Whole Grains

  • A special ad hoc committee of experts from AACCI created an understandable definition of whole grain to benefit both processors and consumers. The following definition was approved and accepted by the Board of Directors in 1999:

"Whole grains shall consist of the intact, ground, cracked or flaked caryopsis, whose principal anatomical components—the starchy endosperm, germ, and bran—are present in the same relative proportions as they exist in the intact caryopsis.”

  • In February 2008 the AACC International Board approved the following statement on sprouted grains:

“Malted or sprouted grains containing all of the original bran, germ, and endosperm shall be considered whole grains as long as sprout growth does not exceed kernel length and nutrient values have not diminished. These grains should be labeled as malted or sprouted whole grain.”

  • In late April 2013 the AACCI Board of Directors approved the Whole Grain Working Group’s characterization of a whole grain product:

“A whole grain food must contain 8 grams or more of whole grain per 30 grams of product.”

    AACCI’s recommendation will aid consumers in choosing which food products to eat to meet the federal government’s dietary guidelines. Additionally, 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.

    AACC International’s responses to issues related to defining whole grains: 

    AACCI's Whole Grain Working Group Unveils New Whole Grain Products
    May 2013 Press Release

    AACCI Submits Erratum to April 2006 Comments to FDA Regarding Whole Grains Label Statements: Availability
    June 2011 Letter

    AACCI Submits Comments to FDA on Food Labeling; Revision of Reference Values and Mandatory Nutrients
    April 2008 Letter

    AACCI Sends Recommendations to National School Lunch Program Regarding Whole and Enriched Grains,
    May 2007 Letter

    AACCI Submits Comments to Health Canada on Position Paper on Five US Health Claims Considered for Use in Canada
    February 2007 Letter

    AACCI Responds to USDA/FNS, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Food Package Rule
    October 2006 Letter

    AACCI Submits comments to FDA Regarding Whole Grains Label Statements: Availability
    April 2006 Letter

    AACCI Members Agree on Definition of Whole Grain
    June 2000 Flyer

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