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Certain industries, such as paint, textiles and paper manufacturing, evaluate their materials and products based on standards of whiteness. Typically, this whiteness index is a preference rating for how white a material should appear, be it photographic and printing paper or plastics.
Thus Whiteness Index is a measure which correlates the visual ratings of whiteness for certain white and near-white surfaces.
The American Standards Test Methods (ASTM) has defined whiteness and yellowness indices. The E313 whiteness index is used for measuring near-white, opaque materials such as paper, paint and plastic. In fact, this index can be used for any material whose colour appears white.