PORTLAND, Maine, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Guiding Stars, provider of the first store-wide nutrition guidance program, today announced it has received a patent in Canada—Canadian patent number 2,652,379—for the Guiding Stars® nutrition rating algorithm, ensuring official patent protection for the science-based algorithm in both Canada and the United States. The Guiding Stars patented algorithm is based on a food's nutrition density per 100 calories and allows foods to be individually rated against a strict scientific standard. In over 1,600 U.S. stores and 44 Canadian grocery stores, the Guiding Stars 0, 1, 2 or 3 star rating is displayed alongside foods to highlight the most nutritious choices at-a-glance, and help reduce the confusion consumers face when navigating grocery store aisles. In Canada, the algorithm credits foods for a higher presence of vitamins, minerals, whole grains, dietary fiber, and Omega-3, and debits foods for the presence of trans fat, saturated fats, added sugars and added sodium. "Receiving a patent in Canada, as in the United States, is consistent with Guiding Stars' effort to be entirely transparent about the algorithm we utilize to rate the nutrition quality of foods," said Jim McBride, Director of Operations, Guiding Stars. "Consumers lead busy lives, and with the density of information on the nutrition facts panel, along with the often confusing health claims found on the front of food packages, it's become increasingly difficult for consumers to easily identity nutritious foods during a hurried shopping trip. The scientifically based Guiding Stars program makes it easy for consumers to identify more nutritious foods at-a-glance." Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw), the largest food retailer in Canada with more than 1,000 corporate and franchise stores, launched the Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program in all of its Loblaws® banner stores across Ontario in 2012. Alexis Williams, Loblaw, director of health and wellness explained, "With the Canadian patent approval, Guiding Stars has demonstrated its willingness to provide transparency to how the program rates the nutrition quality of foods. We look forward to the rolling-out of the Guiding Stars program to more of our banner stores next year." For more information, visit www.guidingstars.com and www.guidingstars.caAbout Guiding Stars Licensing Co. Since 2006, Guiding Stars has been leading the way in helping consumers make nutritious food choices and has received a U.S. Patent for the Guiding Stars nutrition rating algorithm. The Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program is a simple, easy-to-understand tool for making good nutrition choices and is designed to make a positive and lasting impact on public health. Guiding Stars is currently found in more than 1,600 supermarkets in 25 states, including Hannaford, Food Lion, Sweetbay, Homeland, Marsh, and B&R, as well as Loblaw's Supermarkets in Ontario. Guiding Stars has also expanded into public schools, colleges and hospitals and appears on the Shopper mobile iPhone application. Additional information can be found at www.guidingstars.com and www.guidingstars.ca SOURCE Guiding Stars Licensing Co.