In publica commoda

Press release: Tasty sausage without painful castration procedure for male piglets

No. 41 - 13.03.2019

Research team including scientists of Göttingen University investigates possibilities of processing boar meat

Processing meat of male pigs that haven’t been castrated is challenging, as the animals‘ fat tissue can develop specific odours. In a joint research project, scientists from the University of Göttingen investigated how tainted boar meat can be processed in ways which ensure a stable product quality. The project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The results were published in Meat Science.


Starting in 2021, castrating male piglets without the use of anesthetics will be prohibited in Germany for animal welfare reasons. It is already the case that castration is not carried out when young boars are still being fattened.  However, the product quality of the resulting meat remains questionable. Until the male animals reach their slaughter weight, naturally occurring odorous substances can accumulate in their fat tissue. These substances are then detected by sensitive people who mainly find them unpleasant. According to the legal situation within the EU, meat with a strong odour is generally regarded as inedible.


“For ethical and economic reasons, all parts of the carcass should be used to their full potential for human consumption,” says lead author Dr Johanna Mörlein from the Meat Science Group at Göttingen University. Therefore, scientists from Göttingen, Trenthorst and Bernburg investigated various strategies for meat processing in order to identify ways to preserve boar meat for human consumption while ensuring a reliable product quality. They produced Frankfurters using meat of different odour levels and combining it with varying amounts of spices and smoke. In two independent study-rounds, consumers then tasted and evaluated the sausages.  


The scientists found that it was possible to process up to 30 percent of strongly odorous boar meat into tasty sausages. „Blending raw materials of varying characteristics is a customary practice in numerous sectors of the food industry,” concludes Johanna Mörlein. “Why not also for pig meat? Studies which directly include consumers help us to find out which processing strategy results in sufficiently similar product quality.”  


Original Publication: Mörlein et al. Sustainable use of tainted boar meat: Blending is a strategy for processed products. Meat Science (2019).



Dr Johanna Mörlein

University of Göttingen

Faculty of Agricultural Sciences

Department of Product Quality of Animal Produce

Albrecht Thaer Weg 3, 37075 Göttingen

Telephone +49 (0)551 39-26085