The selection is realized by a panel of tasters, according to international and national procedures designed to express objective rather than subjective opinions, along with the nutritional label analysis.
All dairy manufacturers satisfying the following requirements were invited to participate in the project:
• cheese-making premises situated in the province of Turin
• milk, used in the cheese-making process, produced in the region of Piedmont, with priority given to manufacturers that use their own milk (farm with livestock and dairy)
• identification of the dairy product, by means of a label, at the moment of sale.
Each manufacturer proposed for the selection had the opportunity to participate with up to three cheeses.
The selection did not include nontraditional cheeses, comprising local special cheeses with various flavourings or treatments (marc, spices, brandy, beer, etc.) and pasta filata cheeses. Similarly, it did not encompass companies specializing solely in the ageing, ripening and marketing of dairy products.
Three stages of evaluation were featured in the selection:
1°- the criteria for participation in the selection were checked on paper
2°- the statements provided by the selected producers with their entry were verified at their premises, where hygiene and food safety standards were also checked, and historical, geographic and production data were gathered
3°- sensory evaluation in anonymous form, of the cheeses sampled by an ONAF “National Cheese Tasters’ Organization” tasting panel, according to the procedures defined by the organization itself, and laboratory tests to ascertain nutritional value.