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Urinary signature of pig carcasses with boar taint by liquid chromagraphy-high resolution mass spectrometry

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Cristina C. Jacob et al., Food Additives & Contaminants : Part A, version pas encore finalisée, 29 pages

Boar taint is an offensive odor that can occur while cooking pork or pork products and is identified in some uncastrated male pigs that have reached puberty. It is widely held that boar taint is the result of the accumulation in back-fat of two malodorous compounds: androstenone and skatole. The purpose of the present study was to assess a mass spectrometry-based metabolomics strategy to investigate the metabolic profile of urine samples from pig carcasses presenting low (untainted) and high (tainted) levels of androstenone and skatole in back fat. Urine samples were analyzed by LC-ESI(+)-HRMS. Discrimination between tainted and untainted animals was observed by application of multivariate statistical analysis, which allowed to highlight candidate urinary biomarkers. These urinary metabolites were positively correlated to androstenone and skatole levels in back fat. Therefore, the present study suggested that the measurement of these urinary metabolites might provide information with regard to androstenone and skatole levels in live pigs.