Grain Industry Debates Terms in Dietary Guidelines

Recommendations have been sent to government.

Published on: Jul 21, 2010

The U.S grain industry believes that new federal government dietary guidelines should use the term "enriched" when referencing grains that are not defined as whole grains rather than "refined" and should maintain the long-cited recommendation to consumers to make half your grains whole. The grain groups tell government officials in a letter that continued use of the term "refined" is inaccurate and confusing to both consumers and nutrition professionals and has an inappropriate negative connotation to the media and consumers.

The industry recommended using the term "enriched" since 95% of all refined/milled grains are enriched with niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, iron and folic acid, and terminology including "enriched" would be more in line with FDA labeling standards. The groups also asked for a reconsideration of the dietary recommendation to limit "refined carbohydrates," which incorrectly implies that most enriched grain products have excessive sugar or fat. The grain groups said the recommendation could be likened to telling consumers to consume fewer almonds merely because they are a popular ingredient in chocolate bars.

Updated dietary guidelines are set to be issued later this year by USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services.