STAMP OF APPROVAL

BOSTON -- Shoppers could find it easier to find whole-grain foods on supermarket shelves now that more than 400 existing or planned products have been approved to use one of the Whole Grains Council's whole-grain stamps.The stamps indicate whether a food is a good, excellent or 100% source of whole grains. The number of manufacturers using the stamps has increased since the government recommended

BOSTON -- Shoppers could find it easier to find whole-grain foods on supermarket shelves now that more than 400 existing or planned products have been approved to use one of the Whole Grains Council's whole-grain stamps.

The stamps indicate whether a food is a good, excellent or 100% source of whole grains. The number of manufacturers using the stamps has increased since the government recommended whole-grain consumption in its revised dietary guidelines released earlier this year, said Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies for Oldways Preservation Trust, the food issues think tank here that created the Whole Grains Council.

Ninety-four manufacturers now belong to the council, giving them the right to use the stamps, up from 30 at the council's inception three years ago, Harriman said.

"A lot of people needed the kick of the guidelines actually being put into law," she said.

Most of the 400-plus products that have qualified fall in the 100% group, meaning they have at least 16 grams of whole grains per serving and no refined grains, she said.

Next year, the council plans to produce shelf talkers to promote the stamps in stores, and it seeks to partner with retailers to develop other in-store merchandising tools, Harriman said.