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Meal Pattern Minute: Identifying Whole Grain-Rich Method 6

May 19, 2023

When looking at products it may be difficult to determine if product meets the whole grain-rich criteria when purchasing formulated foods by manufacturers. Or perhaps you are using a standardized recipe that was given to you, but you want to know if it is whole grain-rich.  


In the Child and Adult Care Food Program, there are six different options to determine if a product is whole grain-rich. Tune in to the Meal Pattern Minute where Isabel Ramos-Lebron, MS, RDN, LD, covers the sixth method to identify whole grain-rich products, specifically for those manufactured foods and standardized recipes. 


Get more details on how to identify a whole grain-rich product by reviewing the USDA Memo Code: CACFP 09-2018, Grain Requirements in the Child and Adult Care Food Program: Questions and Answers: 

  • Proper documentation from a manufacturer or a standardized recipe demonstrates that whole grains are the primary grain ingredient by weight.
    • Documentation from a manufacturer or a standardized recipe is particularly helpful when determining whole grain-rich creditability for grain products that do not have a whole grain as the first ingredient and for mixed products. When a grain product (such as bread) has a first ingredient that is not whole grain, the primary ingredient by weight may still be whole grain if there are multiple whole-grain ingredients and the combined weight of those whole grains is more than the weight of the other grain ingredients. When the grain portion of a mixed product (like a beef enchilada) is not entirely whole grain, it may be whole grain-rich depending upon the proportion of whole grains to other grain ingredients.
  • Examples of Proper Documentation:
    • Example 1: Documentation from a manufacturer of a purchased bagel states the product contains enriched wheat flour (40 percent of grain weight), whole-wheat flour (30 percent of grain weight), and whole oats (30 percent of grain weight). The combined weight of the two whole-grain ingredients (whole wheat and whole oats at 60 percent) is greater than the enriched wheat flour (at 40 percent), even though the enriched wheat flour is listed first on the ingredient list.
    • Example 2: A standardized recipe for homemade bread calls for 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of enriched flour. This recipe meets the whole grain-rich requirement, because it contains 50 percent whole grains and the remaining grains in the food are enriched.
    • Example 3: The retail package for a frozen breaded chicken patty is labeled “contains whole grains” and lists grain ingredients as “enriched wheat flour, whole wheat flour, and whole grain corn flour.” The buyer understands that “contains whole grains” does not indicate an FDA Standard of Identity and the product does not meet the Rule of Three for determining whole grain-rich creditability because the first grain ingredient is not a whole grain. The buyer contacts the manufacturer and receives documentation that the grain portion of the product contains 50 percent enriched wheat flour, 25 percent whole wheat flour, and 25 percent whole grain corn flour. This product is therefore creditable as whole grain-rich using manufacturer documentation showing that the grain portion contains 50 percent whole grain and the remaining grains are enriched.


More Whole Grain-Rich Resources 

Need meal pattern resources to help you guide you on determining whole grain-rich products? Check out the free materials below to get your started! 


Whole Grain-Rich Recipes 


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