Wednesday, July 24, 2013
This characterization expands upon the most recent classification outlined by
The Whole Grains Council of 8g per portion (undefined) – that enables
manufacturers to voluntarily use a ‘Basic Whole Grain Stamp’ on pack.
A stronger distinction
“The Whole Grains Working Group made the distinction of 8 grams of whole grains
per 30 grams of product to take into account food products that include refined
grains, which currently enjoy higher levels of consumer acceptance,” the AACCI
said. The Working Group previously disagreed with a 1999/2003 FDA rule that
stipulated 51% of the overall weight must be made up of whole grains to make a
claim on pack. It did however support the Whole Grains Council suggestion of 8g
per serving – but had reservations on how this would differ with varied pack
sizes on the same product.
The final characterization has been “highly anticipated” by the cereal grain
industry, the AACCI said. “A standard characterization of a whole grain food
also levels the playing field for everyone in the cereal grain industry and
allows for uniform messaging about whole grain food products,” it added. It
said, however, that the new characterization does not have any impact on legal
statements on products or the naming of food products.
Ease consumer confusion
In addition, chair of the Working Group Julie Miller Jones, said the
characterization should be beneficial to consumers. “Currently, consumers are
confused about what constitutes a whole grain food, and this characterization
provides clear guidance to those who seek to consume the recommended levels of
whole grain,” she said. In the US, there is currently very little regulation on
whole grain labelling – a factor that prompted the Whole Grains Council to set
up its voluntary Whole Grain Stamp program in 2005.