St. Paul Minnesota U.S.A. [May 21, 2013] — AACC International’s (AACCI) Board of Directors recently approved the Whole Grains Working Group’s characterization of whole grain products. The characterization asserts that a whole grain food product must contain 8 grams or more of whole grain per 30 grams of product.
Dr. Julie Miller Jones, AACCI Whole Grains Working Group Chair, who led the association’s efforts on whole grains product characterization said that, "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."
The recommendation has been highly anticipated by the cereal grain industry and will aid consumers in choosing which food products to eat to meet the federal government’s dietary guidelines. The guidelines state that Americans should make half their grains whole, which means that each day they should eat at least 3 servings of whole grains with 16 grams of whole grain or 6 servings of foods that have at least 8 grams of whole grain. 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. 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. The language does not impact statements about products that are allowed by the law, other ingredients that might be in a food product, or the naming of food products.
AACCI’s Whole Grains Working Group was formed to address science-based issues related to whole grains and whole grain products. This year, the group has focused its efforts on characterizing whole grain foods so consumers are more easily able to recognize and select whole grain foods that meet the requirements outlined by the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans," which are determined jointly by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The AACCI Whole Grains Working Group has been very active during its tenure and has international representation from trade organizations, professional associations, government, universities, and industry.