Breakfast cereal manufacturer Nestlé said this week it would no longer promote products made from wholegrains as having a prebiotic effect.

The company launched a major advertising and on-pack drive in 2006 highlighting that a scientific study had found wholegrain to be a "natural prebiotic" that could help "maintain our digestive health and build up our natural defences".

The initiative included Nestlé cereals made from wholegrain such as Shredded Wheat. But Nestlé said research in 2007 had found consumers were "not motivated by the prebiotic message" and said it would now focus its efforts on a '3-a-day' message launched earlier this year, based on US dietary guidelines stating people should eat three portions of wholegrain every day. "We know 90% of adults are not eating enough wholegrains," said a spokeswoman. "There­fore, Nestlé cereals will communicate the 3-a-day message and not the health benefits of wholegrain."