Moving Whole Grains Forward: The Case for a Whole Grain Collaborative
L. Marquart (1), J. Faubion (2), R. H. Liu (3), V. Smail (4), G. Fulcher (5), and M. Scheideman (6). (1) University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. (2) Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS. (3) Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. (4) Lallemand, Montréal, QC, Canada. (5) University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. (6) Wheat Foods Council, Parker, CO. Cereal Foods World 52(4):196-200.
Current scientific evidence, policy statements , and regulatory guidelines all support increasing whole grain intake in the United States to reduce the risk of chronic disease. In response, more than 650 new whole grain foods have been introduced to the marketplace over the past year. Yet there exists a gap between the recommended consumption of three servings of whole grains daily and the current consumer intake of just one serving per day. In an attempt to help bridge the whole grain consumption and knowledge gaps, the University of Minnesota held a Whole Grains & Health Global Summit in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May 2005. The Summit assessed current data on whole grains and health, reviewed knowledge and research gaps, identified barriers and motivators to consumption; and explored development technologies along with public policy, food labeling issues, and a long-term agenda for whole grains and health. The conference showed that a systematic and multidisciplinary approach throughout the grains supply chain is needed to address the numerous issues facing consumers and the grain industry. To date, there is no group or organization to lead this extensive research as an integrated and unified North American effort. What follows is a discussion about creating a whole grain collaborative to coordinate grains research in the United States and Canada. Such a collaborative would allow a core group of experts and stakeholders to prioritize, facilitate, and deliver innovative research to scientists and disseminate a pipeline of findings to health-related organizations and consumers. At present, no such program exists.