European Leader of Food Quality

Italy produces the most quality-seal food products in Europe, new data from national statistics bureau Istat showed Tuesday.

Excluding wines, as of December 31, 2012, Italy boasted 248 products sporting the EU’s coveted Denomination of Protected Origin (DOP), Protected Geographic Indication (IGP), or Guaranteed Traditional Specialty (STG) seals.

Under EU law, each product must abide by strict production regulations and geographical restrictions to be genuine and seal-worthy.

The DOP seal is the most stringent, and means the product’s ingredients and preparation are specific to a geographic region.

The IGP certification traces food specialties back to their geographical origin during at least one phase in production, but not to all phases like the DOP seal.

The STG seal is the only one not directly tied to a specific area. Its goal is to preserve and promote food products whose production follows traditional methods or recipes.

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