Technological projects portfolio


Artificial nose to detect molecules responsible for boar taint

Investment: €626k

Scope: Agriculture and Environment

Scientific field(s): Physics – Chemistry and Optics

Institution(s): ENS Paris-Saclay - CNRS

Development: Transfer to industrial partner in progress / complete

#ArtificialNose #AnimalWelfare #BoarTaint


Live castration of piglets is currently required to breed male pigs, to avoid boar taint when cooking the meat, which makes it unfit for consumption. The new European directive on animal welfare aims to ban this practice soon, requiring the development of carcass sorting systems on slaughter lines, to eliminate those most likely to give off this smell. Current solutions are based on the human nose, a restrictive and highly onerous method with poor reproducibility.


The Boar Taint Sensor (BTSD) Project aims to develop a system for detecting the molecules responsible for boar taint (androstenone and skatole), that can be included in the slaughter lines and will automatically and quickly provide reliable and reproducible results. The accuracy of the system depends on selective and specific quantification of molecules by optical methods.


The BTSD Project will make it possible to develop a prototype for laboratory measurement that can be industrialised and deployed by an identified industrial partner. In the European Union, this concerns an annual production of 250 million pigs, in 1600 slaughterhouses.