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FDA defines term “Whole Grain” for Food Manufacturers

February 17th, 2006

FDA defines term “Whole Grain” for Food Manufacturers

Wheat Berries

The Food and Drug Administration has helped to further define the term “whole grain” for food manufacturers.  This better definition of whole grain will improve the decisions that people make when purchasing ready made food from manufacturers.

What is “whole grain”?  FDA stated the following in a news release: “to include cereal grains that consist of the intact, ground, cracked or flaked fruit of the grains whose principal components -- the starchy endosperm, germ and bran -- are present in the same relative proportions as they exist in the intact grain. Such grains may include barley, buckwheat, bulgur, corn, millet, rice, rye, oats, sorghum, wheat and wild rice.”


Sometimes food manufacturers could add a mix that wasn’t in true proportion to whole grain.  Sometimes found in whole-wheat bread for instance.  They would not be able to call it whole-grain bread.  They are asking that if a manufacturer of pizza wants to promote a whole-wheat crust that it contains whole-grain flour.  It does not consider legumes, like soybeans, oil seeds like, sunflower seeds, and roots like arrowroot to be a whole grain product.

The new 2005 FDA’s Dietary Guidelines recommends that at least half of the grain that Americans eat should be whole grains (about 3 ounces).  It would be equivalent of 1 slice of whole-grain bread, 1 cup of breakfast cereal, or ½ cup of whole grain rice or pasta.  The FDA said that the new packaging will list the grains in the food as “whole” in the list ingredients.  It is also allowed for manufacturers to state that they have a certain amount of whole grains in their food, such as how many grams or ounces.


Why eat the whole grain?  Grains have an outer coating called and endosperm, germ, and bran.  White rice has the outer coating polished away, losing vital nutrients.  White flour is achieved by rolling the grains and separating the outer coating from the inside which is an off-white color.  By separating out the outer shell of the grain you lose nutrients. These nutrients are unsaturated fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins and minerals. Bran, found in the outer coating of wheat, is high in fiber and B vitamins.  These nutrients are beneficial to prevention of many diseases.


Recently, the FDA made food manufacturers list on their package the amount of Trans Fats on their packaging.  This has been beneficial for improving the quality of food that we eat.  Many food manufacturers changed the type of fat that they use in their food and now contain zero Trans Fats.  You will notice on many food packages promoting this health benefit.  It can be helpful when the FDA sets criteria for food labeling as it can become an advertising medium for healthy food choices.  It helps to improve the quality of food that we eat.  And by improving the ingredients in food, we can be healthier all around.

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Books on Dieting

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:48 PM