Quality Laws for Iberico Ham | The New Law 2014

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The year 2014 began with a very important change for the Iberico ham product sector and consumers. The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment passed a new Law that regulates everything related to Iberico ham. From the selection of the pigs, the type of breeding, feeding, slaughtering and processing of the Iberico ham.

The new law aims to make all production processes as transparent as possible by following more stringent measures of traceability. This will make easier identification on the origin of the final product and thus establish the product's degree of quality.

These measures were made necessary by the increase in misleading and false advertising and labelling. This is reported by butchers who do respect and follow the rules by offering total transparency during the production process.

The new law is intended to strengthen the image and prestige of the Spanish Iberico ham products around the world.

But, what factors in the new law are used to determine the different degrees of quality? First of all, taking into consideration the pig's racial purity: it can only be called Iberico ham if it comes from a 100% Iberico pig or comes from a 100% Iberico female crossed with a 100% Duroc male, in which case you must specify the percentage of each part of the genetic mix (50 %, 75% or 100 %).

In regards to the sources of origin granted to the different producers there has been no change. They remain four in number and make reference to the geographical area where the pigs are bred and the hams are processed: Valle de los Pedroches, Huelva, Dehesa de Extremadura and Guijuelo.

The other factor being considered is the type of nutrition the pig receives during the fattening period, and it is of vital importance due to the fact that former denominations have changed from "pure Iberico" or "de cebo". Once the pig reaches the 25 kg during its fattening period, the quality of the meat is determined based on the pig's nutrition, especially in terms of infiltrated fat.

The new law gives three fattening options:

The Iberico ham de cebo comes from pigs who during the fattening period were fed exclusively with grains and legumes.
Iberico ham de cebo de campo comes from a pig fattened on a combined regimen of feed and natural pastures.

Finally, and still the highest quality comes from the Iberico ham de bellota, referring to a type of fattening exclusively on acorns and other resources found in the meadow, therefore a free range diet.

Therefore, the degree of quality of the Iberico ham depends solely on these two factors: the degree of genetic purity and the type of feeding the pig received during the fattening period. Due to this, the new law introduces a new end labeling system that should specify in a clearly visible way the percentage of Iberico genetics and the type of feeding, as mentioned above.

These labels are integrated with a few tags that should be placed at the time of slaughter with other measures of traceability placed upon breeders. There are four colors that indicate the various degrees of quality of the Iberico ham:

White: Iberico ham de cebo (fed with grain) comes from a pig with at least 50% Iberian genetic.

Green: Iberico ham de cebo de campo (fed with grain and grass) comes from a pig with at least 50% Iberian race.

Red: Iberico ham de bellota (exclusively pasture fed) with at least a 50%Iberian genetic.

Black: Acorn-fed ham 100% Iberian (exclusively fed on pastures) and 100% Iberian race.


  1. Types of Iberico Ham
  2. How to Consume Iberico Ham
  3. How to Cut Iberico Ham | Carve Iberico Ham
  4. How to Preserve and Store Iberico Ham
  5. Pairing of Iberico Ham
  6. Quality Laws for Iberico Ham | The New Law 2014
  7. The Dehesa | The Meadow
  8. DOP Protected Source of Origin of Iberico Ham
  9. Nutritional Properties of Acorn-fed Iberico Ham
  10. Recipes with Spanish Ham
  11. Differences Between Iberico Ham and Serrano Ham
  12. Differences Between Shoulder and Iberico ham
  13. Differences Between Iberico Ham and Iberico Shoulder
  14. Iberico Ham and its Competitors Around the World
  15. Nutritional Properties of Iberico Ham
  16. Protected Denominations of Origin of Iberico Ham
  17. Production Areas of Spanish Ham and Iberico Ham
  18. Spanish Ham – Machine cut or Hand cut
  19. Museums of Iberico Ham Worldwide
  20. Inside Secrets of Iberico Ham Tasting
  21. Tourist Trails for Iberico Ham Aficionados
  22. Acorn-fed Iberico ham and the ideal pairing
  23. The Production Process of Iberico Sausages
  24. History of Iberico Sausages
  25. VAT and Spanish Ham: Frequently Asked Questions
  26. Spanish Ham in Great Spanish Literature
  27. Curiosities of Iberico ham
  28. How to Store Your Serrano Ham
  29. Regulations and the Quality of Serrano Ham
  30. Preparation of Serrano Ham
  31. Denomination of Origin of Serrano Ham
  32. Nutritional Properties of Serrano Ham
  33. Recipes With Serrano Ham
  34. Types of Serrano Ham
  35. Pairing of Serrano Ham
  36. How to Consume Serrano Ham
  37. How to Cut Serrano Ham | Carve Serrano Ham
  38. All the Secrets of Pata Negra Ham Tasting
  39. Choosing a Good Ham Holder
  40. Pata Negra Ham and Pasture
  41. The secrets of pairing pata negra ham
  42. What is the best para negra ham?
  43. Is the term pata negra correct?
  44. How can you know which ham to buy?
  45. Why is good ham so expensive?
  46. How to buy ham from online stores
  47. Myths and Truths, Benefits and Prejudices of Ham
  48. Is Iberian ham fattening?
  49. What to do with the ham bone?
  50. Why do we usually hang ham?
  51. Ham and Pregnancy: Can Iberian ham be included in pregnant women’s diets?
  52. The Role of Ham in a Child’s Growth and Develeopment
  53. Tips for Preserving Ham
  54. What is ham shaping and why is it done?
  55. New Technologies and Ham – MRI in Ham Tasting – Spectral Images
  56. The Iberian Pig Begins to Migrate
  57. Cured Sausages: Origin, Composition and Classification
  58. Production of Hams and Pork Shoulder Hams
  59. Iberian Ham Tasting Guide
  60. Quality: Differential Elements Between Ham and Iberico Cured Meats

Ham carving manual

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