Italian PDO and PGI deli meats are outstanding Italian agriculture and food products, appreciated all over the world. If taste, the link with the territory and the certified quality are inherent and recognised characteristics of protected deli meats, it is important to stress how much the Italian deli meat sector has been committed for many years to a process of improvement of the nutritional aspects that involve the whole production chain – from breeding to production technologies – in keeping with traditional recipes and processes.

Attention to issues of Nutrition and Health responds to the growing quest – by consumers – for quality and local specialities, together with the demand for products that fit in well with varied, healthy and balanced eating. Deli meats, and more specifically PDO and PGI productions, have unique qualities that fit in well with these trends.

By combining taste, tradition, versatility, contribution of nutrients and conviviality, they are a food suited and transversal to the whole population and to differing – and constantly changing – life styles and opportunities for consumption. The decided improvement in the nutritional characteristics of Italian deli meats – as can be seen from the recent analyses carried out by INRAN (National Institute of Food and Nutrition Research, now merged with CREA-NUT, Food and Nutrition Research Centre) and by SSICA (Experimental Station for Food Preserve companies) – reveal a ‘renewed’ food category, increasingly in line with the nutritional demands of modern consumers and with the dietary recommendations made by the scientific community.