Nutritional Effects on Boar Taint in Entire Male Pigs: A Review

Boar taint is one of topical problems in fattening pigs. It is caused by two main compounds — androstenone and skatole. Androstenone is a steroid feromone, which is synthesized and metabolized in liver and testes. Skatole is produced by intestinal bacteria by metabolization of trypthophan. Both these substances are metabolized by cytochrome P450 and the unmetabolized residues accumulate in adipose tissue. This review describes the possible nutritional effects on boar taint reduction. Skatole is the main component, which could be reduced by nutrition in entire male pigs. The presence in adipose tissue can be reduced by apoptosis of intestinal cells by raw potato starch. Another method is to influence the microbial population in the gastrointestinal tract by organic acids or fructooligosaccharides. Recently, attention has been directed towards the enzymatic system in the liver. There are a few possibilities of reducing skatole as well as androstenone by influencing the liver enzymatic system. They may be particularly affected by secondary plant metabolites and flavonoids. However, more research is required in this area to clarify physiological regularities and all the relationships in the metabolism detoxification from xenobiotic substances.


skatole, androstenone, cytochrome, diet, inulin, microbiota


Urbanová, D., Stupka, R., Okrouhlá, M., Vehovský, K., Zadinová, K., Čítek, J. (2016):

Nutritional Effects on Boar Taint in Entire Male Pigs: A Review. Scientia Agriculturae Bohemica, 47, 154-163. doi: 10.1515/sab-2016-0023

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