Low-Carb Potato Launch Expected Soon
According to press reports, the Dutch have developed a low carbohydrate potato and marketing it in the United States.
HZPC Holland BV created the potato by crossbreeding existing strains.
Although potatoes are made up mostly of water and carbohydrates, the low-carb potato named Spud-U-Lite contains one-third fewer calories by weight than most potato varieties so it also contains proportionately less carbohydrate.
Spokesman Gerard Basten said the potato was originally developed before the low-carb diet by Robert Atkins became popular.
When tests revealed the potato had low-carb content, the company realized it could be an important marketing tool.
Fast-food companies and chip suppliers have been calling the company asking about the new variety.
The yellow-fleshed potatoes aren't being used by Frito Lay or other food companies yet. So far, the variety has only been planted in small amounts in North Carolina, Arizona, Florida, Washington and Ontario, Canada. It is being compared with the Russet Burbank, the commonly accepted industry standard variety.
Producers in Florida are expected to increase production this year. The first real crop is expected to be sold into the retail market January 2005 in Florida. Growers there have formed a cooperative, the Florida Marketing Cooperative, to propulgate and market the new variety.
No mention has been made as to the variety's other traits and characteristics.