Definition of whole grain

Treffler Mühlentechnik Die Vollkorn Definition

Wholemeal flours. Full range. Whole grain.

Whole grain is the flawless, healthy, well-cleaned cereal grain. It contains all components of the cleaned grains, including the germ bud. Before processing, the grains can be separated from the pericarp. Hulled (shelled or husked) barley and oats also count as whole grain.

- DLG food testing center: DLG test regulations 2009. - DLG-Verlag, Frankfurt, 1st edition, July 2008 -   

Whole grain consumption. Effects on the health

Whole grain cereal is viewed as a significant part of a healthy diet. The consumption of whole grain cereal is associated with a reduction in the risk of developing several non-transmissible illnesses. (WHO 2015)

There is convincing evidence that increased consumption of whole grain products lowers the plasma level of overall cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. (DGE 2012)

The consumption of whole grain cereal products is also likely associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. (FAO/WHO 2007)

Whole grain. Full nutritional value.

Cereals are basic foodstuffs and represent an important source of carbohydrates, proteins and fibre for the world’s population (BNF 2004). Cereals also contain vitamins (B-vitamins), minerals (zinc, phosphorous, magnesium and iron) and bioactive compounds, such as antioxidants and other secondary plant substances. Some of the health-promoting effects of whole grains are due to their content of these bioactive phytonutrients.

- BNF (2004) British Nutrition Foundation, Nutritional Aspects of Cereals -

“Whole grain principle”

Whole is synonymous with complete. Consequently, everything that is contained in the grain before grinding is also contained in the whole grain end product, regardless of which value is attributed to the product.

“Whole grain is therefore a manufacturing description.

This results from all specified definitions, including DIN 10355. The value of the “whole grain” is accounted for by the completeness alone.

Whole grain: International definition, batch identity and identity.

Austria: Grinding products that are produced through the crushing (coarse grinding) of feed material and accordingly have an equal or approximately equal material composition as the unprocessed feed material are called whole grain (coarse-ground whole grain).

Switzerland: Wholemeal flour: Flour produced from the entire cereal grain, with or without its outermost husk fragments; the total yield must be at least 98% weight by weight of the total cereal grain.                                          

Wholemeal flour can only be material that includes all parts of the cleaned grain without exception, with only the unavoidable loss during cleaning and milling being allowed, which is measured at 4 to 5 percent.

- Max Rubner: Investigations of wholemeal bread 1915 -
- Photo: Max Rubner Institute –


“Wholemeal flour and whole grain grist must contain all components of the cleaned grains, including the germ bud. The grains can be removed from the outer fruit husk before processing.”

-Seventeenth Implementing Regulation for the Cereals Act-