A purple-coloured potato, which is expected to deliver a number of health benefits, is set to hit European markets by 2018.
The variety, known as Purple Magic, has been developed by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Northern Ireland, as part of a Government-funded strategic potato breeding programme committed to developing novel varieties.
Aside from being colourful, the potatoes’ purple flesh was partially inspired by research highlighting health benefits associated with brightly coloured vegetables.
Pigments in purple vegetables in particular, are believed to have powerful antioxidant properties, but also contain compounds which may destroy cancer, according to American research.
Paul Watts, AFBI, says: “Although anti-cancer claims are still contentious, the benefit of antioxidants is well-known and coloured fruits are known to have higher levels of these beneficiaries.”