone and skatole in adipose tissue and sensory ratings for pork odour and abnormal odour
  • To determine if the threshold levels currently used for assessing boar taint are valid 


  • The results supported earlier findings for British consumers that skatole was more important in determining abnormal odour than androstenone
  • Skatole explained 46% of the variation on abnormal odour and androstenone explained just 6%
  • A score of five for abnormal odour (slightly strong) was considered to be unacceptable and this occurred at a skatole concentration of around 5.0µg/g, a higher threshold than is normally assumed.

Further information

Download final report - Threshold levels of boar taint compounds