Prosciutto di Parma DOP has a new specification

Prosciutto di Parma DOP has a new specification

Four years after the start of the process to renew the specifications of Parma Ham DOPthe Protection Consortium has announced that the European Commission has approved the proposed changes.

He goals of the new specification are quadruple:

  • To further raise product quality standards;
  • To consolidate your identity and differentiation from competitors;
  • Strengthen your guarantees to the client;
  • To face the challenges of the ecological transition.

The direction followed by the change process It implied distinctive aspects. Of the characteristics of the raw material toward genetics and feeding of pigs, to the reduction of the amount of salt and the extension of the minimum ripening period. Without forgetting the important openness to new technologies and innovations that make production more efficient and sustainable.

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Protecting the good of the earth, the stability of the industry and the trust of customers have always driven our commitment to produce a unique and recognizable product that combines the tradition that it represents with the current challenges related to sustainability and the implementation of the European Green Pact,” he says President of the consortium Alessandro Utini.


These are some of the changes introduced in the product specifications:

  • The minimum maturation of PDO Parma Ham it is increased from 12 to 14 months, while the minimum weight of the product is increased from 7 to 8.2 kg, and the maximum weight to 12.5 kg;
  • The maximum amount of salt. it has been reduced, passing the limit from 6.2 percent to 6 percent. This is a significant decrease, also in light of the long maturation period, which guarantees the sanitary requirements with the usual production process. In the last 7 years, the salt content had already been reduced by more than 10% without altering the characteristics of Prosciutto di Parma DOP, but often improving its quality;
  • The positive results of the scientific tests carried out in the pre-sliced ​​ham shelf life finally made it possible extend minimum shelf life of the prepackaged product.

The changes also affect the raw material:

  • The list of allowed genetic types has been reformulated to further emphasize the use of Italian heavy hogs;
  • The list of foods to be fed on the farm was significantly revised. Particular attention was paid to the origin of the raw materials since for a DOP product like Prosciutto di Parma DOP the link with the territory is an essential condition. Therefore, some foods from abroad were replaced by those from the production area to support the importance of meeting European requirements;
  • The pig breeding area for the production of Prosciutto di Parma DOP has also been extended to the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region.

Click here to discover the member companies of the Prosciutto di Parma DOP Protection Consortium


approximately eight million PDO Parma Ham legs were marked in 2022, with a production value of 800 million euros equivalent to 1,600 million euros for consumption value. Processing employs about 3,000 people in the province of Parma, while the entire supply chain, including farms and slaughterhouses, employs about 50,000 people.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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