FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If I am a baker or a food producer - can I use the WHOLE GRAIN INDEX for my products?
Of course, you can! We expressly support the dissemination of the system and we warmly welcome every new user. It is easy to use: Simply go to the WHOLE GRAIN CALCLULATOR, enter all milled products that are in your recipe and download the respective printable label. You can then start to immediately use the WHOLE GRAIN INDEX with your existing communication channels.
Why is the WHOLE GRAIN INDEX limited to a range of between 15% and 100%?
According to the HEALTHGRAIN Forum, it is only food with a minimum whole grain content of 15% that is allowed to mention the whole grain percentage on the pack. This ensures that consumers are not misled. The WHOLE GRAIN INDEX has been legally verified and found to be compliant with the legal regulations on consumer protection. For more information, please see the section on "definition of whole grain" below.
How much does it cost to use the WHOLE GRAIN INDEX?
It is our intention that as many producers as possible use the WHOLE GRAIN INDEX. The more companies use the seal: the higher the value to the consumer. In order to achieve this goal and to prevent too much bureaucracy, the use of the seal is free for artisan bakeries with an annual turnover of less than 15m Euros.
All enterprises with a higher turnover have to pay a fair and individually calculated nominal charge. We would be delighted to provide you with a quote. Please contact us. All the monies received from this nominal fee will be used for the support of this website in several languages, the promotion of whole grain consumption within Europe and the familiarization of the consumer with the whole grain seal.
What is the precise definition of whole grain?
When compared to refined flours, whole grain flour contains all of the components from the cleaned kernel except the husks and awns. For the first time in 2014, the European HEALTHGRAIN Forum published a general definition of whole grain. The WHOLE GRAIN INDEX is based on this definition:
„Whole grains shall consist of the intact, ground, cracked or flaked kernel after the removal of inedible parts such as the hull and husk. The principal anatomical components - the starchy endosperm, germ and bran are present in the same relative proportions as they exist in the intact kernel.
Small losses of components - that is, less than 2% of the grain/10% of the bran that occur through processing methods consistent with safety and quality are allowed.“*
*van der Kamp, J.W.; Poutanen, K.; Seal, C.J. und Richardson, D.P., 2014. The HEALTHGRAIN definition of ‘whole grain’. Food & Nutrition Research 58:22100.
Are baked goods made from whole grain healthier?
Whole grain baked goods are as healthy as fruit and vegetables; however, this “claim” is not allowed to be used to describe the health properties of these products. This is due to the European Regulation on Health Claims which prescribes that a product needs to have an approved Health Claim if the "healthiness" of a product is to be advertised. Unfortunately, the studies that are currently available on the health benefits of grain, fruit and vegetables have not substantiated this claim sufficiently. While it is permitted that journalists can write or say, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", the fruit producers are not allowed to use this health claim for the apple variety that they cultivate. If a fruit producer would like to use a Health Claim, he has to carry out and finance a respective study on his particular apple variety. Since fruit producers prefer to work in their orchards and not conducting hospital studies, it is not expected that any health claim studies will be carried out in the near future.
Therefore, we have to stress: The Whole Grain Index Label is neither a nutritional nor a health claim. It simply gives information about how much whole grain flour has been used in the baked good.
Where can I get more information about whole grain?
Our links list a number of websites that provide information about all facets of whole grain in detail. Consumers as well as producers will find answers to countless questions on this exciting and important issue.
How do you secure the confidentiality of my recipe?
The WHOLE GRAIN INDEX stands for transparency and openness. Therefore, mutual trust is essential for the success of the WHOLE GRAIN INDEX. We, the GoodMills Innovation GmbH, guarantee and give assurance that we will not view any of the recipe ingredients that you provide nor will we store the information that you have entered in any way. Moreover, for the WHOLE GRAIN INDEX, you only need to enter the milled grain ingredients into the calculator; no information on bakery improvers etc. is requested. This means that your recipe ingredients and processing conditions are always protected from being disclosed. If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
May I use my own seal as well?
The logo “WHOLE GRAIN INDEX” is a protected word/figurative mark throughout Europe. Naturally, every baker can claim the percentage of whole grain in his products. However, the wealth of seals and stamps available on the market (ranging from “organic” to “vegan” and “Fairtrade”) is intimidating to the consumer. The more seals there are (which may even be differently defined), the more confusing this is for the consumer.
Therefore it doesn’t make any sense for every supplier to develop his own whole grain index as this will only further irritate the consumer. For this reason, the WHOLE GRAIN INDEX is basically open for use with whole grain flours from other mills as well. We would be very pleased if the WHOLE GRAIN INDEX became standard.
Can the seal be revoked?
By using the WHOLE GRAIN INDEX, every user and in particular every commercial user are committing themselves to only providing information that is true. False statements that are intentionally produced or other deceptions are an offence which will bring about the revoking of the license as well as a fine. The use of the WHOLE GRAIN INDEX can also be prohibited if the nominal fee has not been paid. This only applies to users with an annual turnover of more than 15m Euros.
Why did we create the WHOLE GRAIN INDEX?
GoodMills Innovation is part of the GoodMills Group, the largest milling group in Europe. It is in our mutual interest that grain products and in particular whole grain products are perceived as valuable parts of our daily diet. Every effort made to strengthen the health image of grain is in our interest and is in the interest of the bakery trade.
But there is something more that motivates us: The share of whole grain flour amongst the total amount of grain processed in mills is below 5% in Europe. Consequently, there is huge market potential for whole grain products. In order to educate more consumers on the benefits of whole grain, it would be ideal if baked goods on offer contained at least a certain percentage of whole grain. Many baked goods including rolls for breakfast, croissants or yeast-raised pastries would lose their character when made with 100% whole flour. A whole grain croissant for example will no longer be tender and flaky. However, adding just 15% or 30% whole grain, for example, has only a minor effect on the character of the product so that consumers will be willing to buy baked goods with a certain low percentage of whole grain. Even if there are only small amounts of whole grain in the daily diet, the benefits are significant. Scientific research has shown that a small increase in whole grain intake can have a large effect.