6.5.2008   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 111/51


Publication of an amendment application pursuant to Article 6(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs

(2008/C 111/17)

This publication confers the right to object to the amendment application pursuant to Article 7 of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 (1). Statements of objections must reach the Commission within six months from the date of this publication.

AMENDMENT APPLICATION

COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 510/2006

Amendment application in accordance with Article 9

‘GORGONZOLA’

EC No: IT/PDO/117/0010/12.4.2002

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1.   Heading in the specification affected by the amendment

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Name of product

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Description

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Geographical area

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Proof of origin

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Method of production

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Link

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Labelling

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National requirements

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Other

2.   Type of amendment(s)

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Amendment to single document or summary sheet

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Amendment to specification of registered PDO or PGI for which neither the single document nor the summary sheet have been published

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Amendment to specification that requires no amendment to the published single document (Article 9(3) of Regulation (EC) No 510/2006)

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Temporary amendment to specification resulting from imposition of obligatory sanitary or phytosanitary measures by public authorities (Article 9(4) of Regulation (EC) No 510/2006)

3.   Amendment(s)

Description

The current specification gives the weight of an individual cheese as between 6 and 13 kg, but does not specify the organoleptic characteristics for the various sizes of finished product.

These organoleptic characteristics are now set out in detail, as follows, so that consumers can identify the product more easily:

large wheel weighing between 10 and 13 kg, with a mild or slightly tangy taste, minimum maturation period: 50 days,

medium wheel weighing between 9 and 12 kg, with a pronounced tangy taste, minimum maturation period: 80 days,

small wheel weighing between 6 and 8 kg, with a pronounced tangy taste, minimum maturation period: 60 days.

The dimensions of the side and the diameter of the individual cheeses are also adjusted, as follows, to reflect the actual product:

straight side with a minimum height of 13 cm,

diameter between 20 and 32 cm.

Finally, it was felt appropriate to state explicitly — by way of clear advice to the consumer — that the rind is not edible, and to refer to it as ‘pink’ rather than ‘reddish’ in colour, to describe more accurately the outward appearance of the product.

Geographical area

The province of Varese is now included, having been left out of the original registration despite the existence of the requisite historical documentation, its typical climate — which it has in common with the area in question — and the fact that the cheese produced there has the same characteristics as that for which recognition as Gorgonzola was applied for.

The list of provinces is therefore also updated. This update does not constitute an amendment as such, since the new administrative delimitation does not involve any change to the actual production area, as referred to in the regulation registering Gorgonzola as a PDO (Commission Regulation (EC) No 1107/96), but simply how it is referred to.

The names of the following provinces have therefore been inserted, but it should be noted that their territory already formed part of the production area under Regulation (EC) No 1107/96:

 

Biella, already covered as part of the province of Vercelli,

 

Lecco, Lodi and Monza, already covered as part of the province of Milan,

 

Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, already covered as part of the province of Novara.

Proof of origin

The product specification now includes a paragraph on origin which was not provided for previously for products like Gorgonzola that are recognised under Article 17 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92.

Method of production

The current specification does not indicate whether raw or pasteurised milk must be used and it was felt appropriate (also for control purposes) to specify that pasteurised whole cows' milk is to be used. Gorgonzola has in fact always been produced in this way.

After the reference to the pasteurisation of the milk, the specification now also mentions that it is inoculated with milk enzymes and a suspension of Penicillium spores and selected yeasts.

The use of milk enzymes as starter acidifiers creates the holes in the paste that are conducive to the growth of the Penicillium and thus of the classic greeny-blue marbling. This has been included in order to rule out creating the holes mechanically, by mixing the paste, which, while encouraging the growth of Penicillium, could also have introduced a risk of Listeria contamination.

Instead of the generic wording in the current specification referring to a maturation period of between two and three months, it was felt appropriate to link the length of the period to the type of product.

The maximum curdling temperature of the milk, currently set at 32 °C, has been increased to 36 °C to preserve the typical characteristics of the Gorgonzola. The maximum temperature for dry salting has consequently also been increased, from 20 °C to 24 °C.

In addition, the ambient maturation temperatures have been slightly reduced in this new text from the current 5-8 °C to 2-7 °C, in line with other requested changes that are geared to slowing down the bio-chemical reactions involved and preventing the cheese from becoming too pungent.

A new element is the mention of the relative humidity level (85-99 %), which did not appear in the specification on the basis of which the product was recognised but is very important nonetheless.

The paragraph in the current specification on affixing the PDO marks has been rewritten to explain more clearly that two separate marks are affixed — one at the point of production and a second with the goffered aluminium foil when the cheese is released for consumption — and to specify that the marks are not affixed until the inspection body has ascertained that the product has acquired the organoleptic and qualitative characteristics laid down in the specification.

Labelling

Again to enable consumers to make a more informed choice, there is now the option of specifying on the label whether the cheese is mild or tangy.

SUMMARY

COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) NO 510/2006

‘GORGONZOLA’

EC No: IT/PDO/117/0010/12.4.2002

PDO ( X ) PGI ( )

This summary sets out the main elements of the product specification for information purposes.

1.   Responsible department in the Member State:

Name:

Ministero delle Politiche agricole alimentari e forestali — Dipartimento delle Politiche di sviluppo — Direzione generale per la Qualità dei prodotti agroalimentari

Address:

Via XX Settembre, 20

I-00187 Roma

Tel.

(39) 06 481 99 68

Fax

(39) 06 420 31 26

E-mail:

qpa3@politicheagricole.gov.it

2.   Group:

Name:

Consorzio per la tutela del formaggio Gorgonzola

Address:

Via A. Costa, 5/c

I-28100 Novara

Tel.

(39) 0321 62 66 13

Fax

(39) 0321 39 09 36

E-mail:

consorzio.gorgonzola@gorgonzola.it

Composition:

Producers/processors ( X ) Other ( )

3.   Type of product:

Class 1.3 — Cheeses

4.   Specification:

(Summary of requirements under Article 4(2) of Regulation (EC) No 510/2006)

4.1.   Name: ‘Gorgonzola’

4.2.   Description: Gorgonzola is a soft, fat, raw paste cheese made exclusively from whole cows' milk.

The finished product has the following characteristics:

Shape: cylindrical, with flat ends and a high, straight side.

Dimensions: minimum height of the side 13 cm; diameter of between 20 and 32 cm.

Weight:

large wheel, mild type: 10-13 kg with a mild or slightly tangy taste,

medium wheel, tangy type: 9-12 kg with a pronounced tangy taste,

small wheel, tangy type: 6-8 kg with a pronounced tangy taste.

Rind: grey and/or pink in colour, non-edible.

Paste: homogeneous, white or pale yellow, with mould (marbling) producing characteristic blue-green veins.

Fat content over dry matter: 48 % minimum.

4.3.   Geographical area: The area in which the cheese is produced and matured includes the whole of the following provinces:

Bergamo, Biella, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Cuneo, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Monza, Novara, Pavia, Varese, Verbano Cusio-Ossola and Vercelli.

Alessandria: solely the municipalities of Casale Monferrato, Villanova Monferrato, Balzola, Morano Po, Coniolo, Pontestura, Serralunga di Crea, Cereseto, Treville, Ozzano Monferrato, San Giorgio Monferrato, Sala Monferrato, Cellamonte, Rosignano Monferrato, Terruggia, Ottiglio, Frassinello Monferrato, Olivola, Vignale, Camagna, Conzano, Occimiano, Mirabello Monferrato, Giarole, Valenza, Pomaro Monferrato, Bozzole, Valmacca, Ticineto, Borgo San Martino and Frassineto Po.

4.4.   Proof of origin: Every stage in the production process must be monitored and a record made of the inputs and outputs at each stage. Product traceability is ensured by this, and by compiling specific registers managed by the inspection body of livestock farmers, dairies and maturers, by keeping production registers and by notification to the inspection body of the quantities produced. The raw material itself is carefully monitored by the responsible inspection body through all stages of production. All natural and legal persons whose names appear in the registers will be subject to control by the inspection body in accordance with the specification and the control plan.

The ‘Gorgonzola’ PDO is shown clearly by two marks to be affixed in the area of production and maturation in order to allow the inspection body to verify beforehand that the product has acquired the qualitative and organoleptic characteristics set out under point 4.2.

The two marks are affixed as follows:

one at the point of production, on each of the flat ends displaying the identification number of the dairy, as taken from the tables distributed by the protection body under delegation from the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policy,

the other, to be affixed once the product has acquired the requisite characteristics to be released for consumption, consists of goffered aluminium foil wrapped around the whole cheese, or around the half-cheese after it has been cut horizontally, such that the mark of origin with the identification number of the dairy remains clearly visible on the flat end of the cheese and bearing, on the other side, the goffered identifying mark as a guarantee of the authenticity and traceability of the product.

4.5.   Method of production:

Production: ‘Gorgonzola’ PDO is produced as follows:

whole cows' milk from the production area is pasteurised,

curdling: after pasteurisation, the whole cows' milk is inoculated with milk enzymes and with a suspension of Penicillium spores and selected yeasts; calf rennet is then added at a temperature of 28-36 °C,

the curd is then put into fasceruoli (perforated cylindrical containers) and the origin mark with the identification number of the dairy is placed on both flat ends,

the resulting wheel is dry salted over a period of several days at a temperature of 18-24 °C;

during maturation, the varieties and strains of Penicillium characteristic of ‘Gorgonzola’ develop, giving it its blue-green colour (marbling).

Maturation: minimum 50 days:

large wheel, mild type: 10-13 kg, with a mild or slightly tangy taste, minimum maturation period: 50 days,

medium wheel, tangy type: 9-12 kg, with a pronounced tangy taste, minimum maturation period: 80 days,

small wheel, tangy type: 6-8 kg, with a pronounced tangy taste, minimum maturation period: 60 days.

The maturation of all types is carried out at a temperature of between 2 and 7 °C and humidity of between 85 and 99 %.

During maturation, holes are made in the paste on several occasions to promote the development of the varieties and strains of Penicillium that are characteristic of ‘Gorgonzola’ (marbling).

At the end of the maturation period, the inspection body checks that the product has acquired the requisite characteristics to be released for consumption and the cheese is wrapped in goffered aluminium foil with the goffered identifying mark.

4.6.   Link: The natural factors are tied in with the production area's climatic conditions, which foster the abundance of quality fodder for dairy cows and the development of the microbiological agents that ensure the cheese's organoleptic characteristics and colouring.

As regards human factors, it should be pointed out that consumption for the product is widespread, thanks in particular to its use in traditional cereal-based preparations that are typical of the area of production.

4.7.   Inspection body:

Name:

CSQA — Certificazioni S.r.l.

Address:

Via S. Gaetano, 74

I-36016 Thiene (VI)

Tel.

(39) 0445 36 60 94

Fax

(39) 0445 38 26 72

E-mail:

csqa@csqa.it

The inspection body fulfils the conditions applicable under standard EN 45011.

4.8.   Labelling: Individual cheeses must bear the identifying marks issued by the protection body.

Large cheeses with characteristics that permit them to be described as mild and medium-sized and small cheeses with characteristics that permit them to be described as tangy may bear the terms ‘dolce’ and ‘piccante’ respectively on the label next to or below the designation ‘Gorgonzola’ in significantly smaller characters.


(1)  OJ L 93, 31.3.2006, p. 12.