To make an authentic San Daniele DOP you need a high quality raw material which, processed by the master prosciutto makers, turns into a food product with an unmistakable taste. Tradition, innovation and precision are the features that allowed the Consorteum of Prosciutto di San Daniele to create a certified identification system for the product throughout the production chain: the goal is to offer our customers a genuine food, expression of the DOP brand.
Before arriving on our tables Prosciutto di San Daniele must undergo a great number of checks and tests, as stated in the Product Specification.
The checks on the raw material
Prosciutto di San Daniele is made of 3 ingredients only: selected pork hind legs, sea salt and obviously the air of San Daniele del Friuli, which allows its perfect maturing. There are 3.626 breeding farms which form part of the production chain of San Daniele DOP: these are joined by 47 slaughterhouses, 550 employees and 31 production sites.
Quality is essential for the Consorteum of Prosciutto di San Daniele, this is why the pigs must come from selected breeding farms that undergo very strict checks. The pork hind legs come from 10 Italian northern and central regions among which we find Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Latium, Abruzzo, Marche and Umbria.
And staying on the subject of raw material, the selection of the pigs is extremely careful. The only breeds allowed by the Product Specification are Large White, Landrace and Italian Duroc, pure or cross-bred (according to what is stated in the Italian Herd Book).
The animal is checked because it has to comply with a specific weight : the pigs must weigh on average 160 kilograms when they are alive and a hind leg must weigh at least 12 kilograms, with a precise ratio between fat and lean mass.
From the selection of the raw material to the production site
To make a product with the DOP brand very specific rules must be followed. The companies that are members of the Consorteum of Prosciutto di San Daniele are all in the municipality of San Daniele del Friuli, to ensure the quality and further control the supply chain.
The pork hind legs arrive at the prosciutto factories bearing a tattoo where all the specific information about the origin of the raw material can be found (province code, breeding farm identification code, the pig’s month of birth and slaughterhouse identification code). The hind legs are then stamped with the date when the processing started in order to be able to calculate exactly the length of the ripening period.
The control process is carried on also during the ripening period: as an example, one of the tests undertaken during this step is called spiking. The spiking test consists in inserting in the hind leg a specific tool which allows to assess the product ageing conditions. If the hind leg complies with the parameters set by the Product Specification and if it has matured for the required period of at least 13 months, it is ready to be branded.
Guaranteed quality for the consumer
Also the consumer can find out personallly the origin of the product he or she is tasting. On every tray of pre-sliced Prosciutto di San Daniele there’s indeed a QR Code which refers to the website about the traceability of the supply chain.
All the consumer needs to do is frame the code or write it on the website to find out the origin of the product and of the raw material, the breeding farm and the production site.