DALLAS — Five hundred retail members of buying cooperative Topco Associates will implement a test of a new nutrition rating system in September, with a full-scale rollout to the cooperative’s 5,000 members scheduled for next spring, a former executive vice president of Topco said here this week at the inaugural Healthy Foods International Exposition and Conference. Jeff Posner, who left Topco at the end of 2007 to work with the team developing the rating system, said the 500-store test will be split between retailers in two sections of the U.S., which he declined to name. The Overall Nutritional Quality Index, or ONQI, will be marketed to consumers under a brand name that Posner declined to reveal. The system gives a score to every product in the supermarket from 1 to 100, based on a series of algorithms weighing product ingredients, with positive attributes such as the fiber, vitamin and mineral content serving as the numerator and ingredients with more negative connotations, including saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and sugar as the denominator.
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