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Article | March 31, 2006
FDA defines "whole grain"
Eat at least three 1-oz servings of whole grain products daily, consumers are told.
To help them identify these products by reading food labels the Food and Drug Administration issued guidance on what it considers “whole grain” for labeling purposes. Whole grains should include the bran endosperm and germ of the cereal grain and they should be 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. Common products that will qualify as whole grain include popcorn oatmeal shredded wheat and brown rice.
The definition is a recommendation and is only enforceable where specific FDA regulations exist. It is unclear how the definition will affect labeling of products already on the market. The Whole Grains Council which issues whole grain stamps now used on many products was pleased with FDA’s action as was the Grocery Manufacturers of America and the Food Products Association. Even the Center for Science in the Public Interest a frequent FDA critic approved.
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