Prosciutto di Parma PDO has a new product specification

The changes introduced by the protection Consortium include longer curing, less salt, and heavier pork legs
Prosciutto di Parma PDO has a new product specification

Four years after the start of the process to renew the Prosciutto di Parma PDO product specification, the Protection Consortium has announced that the European Commission has approved the proposed changes.

The goals of the new specification are fourfold:

  • To further raise the product’s quality standards;
  • To consolidate its identity and distinctiveness from competitors;
  • To strengthen its guarantees to the customer;
  • To meet the challenges of the ecological transition.

The direction followed by the change process involved distinctive aspects. From the characteristics of the raw material to the genetics and feeding of pigs, to the reduction of the amount of salt and the extension of the minimum maturation period. Without forgetting the significant openness to new technologies and innovations that make production more efficient and sustainable.

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Protecting the good of the land, the stability of the industry, and customers’ trust have always fueled our commitment to producing a unique and recognizable product that combines the tradition it represents with the current challenges related to sustainability and the implementation of the European Green Deal,” says the Consortium President Alessandro Utini.


Here are some of the changes introduced in the product specification:

  • The minimum maturation of Prosciutto di Parma PDO has been 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 has been reduced, with the limit going from 6.2 percent to 6 percent. This is an important decrease, also in light of the prolonged maturation period, which guarantees health requirements with the usual production process. Over the past 7 years, the salt content had already been reduced by more than 10% without altering the characteristics of Prosciutto di Parma PDO, but rather often improving its quality;
  • Positive results of scientific tests carried out on the shelf life of pre-sliced ham finally made it possible to extend the minimum shelf life of the pre-packaged product.

Changes also affect the raw material:

  • The list of allowed genetic types has been reformulated to further emphasize the use of Italian heavy pigs;
  • The list of feedstuffs to be fed on the farm was significantly revised. Particular attention was given to the origin of raw materials since for a PDO product such as Prosciutto di Parma PDO the link with the territory is an essential condition. Some foods from abroad were therefore replaced with those from the production area to support the importance of adhering to European requirements;
  • The pig breeding area for the production of Prosciutto di Parma PDO has been extended to the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region too.

Click here to discover the Prosciutto di Parma PDO protection Consortium’s member companies


Approximately eight million Prosciutto di Parma PDO’s legs were branded in 2022, with a production value of 800 million euros equal to 1.6 billion 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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