USDA Develops True Red Spinach Variety

Scientists with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have developed and released a true red spinach variety. The new variety, “USDA Red,” has red leaves, not just red veins. The red color comes from betacyanin, a powerful antioxidant, and testing showed the antioxidant capacity of USDA Red was 42–53% higher than other spinach cultivars. In addition, the red leaves offer eye appeal for salad mixes. ARS has applied for a Plant Variety Protection certificate for USDA Red and the agency is seeking a partner to license production of seeds for the market.