Arkansas Department of Education Crediting of Tortilla Chips, Taco Shells and Tamales in the National School Lunch Program

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Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Fiscal & Administrative Services
Regulatory Authority
7 CFR 210 and 7 CFR 220
Response Required
Superintendents; Child Nutrition Directors

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Memo Text

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued Policy Memo SP-02-2013 to provide clarification on the use and meal pattern crediting of corn treated with lime (calcium hydroxide).  In making traditional corn masa dough, the corn may be processed using wet milling procedures (corn treated with lime), where fractions of the kernel are washed away. In some instances, the processed corn has a nutrient profile similar to whole grain corn. When this corn ingredient is used in making corn masa dough for products such as tortilla chips, taco shells, and tamales, it may be acceptable as a whole-grain ingredient. These corn products using corn treated with lime, may be used in meeting the whole grain-rich criteria ONLY IF the manufacturer meets the requirements for inclusion of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) whole grain health claim, AND includes the claim on the product packaging. The health claim states, “Diets rich in whole grain foods and other plant foods and low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.” Enrichment of the corn treated with lime (corn masa) is not required for crediting the product in Child Nutrition Programs when the finished corn product bears the FDA whole grain health claim above.  If the corn product includes other grain ingredients, such as flour, these ingredients must be whole or enriched to meet the whole grain-rich requirements. Grain products made from 100 percent whole grain corn meet the whole grain-rich criteria and can be served in Child Nutrition Programs.  Reminders: For school year 2013-14, half of the grains served must meet the whole grain-rich criteria for breakfast and lunch. Whole grain-rich products must contain at least 50-percent whole grains and the remaining grain, if any, must be enriched.


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