Product Specification

The Product Specification of Ricotta di Bufala Campana Denominazione d’Origine Protetta is the prescription governing the production of Ricotta di Bufala Campana PDO. More precisely, in the regulated area, this specification is the rule of law that defines the production and commercial requirements of our PDO.

Product specification

“Ricotta di Bufala Campana”
Protected Designation of Origin

Ricotta di Bufala Campana PDO is a fresh dairy product, therefore without maturation, obtained by heat coagulation of whey proteins of buffalo milk, raw material derived from the production of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, which gives it particular structural characteristics of creaminess and softness.

Art. 1
The protected designation of origin «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» is reserved exclusively for that milk product, which meets the conditions and requirements laid down in this product specification.

Art. 2
Product description and characteristics
The PDO «Ricotta di bufala Campana», is a dairy product obtained by heat coagulation of proteins, characterized by a high content in water.
When released for consumption, the PDO «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» has the following characteristics:
Physical characteristics:
shape: pyramid trunk or conical trunk weight: up to 2,000 grams;
Color: porcelain white;
external appearance: no crust;
consistency: soft, grainy, but not sandy.
Chemical characteristics:
fat on dry matter: minimum 20%;
fat: not less than 4% stq;
humidity: not more than 80%;
lactic acid: not exceeding 0,4;
Sodium content: not exceeding 0,4:
Organoleptic characteristics:
taste: characteristic, fresh and delicately sweet;
smell: fragrant milk and cream.

Art. 3
Production area
The production area of the PDO «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» includes the following administrative territory:

Province of Benevento: the entire territory of the municipalities of Limatola, Dugenta, Amorosi.
Province of Caserta: the whole territory.
Province of Naples: the entire territory of the municipalities of Acerra, Arzano, Cardito, Frattamaggiore, Frattaminore, Giugliano in Campania, Mugnano di Napoli, Pozzuoli, Qualiano;
Province of Salerno: the entire territory.

Province of Frosinone: the entire territory of the municipalities of Amaseno, Giuliano di Roma, Villa S. Stefano, Castro dei Volsci, Pofi, Ceccano, Frosinone, Ferentino, Morolo, Alatri, Castrocielo, Ceprano, Roccasecca.
Province of Latina: the entire territory of the municipalities of Cisterna di Latina, Fondi, Lenola, Latina, Maenza, Minturno, Monte S. Biagio, Pontinia, Priverno, Prossedi, Roccagorga, Roccasecca dei Volsci, Sabaudia, S. Felice Circeo, Sermoneta, Sezze, Sonnino, Sperlonga, China, Aprilia, S. Cosma and Damiano.
Province of Rome: the entire territory of the municipalities of Anzio, Ardea, Neptune, Pomezia, Rome, Monterotondo.

Province of Foggia: the entire territory of the municipalities of Manfredonia, Lesina, Poggio Imperiale and part of the territory of the municipalities that follow
with the corresponding delimitation:
Cerignola – The area borders to the east with Lake Salpi, to the south with the state n. 544, to the north and west with the Municipality of Manfredonia;
Foggia – The area embraces the perimeter of the new ring road, to the east in the direction of the Municipality of Manfredonia, to the west in the direction of the Municipality of Lucera, to the north and south it borders with the remaining part of the Municipality of Foggia;
Lucera – The area concerned borders to the west with the Municipality of Foggia, to the south with the state road n. 546 and with part of the river San Lorenzo, to the north by the provincial road n. 16 until you reach the town of Torremaggiore and to the east by the provincial road n. 17 that leads from Lucera to Foggia;
Torremaggiore – The area concerned borders to the south with the Municipality of Lucera, to the east with the Municipality of San Severo, to the west with the provincial road n. 17 towards Lucera and to the north it borders the Municipality of Apricena;
Apricena – The affected area runs along the Radicosa stream to the south, to the east the Pederganica road and the Municipality of Sannicandro Garganico, to the west with the Municipality of Lesina and to the north with the Municipality of Poggio Imperiale;
Sannicandro Garganico – The area concerned borders to the south with the Garganica state road, to the north with the Municipality of Lesina, to the west with the Municipality of Apricena, to the east with the Municipality of Cagnano Varano;
Cagnano Varano – The area concerned borders to the south with the Garganica state road, to the east with Lake Varano, to the west with the Municipality of Sannicandro Garganico and to the north with the sea;
San Giovanni Rotondo – The area is bordered to the south by the state road n. 89, to the east by the municipality of Manfredonia, to the west by the municipality of San Marco in Lamis and to the north by the provincial road n. 58;
San Marco in Lamis – The area is bordered to the north by the municipality of Foggia, to the east by the municipality of San Giovanni Rotondo, to the west by the municipality of Rignano Garganico and to the north by the remaining part of the municipality of San Marco in Lamis.

Province of Isernia: the entire territory of the Municipality of Venafro.

Art. 4
Proof of Origin
Each phase of the production process is monitored by documenting the inputs and outputs for each. In this way, and through the inclusion in special lists managed by the control structure of farmers, producers-packers, and through the timely declaration to the control structure of the quantities produced, product traceability is guaranteed. All natural or legal persons included in the lists shall be subject to control by the inspection body in accordance with the specification and the control plan.

Art. 5
Method of production

  • Feeding of buffaloes
    More than half of lactating buffalo rationing is based on feeding fodder from the PDO area. Forages can be conveniently supplemented with feed that balances the intake of different nutrients in the diet. The feed to be administered to buffaloes whose milk and whey is also intended for the production of «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» PDO should be suitable and qualitatively safe in order not to compromise animal health and not to transfer substances, unpleasant milk odours or tastes. Silage from maize and fodder not listed in the list of prohibited foods is permitted. The silage mass, hermetically closed, should be covered with a suitable cloth avoiding black sheets outside and transparent covers. Silage fodder should be fed no earlier than 40 days after the silo is closed. The Ph of the silage mass should be around 4.3 or lower for grasses and around 4.5 for legumes.
  • Alimony allowed
    Fresh, sweetened, dried, dehydrated and silage fodder may be administered provided that it is not expressly mentioned in the paragraph «Prohibited foods». The same applies to farm or industrial feed and to supplementary fodder products and industrial by-products.
  • Prohibited foods
    The use of: fodder heated by fermentation shall be prohibited in the feeding of milk buffaloes. The use of the following shall be prohibited
    essences of vegetable origin:
    a) rapeseed, rape, mustard, fenugreek, fruit and non-fruit plant leaves, wild garlic, coriander;
    b) fennel, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips and other cruciferous;
    c) marc, stalks and pips;
    d) beet leaves and collars, borlande;
    e) tomato husks and seeds, residues from the canning industry;
    f) olive pomace;
    g) citrus paste (fresh and silage);
    h) seeds of vetch (including shavings), fenugreek, rape, rape;
    i) by-products of the processing of rice: husk, husk, pulette, farinaccio, gemma and grana verde;
    j) extraction of flour, oil cake and expeller of: peanuts, rapeseed, rape, tomato seeds, babassu, neuk, coconut, tobacco, sesame, poppy, palmisto, olives, almonds and walnuts;
    k) branched amino acids, peptides, protein lysates, isoacids;
    l) Oils of oil seeds.
  • Raw Materials
    The raw material for the production of «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» PDO is the «first whey» (or «sweet whey») from the processing of buffalo milk, obtained from the manual and/or mechanical milking of Italian Mediterranean buffaloes reared in the production area indicated in Article 3. The «first serum» (or «sweet serum») must be obtained from the purge mechanism due to the breaking of the curd intended for the production of buffalo mozzarella. The milk used for the production of buffalo mozzarella from Campania may have undergone hydrolysis of lactose, as can the lactose contained in the «first whey» obtained from milk with non-hydrolysed lactose. The maximum titratable acidity of the whey used for the production of «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» PDO is 5 SH/50 ml, therefore the whey with higher acidity resulting from the completion of the maturation of the curd can not be used for the production of «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» PDO.
    If the immediate transformation of the whey is not possible, it must be subjected to stabilization treatments (pasteurization, thermization and/or refrigeration) with techniques and times such as to avoid in any case its acidification beyond the defined maximum value.
    In any case, the whey is transformed into PDO «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» within 24 hours of separation from the curd.
    It is allowed the addition of raw buffalo milk, thermized or pasteurized, from the area referred to in art. 3 to a maximum of 6% of the mass of the «first serum» (or «sweet serum»).
    The addition of fresh buffalo milk whey cream from the area referred to in art. 3 to a maximum of 5% of the mass of the first serum. This procedure is used to increase the consistency of the ricotta and also facilitate the extraction or extraction.
    Salt (nacl) may be added up to 1 kg per 100 kg of «first whey» (or «sweet whey») or a mixture of whey with milk and/or fresh cream. The addition of salt directly to the whey not only gives the product more flavor, but also affects the denaturation and aggregation of proteins and therefore the consistency of the product. It is also allowed the direct addition of salt to the ricotta already extracted and drained before the second smoothing and/ or thermal stabilization treatment, to such an extent as to comply with the maximum nacl content provided for in art. 2 of this specification.
  • Processing
    The «first serum» (or «sweet serum») is sent immediately, or after stabilization and storage treatment less than 24 hours, to the special boilers where the production of the PDO «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» takes place. Heating can take place either by direct steam injection or by indirect heat exchange. The possible addition of buffalo milk and/or fresh cream can take place both before the start of heating and also after heating.
    After reaching an average temperature of 82 μι C, the addition of variable «cyst» aliquots is permitted to promote the coagulation process of proteins (natural whey derived from previous processing of buffalo mozzarella from farms in the production area referred to in Article 3), lactic acid or citric acid in order to change the acidity of the medium and thus facilitate the obtaining of cottage cheese.
    The heating phase is completed until a temperature of not more than 96 ºC is reached. The heat determines the denaturation of the proteins and their aggregation, then the formation of a soft and fine clot that begins to emerge immediately to the surface thanks to the presence of fat. This phase is completed in a few minutes.
    The separation of the ricotta is carried out either manually using a perforated ladle and gently depositing the wet clot directly into the plastic material characteristics for food use or into the cloths, either mechanically with the use of special extractors that also allow a quick separation of the sheet, immediately followed by hot filling of the packages. The ricotta placed instead in the fiscelle or in the cloth completes then the separation of the sheet to assume its final consistency. The drained ricotta is partially cooled. Packaging must take place within 24 hours of production, either before or after the cooling procedure. If the ricotta is not immediately packaged, the cooling continues until it reaches the temperature of + 4 ºC in the cold room; if the ricotta is packaged, Cooling continues until the temperature of + 4 ºC is reached in the cold room or in the water and/or ice bath or by using other functional cooling systems to accelerate the cooling speed. The maximum shelf life ( shelf-life ) of «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» obtained with the only thermal treatment of coagulation of the proteins of the raw material and that wants to use the definition «fresh» cannot be more than seven days, from the date of production.
    In order to obtain a ricotta with a higher shelf-life (maximum thirty days from the date of production), before proceeding to the packaging phase, a heat treatment of the ricotta already drained from the sheet is also allowed, possibly preceded by a smoothing or homogenisation operation in order to give it a creamier appearance. The product thus obtained is defined as «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» In this case the packaging of still hot ricotta is allowed, also with the help of operating machines, in plastic containers immediately closed by heat sealing. The packaged ricotta is then quickly cooled down to a temperature of +4 ºC in a cold room or in a water and/or ice bath or by using other functional cooling systems to accelerate the cooling speed.
    The production of milk, whey and fresh cream that contribute to the production of «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» and the production and packaging operations must take place in the territory referred to in Article 3 in order to ensure traceability and control and not to alter the quality of the product.

Art. 6
Link with the environment
The history of the relationship of the «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» with the territory of origin is in fact the history of the relationship with the territory of the milk with which the Mozzarella di Bufala Campana was produced, from which whey originates the «Ricotta di Bufala Campana». The relationship between «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» and «Mozzarella di Bufala Campana» is therefore very close, as the literature of the past testifies.
The tradition of the production of «Ricotta di Bufala Campana» tells of a very close link with the production of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana and then with the arrival of the buffalo in central-southern Italy that dates back to at least 1300. Between the X and XI centuries, the phenomenon of swamping developed in the areas between Mondragone and Volturno (Guadagno G., L’ager Falernus in Roman times, in AA. VV., Storia Economia ed Architettura nell’ager Falernus Proceedings of the Falciano del Massico study days February-March 1986 page 37 edited by G. Guadagno, Minturno 1987) and the buffalo found a suitable habitat and the buffalo milk replaced the vaccine in the preparation of that laudatissimum caseum of Campo Cedicio, a cheese already mentioned by Pliny the Elder (Pliny, Naturalis Historia, XI 241). In the thirteenth century the spread of the buffalo is documented in Capitanata (Fiorentino, Montecorvino, Foggia and Lucera), in Salernitano, Sicily and Pontine plagues (Cantù M. C., l. c., p. 42;
Faraglia M., History of prices in Naples from 1131 to 1860, (Naples 1878), p. 73; AA. VV., Benedictine Settlements in Puglia Catalogue of the Exhibition curated by M. S. Calò Mariani, II/l,( Galatina 1981), p.75. Carucci C., Salerinitan Diplomatic Code of the 14th century (Salerno 1950) I pp. 72; 436; II 449; 462; 481; 483) as well as in other areas of Italy. One of the first citations of Ricotta, associated with Mozzarella and other dairy products is made in a cookbook published in 1570 by Bartolomeo Scappi, chef of the Papal Court where specialties from all over Italy and Europe were received which cites “…head of milk, fresh butiro, ricotta flower, fresh mozzarella and milk snow…” (Scappi B., Opera, (Venice 1570), c. 275r. ). Archive documents dating back to the seventeenth century confirming what is reported by Scappi show that alongside the typical products of the buffalo dairy on the market capuano influx provole and smoked mozzarella and ricotta cheese and buffalo salted and smoked (Library of the Museum Campano of Capua, «Historical Archives of Capua», fasc. 159: Book of the Assizes of the city of Capua, passim. ).
More detailed and direct information about Ricotta di Bufala can be found starting from the mid 1800’s. In 1859 Achille Bruni, Professor of the Royal University of Naples, in his monograph «Milk and its derivatives» published in the New Agrarian Encyclopedia, described in summary how Ricotta di Bufala was then produced: «After milking the milk and pouring it into the vat, you put the kid’s rennet; and after having congealed with the wooden spatula is cut into large pieces. Then with a wooden dickuliera takes off the serum that is boiled to get the ricotta.». Santojanni in 1911 in his «Notes on the Buffalo Milk Dairy» further confirms the historical and technological link between the production of Mozzarella and Ricotta di Bufala also specifying that «the ricotta cheese that is obtained by heating only the whey is called fior di ricotta. After this, the serum is added a little acid serum, and you have other ricotta less delicious than the previous because it is lower in fat». The strong link with the territory and its changes resulting from the reclamation operations have influenced over the years the changing fortunes of buffalo farming and with them the production of milk and then mozzarella and ricotta Bufala, also because of the less attention that ricotta has always aroused especially at the level of statistical investigation being often incorporated generically in fresh products. Savini in his study on ricotta in 1950 also cites the «Ricotta di Bufala Campana»: «in the Roman and Caserta countryside, where there is a buffalo dairy, the residual serum is also used to prepare ricotta. Savini’s few words, however, document the lack of attention paid to a product of little commercial weight at the time, but nevertheless well present in the consumption of local populations.

Art. 7
The verification of the conformity of the product with the specification is carried out by a control structure in accordance with Articles 10 and 11 of Reg. (EC) No. 510/2006. This structure is the control body DQA Cerificazioni srl – Via Bosio, 4 – Rome – Tel 06 46974641 e mail

Art. 8
Labelling and packaging
«Ricotta di Bufala Campana» PDO must be pre-packed at the origin in the production plant. Paper, plastic containers or other materials suitable for contact with food can be used and depending on the materials, the packaging can be closed by wrapping or by heat sealing, possibly also vacuum. Where the product is transferred for use as an ingredient in processed products, packages of up to 40 kg are allowed.
The packaging must bear on the label in clear and legible print, the words «Ricotta di Bufala Campana PDO» in addition to the logo of the name, the Community graphic symbol and the information corresponding to the legal requirements the following additional
wording «fresh» as described in art. 5 of this specification. The words «fresh» should be written immediately below the name «Ricotta di Bufala Campana PDO» with characters equal to 50% of those used for the denomination «Ricotta di Bufala Campana PDO».
The logo is issued, after the verification of conformity of the production to this specification, by the Control Structure appointed by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies.
It is forbidden to add any other description not expressly provided for by this specification including adjectives: fine, chosen, extra, selected, superior, genuine or otherwise appreciative of the product, however, the use of indications referring to private trade marks may be permitted, provided that they have no laudatory meaning or are such as to mislead the consumer, as well as other truthful and documentable references that are permitted by current legislation and are not in conflict with the purposes and contents of this specification.
The words «Ricotta di Bufala Campana PDO» must be in Italian.
The logo of the name reproduces a circular tricolour ribbon from which the profile of the head of a buffalo emerges. The words Ricotta di Bufala Campana are in capital letters.
The ribbon consists of three color strips: green (91% cyan and 83% yellow), red (79% Magenta and 91% yellow) and white. The buffalo head is black. The wording ricotta di Bufala is red (79% Magenta and 91% yellow), completed by green Bell (91% cyan and 83% yellow).

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