A new, healthier variety of potato is set to take the Australian market by storm. Unlike most spuds, Almera
is suitable for people who are diabetic or striving to maintain a healthy weight.
Graham Liney, who lives about two hours from Canberra, in Laggan, brought Almera to Australia for Dutch potato cooperative Agrico.
"Once you have diabetes you're told you cannot eat potatoes because most potatoes are high-GI [glycaemic index]," he said.
"Almera is unique and someone with diabetes type2 can eat 150-200g per serve ... because it won't push their blood sugar levels up."
The glycaemic index of a food indicates its effect on blood-glucose levels.
Diabetics are advised to avoid high-GI foods, which give the body an instant energy hit and send blood sugar on a roller-coaster ride.
Almera is available in Australia in small quantities on a seasonal basis.
But Mr Liney estimated there would be between 40,000 and 50,000 tonnes in grocery stores around the country by 2010.
He said growers favoured Almera because it was a high-yield crop and required 20pc less water than conventional potatoes.