Jan de Vries participated on behalf of HGF  in the Round Table entitled “Embracing Healthy and Sustainable Dietary Switches for You and the Planet’s Health!”, which took place on:

Thursday 7 March 2019, 11:00-12:30, at the European Parliament, Brussels  – room ASP 3H1. 

Aims of the Meeting have been:

1.Raise awareness of the simple, realistic and sustainable dietary switches everyone can make to their diets for better health and for the planet’s well-being, highlighting the important role wholegrain plays in this dietary model.

2 Build up a constructive dialogue between consumers, policy-makers, food industry and retailers on how to best motivate and create enabling environments to nudge consumers into adopting small, yet impactful low environmental impact dietary changes, for a healthy life for present and future generations.

3. Spotlight on Italy: how to increase wholegrain consumption in markets consuming lowest amount of whole grain to improve public health– elucidating the importance of the local context, culinary traditions and habits.

The event drew on the recent EAT-Lancet Commission report.

Francesco Branca presented (by skype) a short summary of the EAT-Lancet Report and had a clear message what WHO is aiming to achieve. He indicated that WHO will pay attention to whole grains in the upcoming time. This provides Healthgrain Forum and the Whole Grain Initiative opportunities to stand up as “the helping hands” to get whole grains on the agenda of WHO.

Sandro Dernini presented the role of the original Mediterranean Diet (that was used in the 50-ies and 60-ies) in a sustainable and healthy diet.

Then the MEP allowed a discussion between Francesco Branca and Sandro Dernini on the sustainable character of the Mediterranean Diet and how important it was to promote that diet against the ever increasing influence of the large food industries.

For HGF Jan de Vries was able to present the needs to create a transition from refined grains to whole grains in the perspectives of a sustainable and healthy diet. This transition nicely fits in the recommendations of the EAT-Lancet Commission.

Antonelli Pezzini presented his view on needs to shift to healthy and sustainable diets in the EU.

Find here the given presentation during the Round Table Discussion by Jan de Vries/HGF:

[pdf-embedder url=”https://healthgrain.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/190306-HGF-Presentation-Brussels.pdf” title=”190306 HGF Presentation Brussels”]


The HGF Autumn Workshop 2018 will be organised in Uzwil, Switzerland. Bühler kindly offers their facilities for hosting. The workshop will be organised on November 12 – 13. Please save the date and join us at the workshop.

The following topics will be presented/discussed:

  • Several lectures on Wheat Intolerances
  • Arabinoxylans and ß-glucans – Processing and consequences for nutritional quality.
  • A tour to Bühler Grain Technology and Bakery Innovation Centers
  • Future Strategy of HGF
  • Ancient grains and future possibilities
  • Feed Back of the working groups of WGS
  • Update on relevant projects on grains

Travel details, Program, and  registration form are available using the following links.

  1. Draft program for the Workshop
  2. Travel information
  3. Registration form (for HGF Members only)

In case Non-HGF Members are interested to join the workshop, please contact the HGF office!



This year, on the basis of the outcomes of the latest Whole Grain Summit, ICC launched the Whole Grain Initiative. The goal of this initiative is 1) to gain engagement, 2) share knowledge, information and resources and 3) create transparency and inclusivity on Whole Grains to increase the whole grain intake worldwide. The Initiative wants to act as an overarching counterpart for policy makers and donor organisations and facilitate the cooperation between organisations that agree upon these goals. You can find out more about the this First draft of Whole Grain Initiative

On June 27 a Round Table discussion was on “Partnering on Whole Grain for Health and Well-Being – why consumers should choose whole grain first”. The meeting was organised to have 45 experts across academia, health and consumer NGOs, industry representatives and policymakers discuss the significance of increasing whole grain consumption in Europe for public health and well-being, and how to achieve this goal based on the best practices of the Danish whole grain public-private partnership model. The meeting was organised to 1) spread the whole grain narrative on health and well-being at EU policy -level, 2) launch a conversation on whole grain between different sectors to create an EU whole grain movement and 3) Creating a community of whole grain advocates by securing firm interest on the desire to work together to stimulate greater consumption of whole grain in Europe. Several members of the HGF board were present. A short report on the meeting can be found at the HGF-website (available to members only). Log in here.

Whole Grain Summit 2017

The Whole Grain Summit 13-15 November 2017 in Vienna brought together some 220 public health experts and PR managers, manufacturers and marketers, grain scientists and government regulators from 36 countries from all continents aiming at coming to consensus and measurable results on how to increase consumption of whole grains.

Get some impressions from this vibrant and inspiring event also under www.facebook.com/ICCcereals/! Participants can find here a link to the presentations and photo gallery – login with your participants account details.

The Summit resulted in a press release “The Best Dietary Change According to Experts? Switching to Whole Grainsand a joint Whole Grain Declaration summarizing the agreed actions for the coming two years

‘Well on Wheat?’ the global research initiative to unravel wheat and gluten related health concerns

Of all grains, wheat is most widely cultivated worldwide. With over 700 million tons annually wheat is third among all cereals in total global food production, behind maize and rice. The demand for wheat for human consumption is also increasing globally, including in countries, which are climatically unsuited for wheat production, due to the adoption of western-style diets. Wheat is relatively rich in micronutrients, including minerals and B vitamins, and supplies up to 20% of the energy intake of the global population.

Nevertheless, a strongly increasing demand for gluten-free and wheat-free products has developed in recent years. Apparently, social media statements that gluten and wheat cause overweight and health problems, as well the new ‘Free from’ consumer trend, play a major role in this development. These developments have resulted in increased self-diagnosis of being gluten and/or wheat intolerant and increased belief in being intolerant, which in turn has lead to an increasing avoidance of wheat and gluten containing foods.

The ‘Well on Wheat?’ project is an international research project addressing the health aspects wheat consumption and aspects of wheat and gluten avoidance.

Well on Wheat?’ aims to obtain a full compositional picture of selected wheat types, the flours and doughs made thereof, the breads baked. As such, the changes in chemical composition of different wheat species and compositional changes that may occur as a result of food processing (milling, yeast/sourdough fermentation, baking) will be evaluated. A detailed insight in the effects of food processing will help make recommendations for future product development in the context of “good food for a healthy life”. Such recommendations should be transparent, practically relevant and industrially, thus economically feasible.

Accordingly the cereal foods supply chain has been invited to co-share responsibility for helping to unravel wheat and gluten related health concerns. This has resulted in a strong public-private partnership consortium.

For more info please visit the WOW Project Website here


The EUFIC updated review on whole grains from July 2015 is now online at www.eufic.org/article/en/page/RARCHIVE/expid/whole_grains_2015(link is external).

A Review of Milling Practices and Existing Data

Julie Miller Jones, Judi Adams, Cynthia Harriman, Chris Miller, and Jan Willem Van der Kamp in Cereal Foods World May/June 2015, Volume 60, Number 3, Pages 130-139: Nutritional Impacts of Different Whole Grain Milling Techniques: A Review of Milling Practices and Existing Data(link is external) (Open Access!).

Key items in this comprehensive article include an overview of the history of milling and the impact of different milling processes on nutrients. Main conclusion: Data comparing “classical” single-stream stone-grinding milling and the currently predominantly used multiple-stream milling with recombination do not show any strong advantage for either milling method.

The new Healthgrain Forum definition, published in the July 2017 issue of Advances in Nutrition will pave the way towards clearer labelling on food packaging. For more information see the press release and https://www.healthgrain.org/whole_grain. The published paper is available for free download at http://advances.nutrition.org/content/8/4/525.abstract (link is external)

The definition recommends that a food may be labelled as whole grain’ if it contains more whole grain than refined grain and at least 30 % whole-grain ingredients in the overall product on a dry weight basis. Questions and answers about the Whole Grain Food Definition and examples of how to apply the definition in practice are provided in the Supplementary Data https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/8/4/525/4558104#supplementary-data (link is external).

This builds on the widely recognised ‘whole grain definition’, for whole grain as a raw material and ingredient published by the Healthgrain Forum in 2014. For more information see https://healthgrain.org/whole-grain/