Quiere un taco? Think blue. Food scientists in Mexico and Venezuela have found that tortillas made with blue corn have 20 percent more protein...

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Quiere un taco? Think blue.

Food scientists in Mexico and Venezuela have found that tortillas made with blue corn have 20 percent more protein, 9 percent less starch and a more healthful glycemic index than their white-corn cousins.

“In addition to having a prettier — or fancier — color, blue corn appears to have interesting functional properties on human metabolism, particularly regarding antioxidant and [glycemic] features,” writes co-author Juscelino Tovar, professor of biochemistry and nutrition at Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas. The study appeared online in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Blue tortillas (the color is caused by anthocyanins, also found in red wine) might be a better choice for diabetics or people trying to control caloric intake than standard-issue white tortillas, Tovar says: “They could also be of use within dietetic plans for prevention of the so-called ‘metabolic syndrome.’ “

But Tovar isn’t ready to abandon white-corn tortillas.

“We see blue corn and its derived products as potential functional foods, but white corn is a well-established and nutritious staple crop.”