Because of the many different parameters which contribute to the level of complexity of the product, and the extremely long ageing period, Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena can only be classed as a Protected Designation of Origin product when it has been approved by the panel of expert tasters and bottled by the MIPAAF-authorised bottling centre.
The seal on each bottle features a serial number preceded by the letter A for the 12-year-old P.D.O. product and a letter E for the “Extravecchio”product. Less obvious than this number is another one, printed immediately below: it is linked to the serial number by a secret algorithm known only to the certifying institute (the supervisory body appointed by MIPAAF). In case of checks, the exact correspondence between the two numbers confirms the authenticity of the bottle and rules out any doubt of it being an imitation.
As well as the serial number and the control number, the seal also specifies the quality level of the product (if “Extravecchio”), the content and full product name: it thus constitutes a guarantee that the product contained in the bottle has undergone all the required inspections established in the Production Specifications.