A human nose scoring system for boar taint and its relationship with androstenone and skatole

Meat Sci. 2012 Aug;91(4):414-22. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2012.02.025. Epub 2012 Mar 3.


A system for sensory evaluation of boar taint was used to evaluate boar taint in fat samples from 6574 entire males. The term "human nose scoring" has been used to describe this system. The samples from each boar were heated with a hot iron and three panelists assigned scores of 0 to 4. The reproducibility of HNS ranged from 0.19 to 0.32 reflecting natural variation in the ability of human beings to detect different odors. The correlations of HNS with androstenone ranged from 0.22 to 0.52, while those with skatole ranged from 0.31 to 0.89, suggesting that skatole is a better predictor of boar taint. Considering (1) the relationship of HNS with the boar taint compounds, (2) the ability of HNS to capture variation not accounted for by the boar taint compounds, (3) low estimation costs and (4) low time requirements, HNS can be used in large scale evaluations of boar taint.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Androstenes / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat / analysis*
  • Nose*
  • Odorants / analysis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Skatole / analysis*
  • Smell*
  • Swine


  • Androstenes
  • Skatole