Industry efforts to up wholegrain content means Danes consume more: Study

By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

Foods like coarse wheat bread and pasta contain more wholegrain, says researcher
Foods like coarse wheat bread and pasta contain more wholegrain, says researcher

Related tags Bread

Wholegrain consumption in Denmark has risen significantly thanks to industry efforts to incorporate the grain into breads and other food products, according to a new study.

A new study conducted by the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark in partnership with The Danish Wholegrain Campaign, has found that that the intake of wholegrain in Denmark has increased from 32 grams to 55 grams per day.

These findings, based on the monitoring of Dane’s wholegrain intake over a two year period from mid 2011 to mid 2013, do not necessarily show an increasing consumer desire for wholegrain products but instead highlighted changes to food manufacturing.

“Our study indicates that Danes do not eat more bread and grain products than earlier. The increase is due to the fact that today foods like coarse wheat bread and pasta contain more wholegrain. Furthermore, it has become easier to choose wholegrain products,”​ said senior adviser Heddie Mejborn from the National Food Institute.

Changes in production

The study suggested that several food producers have increased the wholegrain content of their products. As such consumers may be buying the same products as before, but attaining more wholegrain from those chosen products.

Specifically the study found that the wholegrain content in rye bread has increased slightly, whilst a significant step-up in wholegrain content was found in coarse wheat bread and buns and in pasta, foods which are eaten often in Denmark. It was found too that the wholegrain content of different buns and wheat bread which traditionally do not contain wholegrain had been altered to boost the levels.

More Danes meeting recommended amount of wholegrain

As a result of these manufacturing changes the proportion of Danes eating the recommended 75 grams of wholegrain per 10 mega joules has seen a notable surge, rising from 6% to 27%.

It also indicated that just over a third of children now meet the recommendation compared to a quarter of adults; this is a dramatic change when looking at the same figures between 2000-2004 which showed only 5% of children and 7% of adults.

“It is very positive that more Danes now meet the wholegrain recommendation. Wholegrain contains dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals and health-improving substances which are important for reducing the risk of diseases like diabetes, heart diseases and certain cancers,”​ said Mejborn.

The study found that the overall cereal and bread consumption has not improved greatly since 2000-2004 suggesting instead that the influx in wholegrain intake is due to a rise in the wholegrain content within certain food groups.

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