US scientists, working with Dutch seed company HZPC, claim they have developed a low-carbohydrate potato that could be eaten as part of the Atkins diet.

The potato, which has been nicknamed “Spud-U-Lite”, has around two-thirds the carbohydrate content of other potatoes, reported The Telegraph.

The development could help the potato industry, which has been suffering from poor sales as a result of the popularity of low-carb diets. A 4.7% drop in potato sales in the US last year is believed to be the result of low-carb trends.

“Normally, we wouldn’t recommend potatoes,” a spokesman for Atkins Nutritionals was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

“It sounds as if you could eat these potatoes in larger quantities during the later stages of the Atkins diet, once you have reached your target weight,” the spokesman said, although the potato has not yet been evaluated by Atkins scientists.

The University of Florida’s Dr Chad Hutchinson, who spent five years working with HZPC to develop the potato, said the product was a result of a breeding programme, rather than genetic modification.