A potato has been created from primitive plants in South America where it is thought Sir Walter Raleigh first discovered the vegetable before bringing it back to Britain and presenting it to the Queen.

Plant scientists have bred the potato directly from an original South American potato species called Phureja - a plant which has been unchanged for 7,000 years.

Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake and other explorers would have seen it in the equatorial valleys of the Peruvian High A ndes when they first explored South America in the 16th century.

Scientists for Shropshirebased UK potato suppliers Greenvale AP spent 15 years studying the Phureja before finding a variety that would thrive in a European climate.

The new potato, called the "Mayan Gold", is believed to taste the same as the type Raleigh brought back and grew on his own land before presenting it to Queen Elizabeth I.

Greenvale claim it could drastically change potato eating across Europe and the US and create a market worth over £1 billion within the next five years.

Company chairman Alan Owens said: "No one in Britain will have tasted a potato like this since Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne.

"This is the biggest change we have seen to the potato industry since commercial cultivation in Britain began."

Mr Owens said the new potato has golden flesh instead of the usual white and has such a buttery flavour that no extra butter is needed.

The company plans to mimic Raleigh by presenting it to Queen Elizabeth II.