Nador: breeding program that reduces boar taint

Topigs Norsvin has developed an innovative pig-breeding program that improves pork quality by reducing boar taint by over 50%. It helps pig farmers, slaughterhouses and retailers to anticipate consumer demands.

Both the market and society are demanding that castration of male pigs is banned and new government regulations are pending. This is a positive development from an animal welfare perspective, but might have possibly negative consequences for meat quality.

The reason pigs are castrated is to reduce boar taint. This is a smell, arising during the cooking of pork produced by a small proportion of non-castrated pigs, a smell that consumers perceive as unpleasant. Nador –Topigs Norsvin’s advanced genetic-improvement breeding program – has resulted in a substantial reduction in boar taint. This helps pig farmers, slaughterhouses and retailers to provide the high-quality meat customers expect.

The company has reduced boar taint in its lines by 50% over ten years. Today, depending on the circumstances, only 2 to 3% of the meat pigs score too high on human nose scores.

Offspring from boars of the Nador boar program have even lower boar taint scores. Topigs Norsvin uses a combination of technologies to reduce boar taint, allowing precise selection of males that give offspring with an even lower risk (40% lower compared to the rest of the population) of boar taint. The company combines genomics-based selection statistical models for calculation of ‘breeding values’, with odor panels and odor analyses in advanced laboratories.

A key aim of the Nador breeding programme, which has been in operation for almost ten years and is under continuous improvement, is to eliminate boar taint completely.

Topigs Norsvin heeft een innovatief varkensfokprogramma ontwikkeld dat leidt tot een betere kwaliteit varkensvlees door berengeur met meer dan 50% te verminderen. Het bedrijf helpt hiermee varkenshouders en detailhandel tegemoet komen aan wensen van de consument.

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