Guiding Stars Gets Patent

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — Guiding Stars Licensing Co., which runs the storewide nutrition guidance program launched by Hannaford Bros. here in 2006, announced it has received U.S. patent for its star-based rating system.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — Guiding Stars Licensing Co., which runs the storewide nutrition guidance program launched by Hannaford Bros. here in 2006, announced it has received U.S. patent for its star-based rating system.

"At Guiding Stars, we continue to take strides towards our goal of directing the everyday consumer to more easily make healthy, nutritious food choices," said Betts FitzGerald, managing director of Guiding Stars, in a statement. "Obtaining this patent is a vitally important step toward demonstrating Guiding Stars' commitment to innovation and transparency in the marketplace."

The Guiding Stars algorithm credits all edible foods based on the presence of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and whole grains, and debits for the presence of trans fat, saturated fats, cholesterol, added sugars and added sodium. Food items are then awarded zero, one, two or three stars — one star means good nutritional value; two stars, better nutritional value; and three stars, the best nutritional value.