SKOKIE, Ill. — The Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI), a nutritional scoring system developed as a joint venture of Topco Associates and Griffin Hospital, will debut in three major U.S. grocery chains this September as the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System. Developed over a two-year period by a panel of 12 medical and nutrition experts, the system uses a proprietary algorithm — weighing 30 different nutrient factors — to give foods a score of 1 to 100. Shoppers can then use the scores as a simple way to make better choices while shopping, and to choose between otherwise similar foods using the scores. “Consumers want clear information about the nutritional value of the foods they eat, and NuVal scores are going to give it to them,” NuVal president Nancy McDermott said in a release. “We’ve got the scientific foundation, the logistical ability and the retail partners needed to bring this important education to consumers coast to coast.” McDermott added that the newly formed company is currently working to score all 40,000 products available in the average grocery store. The initial three chains to use the system will be publicly announced in September. The on-shelf consumer education program is expected to be operating nationwide by July 2009.
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