Health-conscious consumers will have even more confidence in the benefits of whole grain products, thanks to new guidelines for flour millers and an improved method to authenticate “whole grain” flours.
Increasing your wholegrain consumption is one of the most effective dietary changes you can make to improve your health. Whole grains deliver essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements. They are rich in a range of dietary fibres and are a source of protective phytonutrients – all in an energy-rich package low in saturated fat. Eating three serves of whole grain foods each day is linked to a 20-30% reduction in risk of total mortality, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and some cancers – comparable to that observed for 5-6 serves of fruit and vegetables.
Whole grain wheat flour contains all the parts of the wheat grain in similar proportion to the original grain, however there is no globally-accepted method to authenticate the correct ratios of each part in consumer products.
Now, the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) is at the centre of efforts to standardise whole grain guidelines for flour mills and offer a method for authenticating whole grain flour.
Authentication will help ensure a level playing field and increase consumer confidence in whole grain products.
AEGIC’s Dr Hayfa Salman said AEGIC was collaborating closely with several Australian milling companies to develop the method.
“Most commercial flour mills are designed to extract the middle of the wheat grain (endosperm) to make traditional white flour,” she said.
“To make whole grain flour, the germ and the bran are mixed back into the white flour.
“We are providing a method to authenticate that these components have been blended back in the correct proportions.”
Dr Salman said there was enthusiastic support for this project across the Australian milling industry.
“Flour millers are very keen to implement AEGIC’s recommended guidelines for the production of whole grain flour to support their ability to communicate the benefits of whole grain products and to increase consumer confidence.
“This will help drive consumption of healthy Australian whole grain products and increase value in Australian markets.”
AEGIC is an initiative of the Western Australian State Government and Australia’s Grains Research and Development Corporation.
Source for whole grain health information and diagram: Grains & Legumes Nutritional Council