Whole Grain Synergy Brings Success: AACC International Partners with the Whole Grains Council
C. Harriman. The Whole Grains Council, Boston, MA. Cereal Foods World 53(2):97-98.
In 2008 the Whole Grain Stamp will appear on more than three quarters of a billion food packages, helping consumers quickly and easily find whole grain products. And, thanks in part to AACC Internationalís Whole Grains Task Force, some of those millions and millions of packages will contain sprouted grains. The Whole Grain Stamp, a creation of the Whole Grains Council (WGC) and its parent organization Oldways, was introduced in January 2005, one week after the 2005 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)ís Dietary Guidelines for Americans first recommended that all Americans make at least half their grains whole. The stamp first appeared on products falling under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)ís realm in February 2005, but it wasnít until August 2006 that it was approved by the USDAís Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) for use on whole grain foods containing meat and poultry, such as a pepperoni pizza or a chicken pot pie with whole grain crust. The stamp now appears on more than 1,600 products, with more than 180 food companies. As popular as the Whole Grain Stamp is, it hit a small snag in early December 2007 when it came out that sprouted grains were not covered under the definition. Sprouted grain products are generally created by soaking grain kernels until germination occurs and a small sprout just barely extrudes from the kernel. When this happened, the WGC partnered with AACC Intl.ís Whole Grain Task Force to study the issue and provide clarification and guidance to FSIS. The subcommittee reviewed both U.S. and UK nutrient values for sprouted and unsprouted wheat and found that the nutrients were comparable, before and after sprouting. AACC Intl. then created a definition of sprouted grains, otherwise known as malted grains. The WGC reported AACC Intl.ís determination to USDA/FSIS officials, along with supporting data, and FSIS was able to revise its earlier ruling.