Defining whole grain and whole grain products
At the European level there is no legally endorsed definition of whole grain and whole grain products .
European Union agricultural legislation defines whole grain as “grain from which only the part of the end has been removed, irrespective of characteristics produced at each stage of milling” .
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in a health claim opinion, which is related to whole grain provides the definition of the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC), which states that “whole grain consists of the intact, ground, cracked or flaked caryopsis, whose principal anatomical components (endosperm, germ, bran) are present in the same relative proportions as they exist in the intact caryopsis” .
The definition of HEALTHGRAIN is that “whole grain shall consist of the intact, ground, cracked or flaked kernel after the removal of inedible parts such as the hull and husk. The principal anatomical components, the starchy endosperm, germ and bran are present in the same relative proportions as they exist in the intact kernel. Small losses of components that is less than 2% of the grain, 10% of the bran that occur through processing methods consistent with safety and quality are allowed“.
1. The European Commission's science and knowledge service official website.
2. EU Regulation No 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 922/72, (EEC) No 234/79, (EC) No 1037/2001 and (EC) No 1234/2007.
3. AACC International (2000) American Association of Cereal Chemists, Whole grains definition.
4. HEALTHGRAIN (2014), Food Nutr Res (2014), 58: 22100.