Quality Sheep’s Milk

Pecorino Romano P.D.O., Pecorino Sardo P.D.O., and Fiore Sardo P.D.O. are cheeses made with 100% whole sheep’s milk, whose characteristics are different from those of cow’s milk. Although both types of milk are similar in terms of lactose percentage, the ovine’s milk contains notably higher quality and quantity of fats and proteins. This milk, thanks to the pasture-raised animals, contains vitamin A which gives it a higher viscosity due to its higher dry matter content, and the milk’s color ends up being a porcelain white. Cheeses made with Sarda sheep’s milk are cheeses rich in proteins and have a high calorific power. Sarda sheep’s milk is used in the dairy industry mainly for the production of highly popular, fine cheeses. The great transformations of the dairy industry in the last decades, along with the introduction of innovative techniques implemented for the maintenance of health and hygienic conditions of the farms, have led to an improvement in the quality of life for both farmers and animals. Consequently, somatic cell and bacterial counts in the milk have significantly diminished, while increasing the amounts of “healthy”, polyunsaturated fats. Thanks to a constant monitoring of milk production and the positive effects of the Sarda breed’s genetic improvements that have developed through the years, the animals continue to exhibit excellent qualitative and quantitative results in production. Technical assistance and constant collection of data by the zootechnical inspectors of the Associazione Regionale Allevatori (ARA) [Regional Breeders’ Association] of Sardinia have enabled breeding to progress and have, over time, better animals, allowing the spread of the race in all the regions of Italy where pastoralism is observed. All these elements explain why Sardinia confidently asserts itself as the leading region for sheep farming, so much so that 68% of Italy’s sheep’s milk production comes from the island.