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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Chestnut wood extract in boar diet reduces intestinal skatole production, a boar taint compound

Bilić-Šobot, Diana; Zamaratskaia, Galia; Krøyer Rasmussen, Martin; Candek-Potokar, M.; Skrlep, M.; Povše, M. Prevolnik; Skorjanc, Dejan


Abandoning traditional practice of piglet castration will impact the pigmeat sector. As a consequence, there is a need for research aiming at reducing boar taint caused by androstenone and skatole. Skatole is metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYP450) in the liver. Skatole hepatic clearance is believed to be hindered by androstenone. Diet ingredients may modify skatole metabolism. Therefore, we tested the effect of hydrolysable tannins. We fed 51 young boars with 1-3 % chestnut wood extract as supplementary diet. After slaughter, the tissues were collected to assess androstenone and skatole accumulation in fat and to measure CYP450 activities, gene, and protein expression in the liver and intestine. Protein expression of two enzymes involved in androstenone metabolism, 3-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3 beta-HSD) and sulfotransferase family 2A member 1 (SULT2A1), was assessed, and feces collected to evaluate skatole production. Results show that intestinal skatole production in boars supplemented with 3 % of chestnut wood extract was more than halved. The intestinal catalytic activities of CYP450 were tenfold lower than hepatic and were mainly unaffected by tannins. Findings indicate a potential effect of tannins on steroidogenesis, which in the absence of effect on 3 beta-HSD and SULT2A1 expression suggests lower synthesis of androstenone due to tannins.


Skatole; Androstenone; Cytochrome P450; Tannins

Published in

Agronomy for Sustainable Development
2016, Volume: 36, number: 4, article number: 62

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    Animal and Dairy Science
    Agricultural Science

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