Whole Grain Calculator Announcement May 2015

This announcement is to notify you that as of May 11, 2015, the WIC Whole Grain Calculator is no longer available. FNS would like to alert you to new information received from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that indicates the calculation used in the WIC Whole Grain Calculator to determine if a whole grain bread or whole grain cereal product meets the FDA health claim for “whole grain foods with a moderate fat content” is no longer correct. FDA has informed FNS that the use of the product’s nutrition facts panel alone is no longer sufficient to determine if the product qualifies for this health claim.

According to FDA, in order to evaluate if a product meets the health claim, in addition to the information from the product’s label, the manufacturer must also provide the product’s percentage of whole grain ingredients by weight per Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACC) based upon the product’s specific recipe. The WIC Whole Grain Calculator uses dietary fiber from the nutrition facts panel as an indicator to determine the percentage of whole grain ingredients by weight. Due to the addition in some bread and cereal products of fibers from non-whole grain sources, the use of fiber content may or may not be an accurate way to determine the percentage of whole grain ingredients by weight.

Information from the manufacturer is now required in order to evaluate WIC eligibility. As such, FNS is no longer able to provide State agencies with a “quick and easy” tool to assess whole grain bread and cereal product eligibility for their WIC programs. Therefore, FNS plan to retire the WIC Whole Grain Calculator and WIC Whole Grain Calculator mobile app from the WIC Works Resource System (WWRS) website and mobile app markets effective on May 8, 2015. Moving forward, State agencies remain responsible for using the Federal WIC regulations minimum specifications and requirements for WIC foods when evaluating all whole grain bread and whole grain cereal products approved on their State’s Approved Product list. As State agencies begin their next cycle of reviewing and updating their Approved Product list, the State agency should request from the manufacturer a written confirmation that their product(s) meets the minimum Federal WIC regulatory requirements for whole grain bread and whole grain cereal.

FNS regrets the loss of the convenient WIC Whole Grain Calculator from the tools available for WIC agencies.