Reaction to boar odour by different South African consumer groups

H.L. De Kock*, S.M. Van Heerden, P.H. Heinze, G.B. Dijksterhuis, A. Minnaar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


A consumer sensory study of South African pork consumers (n=300) including equal numbers of males and females and consumers from three ethnic groupings (black, white and coloured consumers) was conducted to determine the effects of gender and ethnicity on consumer reactions towards boar odour compounds. Samples consisted of boar fat with varying concentrations of skatole and androstenone. Each consumer evaluated the odour of seven fat samples. Consumers' liking of pork meat in general had a significant effect on the hedonic rating of the boar odour. The majority of consumers represented in this study would be dissatisfied with pork meat exhibiting detectable levels of skatole. In general, more females compared with males, will also respond more negatively towards samples with detectable levels of androstenone. An apparent liking for samples with medium levels of androstenone (0.5-1 μg/g) was found for some consumers, especially males, and can be partly attributed to the inability of some consumers to smell this compound at these levels or a genuine liking for the odour of androstenone. Significant differences in the sensitivity of consumers from different ethnic groups were found with white females responding more negatively than white males and blacks. Although it was not possible to compare responses directly with the white and black groups, it was found that a higher percentage of coloureds responded negatively to boar odour compounds. Coloured males responded particularly negatively towards samples with detectable skatole, while black males, in general, were found to be more critical than black females. Based on these results it is predicted that the majority of consumers would be less willing to consume pork meat exhibiting detectable levels of boar odour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-362
Number of pages10
JournalMeat Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Androstenone
  • Boar odour
  • Consumer reaction
  • Skatole
  • South Africa

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