PhD position OT-11560

Diversity of feeding practices in organic pig production and consequences on the variability of the quality of pork and products (QuAliBio)

35590 Saint-Gilles

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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France. The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

  • You will be welcomed in the unit UMR PEGASE (Physiology, Environment and Genetics for the Animal and Livestock Systems), INRAE, Institut Agro-Agrocampus Ouest, situated in Brittany, close to Rennes.

Your mission will be to complete a thesis on the diversity of feeding practices in organic pig production and their consequences on the variability of the quality of pork and products. The increase in the consumption of organic products, including pork, demonstrates the need of consumers to diversify food products and their production methods. Feed, combined with other production factors, modulates the intrinsic (sensory, nutritional, technological...) and extrinsic or image (ethical, environmental impacts...) qualities of pork. The new European regulation on organic farming (2022) will reinforce the link to the territory via the localization of feed resources, leading to a diversification of feeding practices (nature, nutritional value and rate of incorporation of raw materials and fodder, adjustment to nutritional requirements). What are the consequences on the intrinsic and extrinsic qualities of meat? Which feeding practices allow to reinforce the synergies between quality dimensions? The objective is to provide scientific references for re-thinking the feeding in a global quality approach of organic or conventional animal productions aiming at agro-ecological practices.

  • You will be in charge of:
  1. Realizing, by an analysis of the literature based on a systemic map approach, a grid crossing the specifications of the organic production and the various dimensions of quality; identifying the diversity of feeding practices and their consequences on quality; building scenarios of feeding practices and choosing two contrasted scenarios to be tested.
  2. Setting up and monitoring of an experiment in an organic experimental farm (Porganic, INRAE). Evaluating the consequences of the two feeding scenarios on the intrinsic quality of pork: biochemical and physicochemical analyses of tissues, indicators of sensory, nutritional and technological quality of meat, combined with sensory analysis of pork undertaken by a trained panel. A few months’ stay at the University of Ghent (Belgium) will allow you to complete the analyses on the nutritional value of pork and offer the opportunity to discover a new scientific environment.
  3. Integrating the experimental results and analyzing the consequences of the scenarios on the various quality dimensions using the grid produced in the first phase; characterizing the synergies and antagonisms between these dimensions including other indicators related to the ethical and environmental dimensions assessed by other scientists of the UMR PEGASE. Writing of thesis manuscript, communicating and disseminating the results (scientific articles, conferences).

Starting date: 1st November or 1st December 2021 

Training and skills

Master's degree/Engineering degree


  • Recommended training: MsC level (master or agri/agro engineer), validated by end of 2021
  •  Knowledge required: Animal sciences, statistics, English. Knowledge in Food science would be also appreciated
  • Appreciated experience: project management (student or professional project); applications from young graduates as well as those with a first professional experience will be equally appreciated
  • Skills sought: team-work, autonomy; appeal for targeted research and experimentation, as well as in multidisciplinary and integrated (farm to fork) approaches.


INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from (depending on the type of contract and its duration):

- up to 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: trainingcareer advise;
social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

How to apply

For more information please contact : Benedicte Lebret ( or Lucile Montagne (

The detailed project is available on the website of the Doctoral School EGAAL :> PEGASE

Applications must be submitted only using this website.

Offer reference

  • Contract: PhD position
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Beginning: 01/11/2021
  • Remuneration: 1874 € gross salary/month
  • Reference: OT-11560
  • Dealine: 30/06/2021