High quality pork requires control
of unpleasant aromas

For many of us, pan-seared pork chops or a rack of baby back ribs off the grill are a favorite treat.  To ensure this excellent eating experience, farmers must manage a potential  unpleasant aroma that can occur in pork from some male pigs,  technically known as "boar taint."

As male pigs mature, their bodies produce naturally occurring substances that can cause this off odor to be released when the pork is cooked.  While the odor creates no safety issue, nearly 50% of us, especially women,1,2 are sensitive to these unpleasant smells. These odors need to be controlled to ensure a high quality eating experience.

Why don’t I smell anything unpleasant in my pork?

Traditionally, farmers have managed off odors by surgically castrating male pigs. This practice is used around the world with 95% of the male pig population. That’s why most of us have never experienced an unpleasant smell – farmers use tight management protocols to ensure the highest quality eating experience.

This site provides information about:

  1. Gilbert, A.N. & Wysocki, C.J. 1987. The Smell Survey results. National Geographic 172:514-525.
  2. Weiler U, Fischer K, Kemmer H, Dobrowolski A, Claus R. Influence of androstenone sensitivity on consumer reactions to boar meat in Proceedings. EAAP, 1997;147-151.

For great pork flavor farmers need to control naturally occurring unpleasant aromas that can occur in pork from some male pigs.