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Region: Puglia / Basilicata
EU recognition: 2017
The production area of Lentil of Altamura PGI includes the Municipalities of Altamura, Ruvo di Puglia, Corato, Poggiorsini, Gravina in Puglia, Cassano delle Murge, Santeramo in Colle in the province of Bari and the municipalities of Andria, Minervino Murge, Spinazzola in the province of Barletta-Andria-Trani, in the Puglia region; the municipalities of Montemilone, Palazzo San Gervasio, Genzano di Lucania, Banzi, Forenza, Tolve in the province of Potenza and the municipalities of Irsina, Tricarico, Matera in the province of Matera, in the Basilicata region.
Appearance and flavor
The Lentil of Altamura PGI has a round and flat shape and is distinguished not only by the size, between 3 and 4.9 mm for Eston and between 5 and 7 mm for Laird, also for the color it can assume different shades of green and brown, also depending on the ripening stage in which it is harvested. Its taste is sweeter than other national lentils, the taste also distinguishes herbaceous and aromatic hints.
IGP Altamura Lentil
Production specification - Lentil of Altamura PGI
The Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) "Lentil of Altamura" is reserved for dried lentil belonging to the Laird and Eston varieties belonging to the species: Lens esculenta Moench (Synonyms: Ervum lens. L., Lens culinaris Medic.) Meeting the conditions and requirements established in this production specification.
Upon release for consumption, the "Lentil of Altamura" must present the following characteristics:
Shape: round and flattened;
Size: caliber between 3 and 4.9 mm for Eston and between 5 and 7 mm for Laird;
Color: different shades of green and brown;
Average weight per 100 seeds: from a minimum of 2.8 g to a maximum of 3.6 g for Eston and from a minimum of 5.7 to a maximum of 6.5 g for Laird;
Moisture of dried lentils at the time of marketing: ≤ 13%;
Protein content: 23%;
Iron: 6 mg / 100gr of product;
The dry grain must not have any alterations in color and external appearance, such as to compromise its characteristics, with a maximum overall tolerance of 1.5% of: product split, stained, stained or altered in terms of coloring. A maximum percentage of 1.5 of dry product out of size is also allowed.
When placing the product on the market, this must be fit for human consumption.
The production area of the "Lentil of Altamura PGI" includes the administrative territory of the following Municipalities: Altamura, Ruvo di Puglia, Corato, Minervino Murge, Andria, Spinazzola, Poggiorsini; Gravina in Puglia, Cassano delle Murge, Santeramo in Colle, Montemilone, Palazzo San Gervasio, Genzano di Lucania, Irsina, Tricarico, Matera, Banzi, Forenza, Tolve.
Proof of origin
Each phase of the production process is monitored and documented in a clear and unequivocal way. In this way, as well as by means of the registration in specific lists, managed by the control structure, of the cadastral parcels on which the cultivation takes place, of the de-conditioner producers and of the packers, as well as by promptly reporting the quantity produced to the control structure, product traceability. All individuals, legal or natural persons, registered in the relevant lists, will be subject to control by the control structure, in accordance with the provisions of current legislation as well as the production specification and related control plan.
The cultivation of Lentil of Altamura cannot follow crop rotation to other bright ones.
The sowing of the "Lentil of Altamura" takes place from November to March. The most suitable choice for the sowing date varies according to the environment and the cultivation method adopted.
The seed of the Eston, Laird varieties must have the characteristics of the seed as required by current legislation. Company reuse is provided on condition that the product respects the qualitative characteristics required by current legislation.
The use of plant protection devices permitted by current legislation is permitted.
The use of plant protection devices permitted by current legislation is permitted.
The maximum production obtainable is 2.5 t / Ha of grain.
After collection on the product, at least the following processes must be carried out:
a) pest control; b) cleaning to separate light and heavy foreign bodies, small and large; c) stone removal which allows to eliminate any stones still present; d) optical reading that allows to obtain uniformity of the color of the lentils as well as to eliminate foreign bodies according to the color and shape; e) elimination of metals accidentally present; f) storage in Big Bags lined internally with plastic food material or in silos in order to protect the product from attacks by parasites.
Post-production disinfestation must be carried out within 24 hours of collection within the area delimited by the specification, to control weevil attacks.
Link with the geographical area
The "Lentil of Altamura" has a strong reputation on the national territory and in recent years it has grown very important on a commercial level. The production area is included in the Murgia Barese and Materana and in the neighboring Pre-Murgian pit in an altimetric range between 300 meters and 600 meters above sea level. and falls partly within the Alta Murgia National Park.
If from the historical point of view the cultivation of the Lentil of Altamura boasts great experience and knowledge of the plant, of the soil and of the climate suitable for this crop, it should be emphasized that the ability of the farmers expresses continuity in the generational change that has occurred in recent years happening in an increasingly important way and that sees two, or sometimes even three different generations in the field working together.
The real link between this product and the geographical area of production is given not only by human factors and its reputation, but also by the particular climatic, pedological and geomorphological characteristics.
In general, the Murge are distinguished in Murge of SE and Murge of NW because of the non-differences of climatic and geomorphological order. In particular, as regards the climatic expectations, the Murge di NW, as well as the adjacent Pre-Murgian Pit, are affected by the influx of damp currents from the Apennines.
The aforementioned territory, interested in the production of Altamura Lentil, is characterized by a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot and dry summers. Precipitation fluctuates around 604 mm / year, with minimum rainfall occurring in July while the maximum months of November and December. As regards the thermometry of the geographical area concerned, the trends of the monthly average temperature values show that the minimum temperatures, which can drop below zero, occur in the month of January while the maximum temperatures can reach 40 ° C in the months of July and August. The average annual temperature is 15 ° C.
The soils, mostly deep and medium-textured, have a granulometric-tendentially clayey composition, with abundant skeleton endowed with organic substance and nitrogen with a lot of limestone, with a pH between 7.6 and 8.
These specific features of the soil and the climate of the production area of the Lentil of Altamura contribute to giving the product distinctive characteristics in terms of high protein content and dynamic iron content.
As is well known, in general, the amount of protein present in the grain is highly variable and depends on the amount of nitrogen that the plant finds available and is able to absorb. The quantity of nitrogen depends on the presence of symbiotic nitrogen fixators, belonging to the Rhizobium genus, which can infect the roots of the legumes with the formation of root nodules which are the seat of the nitrogen-fixation process. Lazoto-fixation does not occur below 9 ° C as well as a pH below 5.6 or above 8.0 creates a difficult context for the functionality of the bacteria. The land circumscribed in the geographical area involved in the production of Lentils of Altamura has a variable pH between 7.6 and 8 while the average temperature in the area is 15 ° C. These conditions favor the spread of bacterial infection in the roots, the development of the root nodule and the symbiont structure as well as nitrogen-fixation following the beginning of the symbiotic relationship and guarantee the Altamura Lentil a high protein content. Over the centuries, this has allowed local populations to replace meat and at the same time to provide an adequate protein intake in their diet. Moreover, the Mediterranean diet, now a world heritage site, is characterized by its protein intake of vegetable and non-animal origin.
The calcareous soils such as those of the Murgia Barese and Materana and of the Pre-Murgian Pit are rich in iron whose solubility in the soil is linked to some factors among which the one that most influences is the pH. In high pH soils with values between 8 and 10, limestone tends to bind with iron in compounds that are insoluble and unavailable to plants. The soils of the area interested in the production of Lentil of Altamura have pH values between 7.6 and 8 and this allows the plants of Lentil of Altamura to have availability of water soluble iron, therefore, the amount of this important microelement in the Lentil of Altamura is higher. compared to the same varieties grown outside the production area. Iron promotes the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells: ensuring proper oxygenation of the body cells, thus ensuring the vitality and harmonious growth of the whole organism. It stimulates the functions of the liver, spleen, intestine and bone marrow. Iron is also essential for eurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, guarantees resistance to diseases, is useful against lostress and is indispensable for keeping the immune system efficient.
Even in the culinary field, not only in the production area, but at the national level, the use of Altamura Lentil is renowned. It is easy to find it in the large-scale distribution organized throughout the country and there are many websites and television programs that speak of Lentil of Altamura as a basic ingredient for rich dishes not only related to traditional New Year consumption.
The conformity of the product to the specification is carried out by a control structure in accordance with what is established by articles 36 and 37 of EU Reg. No. 1151/2012. This structure is: CSQA Certificazionisrl - P.Iva 02603680246 - Via San Gaetano 74 - 36016 Thiene (VI). Telephone 0445.313011, fax 0445.313070. web: http://www.csqa.it; PEC: [email protected]; email: [email protected]
Packaging and Labeling
The "Lentil of Altamura" is presented in dry grain must be released for consumption in the maximum capacity of 10 kg for food use, compliant with current legislation, in order to guarantee the unalterability of the healthiness and organoleptic characteristics of the product.
Exclusively for wholesale commercial transactions, the product ready to be packaged can be packed in big bags with a maximum capacity of 30 quintals or in bags with a maximum capacity of 25 kg suitable for food use.
The packaging must bear on the label in clear and legible print characters, in addition to the European graphic symbol of the PGI and the information corresponding to the legal requirements and the following further indications: the name, the company name, the address of the manufacturer or packaging company. The use of private brands is allowed, provided that these do not mislead the consumer and are permitted by current legislation.
The packaging must also bear the logo as described below.
The logo of the Lentil of Altamura PGI denomination is made up of 19 stylized lentils with variable sizes, proportionate and arranged according to the size and location of the municipalities that fall within the production area. This logo overlooks the wording "Lentil of Altamura PGI" arranged on three lines and proportioned so as to highlight the word Altamura found in the line.
Logo of the Lentil of Altamura PGI