Atkins spud claims played down

CLAIMS BY The Times newspaper of a potato variety that has a quarter fewer calories than standard varieties have been played down by the British Potato Council (BPC).

The article (Jan 15) compared the calorific values of the early variety, Adora (87 calories), with Russell Burbank (117 calories) – the main variety sold in the US.

But this is not a true comparison as they are two completely different types of potato, said the BPC‘s Catherine Race.

The BPC‘s own studies have already demonstrated the differences between early and maincrop varieties – boiled new potatoes were found to contain 66 calories and mashed potatoes 119 calories, she said.

“All types of potato are a valuable source of many vitamins and minerals – they are the main provider of vitamin C in the UK diet.”

She believed the article had been prompted by declining potato consumption in the US, following the popularity of the Atkins diet. Growers were looking to find varieties to challenge this trend, she said.

In contrast, UK potato consumption had remained steady, she noted.

There is nothing unusual about the low dry matter Adora variety, added the BPC‘s Rob Burrow.

“There are a lot of other early potato varieties, such as Nadine, Javelin, Premier and Maris Bard which are probably equally as low in carbohydrate.”

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