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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 12:39 GMT
Scientists make 'slimming' potato
Vivaldi potatoes
Vivaldi potatoes are likely to be welcomed by slimmers
A new potato with fewer than half the calories of other spuds has been developed after nine years of research and breeding, according to scientists.

Producers say the potato, known as the Vivaldi, also has more than a third less carbohydrate than usual.

Allied Laboratory Services tests suggest that on average it has 26% less carbohydrate and 33% fewer calories.

A Sainsbury's spokesman said the spud was "the perfect solution for those of us who like to watch what we eat".

GI diet

Since nutritional values can differ among potatoes, the Vivaldi can have up to 38% less carbohydrate and 56% fewer calories than other varieties, the producers say.

The potato, which has normal levels of vitamin C and other nutrients, was originally developed from seed for a creamy taste by Naturally Best of Lincolnshire.

The popularity of the low GI (Glycaemic Index) diet has recently prompted a shift in the way in which spuds are perceived.

Low GI diets involve replacing high GI foods, such as potatoes and white bread, with low GI options such as apples, pasta and beans.

The potato will be available in Sainsbury's stores.

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