Meat quality

Leader: Maria Font-i-Furnols, IRTA, Spain

Vice leader: Ivan Bahelka, Research Institute for Animal Production, Slovakia

Core group: Alex MasonMaja Prevolnik-Povše, Lucia Hagara-Pivarčiová, Gé Backus, Marijke Aluwé, Olena Doran, Meta Čandek-Potokar


Overall objectives


Innovation of grading and meat quality control systems:

  • Demand of a new grading system (“neo-grading”) that go further than lean meat content by including traits that are important for eating (e. g. IMF, boar taint detection) and processing quality (e.g. water holding capacity (WHC))
  • Boar taint detection at slaughter line has to be optimized and thresholds of sensory acceptance have to established across Europe

COST Action IPEMA encourages the exploration of new grading systems for carcasses in Europe that will include parameters for the sensory, nutritional and technological quality of meat in addition to the usual carcass composition. The new parameters would be IMF, tenderness, WHC, fatty acid composition and boar taint. This will be determined by new technologies, which would have to be quick, work on cut off levels, in on line conditions, are not expensive and preferably not invasive. A verifiable reference standard for boar taint is critical and will be established. Sorting criteria will be based on consumer acceptance levels of boar taint.



  • Addressing Boar Taint issue (the development of human nose and instrumentation methods)
  • Addressing tenderness and intramuscular fat tissues.
  • To understand requirements to fatty acid composition and requirements in different countries.


Specific Objectives for the second Grant Period (May 2017 - April 2018)

  • Evaluation of current research projects to identify important knowledge gaps in the field of grading and meat quality control systems including boar taint detection at the slaughter line for carcasses from entire male pigs and immunocastrates


See also the presentations given during the 2nd Annual meeting in Prague

Situation in the field of entire male production in Slovakia, by Ivan Bahelka, Research Institute for Animal Production, Nitra, Slovakia

Human nose scoring system for boar taint, by Gé Backus, Connecting Agri&Food, Netherlands

Boar detection: industrial requirements and current state (EU), by John-Erik Haugen, Nofima, Norway

Spectroscopic and Imaging Technologies to evaluate meat quality: Cost action FAIM, by Maria Font-I-Furnols, IRTA, Spain and Marjeta Čandek-Potokar, KIS, Slovenia