Italy has stretched its lead over France for EU quality-food protection labels.
As of December 2014 Italy had 269 food products that have won one of the three prestigious traditional-food laurels: Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (TSG).
Of these, 103 were fruit, vegetable or cereals; 49 cheeses; 43 extra-virgin olive oil; and 38 meat specialities.
Of the Italian regions, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto shared top spot with 77 products each.
The PGI designation has become increasingly well known internationally as representing quality food products with a confirmed Italian pedigree.
The more stringent Protected Denomination of Origin is also known around the world as a certification of the authentic origins and production methods, specific to a region.
These protect some of Italy's most iconic products such as olive oil and the balsamic vinegar of the Emilia Romagna region.
Italian authorities are continually battling the sale of the counterfeits of the nation's traditional food products.
Italy has long been a leader in food designations France comes in a distant second at 200 such products, followed by Spain with 170.
Italy has kept up its lead over the years with a fund of scrumptious entries.
PDO identifies a product whose characteristics are exclusively dependant on a geographical origin and whose productive phases all take place in the specified area.
PGI defines a product whose characteristics can be connected with its geographical origin and that has at least one productive phase located in the specified area.
TSG distinguishes a product whose raw materials, composition or recipe, production method or transformation, are of a traditional type.
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