Purple Magic, a new breed of Northern Ireland potato with high anthocyanin content, has reached the FINAL of INVENT 2016 thanks to AFBI innovation.
AFBI Scientist Paul Watts has used innovative scientific methods to elevate disease resistance and tolerance to stress within the potato breeding programme over the last thirty years.
‘'In the early 2000's medical and nutritional research began to show there might be significant health benefits from eating fruit and vegetables with high levels of anthocyanins,’ explained Paul, ‘And in 2003 we made a series of crosses with coloured ‘heritage varieties’ to try and boost the levels of these antioxidants in new, high yielding and disease resistant varieties. The crosses yielded a rainbow of colour in the 2000+ seedlings AFBI produced and they had better yields and disease resistance than the parents. A Canadian potato producer visited AFBI Loughgall and this led to one of the seedlings being registered in Canada as Purple Magic. And, yes people are buying it and they want more of it. We are now registering the variety in Europe and plan to have it on the market by 2018.’
See here for news release from the Northern Ireland Science Park.
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