The Italian pig industry is mainly focused on the production of high-quality Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products such as Parma and San Daniele dry-cured hams. These products are obtained from heavy pigs (about 170 Kg l.w. at slaughtering) with U-R-O classified carcasses.
Hams are cured and dried under a pre- defined temperature and humidity program for longer than 12 months.
No additives are used and the final quality of hams only depends on the quality of raw legs.
Italian Large White, Landrace and Duroc breeds are the reference breeds for the main Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) pig meat processed products.
Italian breeding goals include meat quality traits for seasoning, carcass traits, growth, as well as prolificacy and longevity in Italian Large White and Italian Landrace breeds.
Traits considered in selection are weight losses of hams during first salting (CALO), visible inter-muscular fat in hams (VIF), backfat thickness (BFT), weight of loins at slaughtering (LC), average daily gain (ADG), total number of piglets born alive at first farrowing (NBA), number of parities in each sow career.
Since 2022 two new traits have been taken in consideration: resistance to respiratory disease (RMR) and resistance to enteric disease (RME).servation program of the breed. The key issue is the development of methods that can truly authenticate mono-breed products.