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Pgi Central Italy Lamb

It is a lamb born and raised in the geographical areas of Central Italy (in Abruzzo, among the hills and the mountains of Emilia Romagna, in Lazio, Marche, Tuscany and Umbria), obtained from a population of sheep historically present in that area and generically called “Apennine”, and from which the current local breeds are obtained, giving rise to a lamb from the meat of excellent quality.   The use of the name “Central Italy lamb” was granted in the Transitional National Protection by a decree of 7 July 2010 and subsequently, with its publication in the European Journal, entered the register of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) on 24 May 2013.   The livestocks pasture at least 8 months a year, also practising the transhumance, and the Central Italy lamb feeds exclusively on their mother’s milk and forage (fresh and/or dried), with small additions of grain, when necessary. This product is highly appreciated by traders and breeders since it is characterized by: – high meat production; – rapid weight gain.   Central Italy Lamb is sold in the market under two categories, which can be differentiated by the colour of the band wrapped around the shin: white indicates “light lamb”, weighing between 8 and 13 kg; the yellow band indicates “heavy lamb”, weighing 13 kg or more.   PGI Central Italy Lamb is characterized by a light pink colour and a very low intramuscular fat content. The meat colour is a critical determinant used by the consumer to determine meat tenderness and freshness. The colour depends on the muscle location, age and diet of the animal.   All the products made with PGI Central Italy Lamb meat are thoroughly traceable – from their origin up to the farming and butchery place – through their detailed labels, which also list their characteristics. Today, five years after the PGI Central Italy Lamb denomination was registered, there are 350 farms, 32 butchering centres and 2 quartering centres that in 2016 have certified more than 55,000 heads.   Central Italy castrated mutton   This category is a niche product and consists of a one-year-old lamb, weighing 20 kg or more (up to 30-35 kg). Its meat undergoes a 5-day maturation, is particularly dainty and has a variable intramuscular fat content. Its meat is identified with 2 brown bands.   Some studies have shown that the bromatological quality of this meat has very positive values, having very low intramuscular fat values (0.78 g/100 g/100 g q. t.), cholesterol values in line with official INRAN data, and an acidic spectrum of marbling fat of high quality for dietary purposes, mostly characterised by unsaturated fatty acids, with PUFA >12% and a ratio n6/n3 lower than 5 in most cases. PGI Central Italy Lamb meat is highly appreciated by consumers, both through the network of traditional butcheries and through restaurants, especially farmhouses. Moreover, the above-mentioned characteristics differ from other types of meat thanks to their genetic heritage, rusticity, productive aptitude of the animals, and to the animal’s diet made of wild grassland essences or cultivated pulses and grasses, whose composition is strongly influenced by the soil and climate of those areas. For more information please visit: http://www.agnellodelcentroitalia.it

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