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PDO and PGI: what is the difference?

PDO and PGI are two certifications synonymous of high quality typical enogastronomical products. But do you know what is the difference between PDO and PGI?

DOP e IGP differenza tra i due marchi


In the field of enogastronomy, but not only, it often happens that these two marks are overlapped, exchanged or considered almost as synonyms. Although the common denominator is the geographical element, there are actually some differences between them.


Let’s first see what the two acronyms stand for:

PDO stands for Protected Designation of Origin: it indicates the quality of food products are exclusively due to the peculiarity of the territory where they are made.

• PGI stands for Protected Geographical Indication: it means the characteristics of the product depend on its geographical origin.

As subtle as the difference in definition may seem, in reality the two acronyms claim a precise connotation.

All the phases of production, processing and elaboration of a PDO product must take place within a specific geographical area. In the PGI, instead, only one of them must take place within a specific territory.

As a result, PDOs are subject to stricter regulations, the rules of which are enforced by a control authority of the European Union, which is also the body that issues both trademarks.


pdo and pgi difference


Sometimes there are products that can be both PGI and PDO.

This is the case, for example, of Balsamic Vinegar. According to the disciplinary, Balsamic vinegar PGI must be produced in the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia with local grapes. In case of PDO, vines must be cultivated in the province of Modena and registered in the Protected Designation of Origin. In this case the only ingredient present must be must.

In PGI it is possible to add caramel, whereas in case of aging it must be aged for 3 years (PGI) instead of 12 (PDO).


In a very brief summary, the geographical connotation is even more stringent in PDO products. It is worth noting that since 2010 also the Italian DOC and DOCG marks (for wines) have been included in this acronym.

In conclusion, PDO and PGI designations are two marks whose goal is to protect the quality standards of agri-food products, safeguard production methods and provide consumers with clear information about their characteristics. They are a guarantee about the quality and value of products.

DOP e IGP differenza tra i due marchi

At Radici Italiane you will find many products with these two brands, which is your favorite?