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New production specifications released for Prosciutto di Parma PDO

By Canadian Pizza   

News In the Kitchen Ingredients Trends PDO prosciutto di parma

Pamra, Italy – The European Commission recently approved and officially updated the production specifications for Prosciutto di Parma PDO.

The specifications were approved earlier this year by the European Commission and came into effect on Sept. 4.

The new specifications have been formally published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Unchanged since they were first drafted 30 years ago, the revisions better reflect the enhanced production methods and quality standards of today’s Prosciutto di Parma.

The new specifications cover four different goals for the Consorzio: to further raise standards of quality, reinforce Prosciutto di Parma’s distinct character, strengthen brand promises to consumers and address environmental concerns. They include changes to farming, breed inclusion, feed standards, salt use, the aging period and an openness to new innovations that will support efficient and sustainable production.

“It is the unique environment in our region that gives Prosciutto di Parma its unparalleled flavour and consistency,” says Alessandro Utini, president of the Consorzio. “With these changes, we make official the ongoing improvements that ensure our customers around the world will continue to enjoy the taste they love for generations to come.”

Official revisions include:

  • Additional regions of origin: The regions of origin of the pigs have increased from 10 to 11, with the addition of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
  • Weight of fresh legs: The minimum weight of the fresh legs has changed to 11.8 kg from 10 kg., to a maximum of 18 kg.
  • Feed quality and origin: The list of the foods admitted during breeding has been revised significantly, with a focus on the quality and origin of the foodstuffs; some imported foods have been replaced with products from the production area in compliance with EU prescriptions regarding PDO products.
  • Reduced salt: The salt content upper limit has been reduced to 6% from 6.2%, part of a decade long endeavour that has already reduced salt content by 10%, in harmony with the WHO recommendations.
  • Increased curing period: The minimum curing period has been increased from 12 to 14 months.
  • Packaging improvements: The date of minimum durability of the pre-sliced packets has been extended after positive results in studies.
  • Genetics: The list of permitted genetic types has been reformulated and an explanatory table has been added regarding the possible combinations of reproductive crosses.

In 2022 approximately eight million Prosciutto di Parma were branded (with 33 per cent exported), with a production turnover of $1.2 billion and a sales turnover of $2.4 billion.

The Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma was established in 1963 by 23 producers producing 53,000 branded hams who wanted to protect and promote their product throughout the world. Since then, the Consorzio has grown into a family of 134 Prosciutto di Parma producers supplying 9 million hams annually to markets all over the world.

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