Although the term "whole grain" is well defined, there has been no universal standard of what constitutes a "whole-grain food," creating challenges for researchers, the food industry, regulatory authorities, and consumers around the world. As part of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Technical Advisory Committee issued a call to action to develop definitions for whole-grain foods that could be universally accepted and applied to dietary recommendations and planning. The Committee's call to action, and the lack of a global whole-grain food definition, was the impetus for theWhole Grain Roundtable held 3-5 December 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The objective was to develop a whole-grain food definition that is consistent with the quartet of needs of science, food product formulation, consumer behavior, and label education. The roundtable's expert panel represented a broad range of expertise from the United States and Europe, including epidemiology and dietary intervention researchers, consumer educators, government policy makers, and food and nutrition scientists from academia and the grain food industry. Taking into account the totality, quality, and consistency of available scientific evidence, the expert panel recommended that 8 g of whole grain/30 g serving (27 g/100 g), without a fiber requirement, be considered a minimum content of whole grains that is nutritionally meaningful and that a food providing at least 8 g of whole grains/30-g serving be defined as a whole-grain food. Having an established whole-grain food definition will encourage manufacturers to produce foods with meaningful amounts of whole grain, allow consistent product labeling and messaging, and empower consumers to readily identify whole-grain foods and achieve whole-grain dietary recommendations.
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© 2014 American Society for Nutrition.