The development of an observational tool to measure the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables in food stores
Kuzniak, Kali Linee'
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In this study, an observational tool was developed and pilot-tested using detailed quality measures to assess the quality of fresh produce in food stores. The pilot test was conducted to examine the validity and reliability of the observational tool through validation and training procedures and quality assessments in 6 food stores (4 supermarkets and 2 grocery stores) in Athens, Georgia. Five fruits and five vegetables were assessed using three quality indicators (overall appearance, texture, and aroma), quality indicator descriptions, and a Likert-type quality assessment scale. Quality measures were found to have reasonable validity and reliability. The quality of produce was significantly higher among food stores in high income neighborhoods than those in low income neighrborhoods, but was not significantly different by store type. These findings suggest that an observational tool using detailed quality measures and rigorous validation and training procedures can be developed and implemented in future nutrition environment studies.