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Super-healthy fruit available in the UK

Health campaigners are celebrating after an EU ruling cleared the way for an exotic fruit with six times the vitamin C of an orange to be sold in Britain.

Baobab, from Africa, also has twice as much calcium as milk and is high in antioxidants, iron and potassium.

It will not be sold as a whole fruit because the shell is too hard to crack but will be used as an ingredient in cereal bars and smoothies.

The fruit had not been allowed into Britain because legislation prevents the importation of food that was not commonly consumed in the EU before 1997.

Gus Le Breton, the chief executive of PhytoTrade Africa, which lobbied for the EU ruling, said: "According to a report by the UK's Natural Resources Institute, more than 2.5 million of the poorest families in southern Africa could earn a life-changing income by harvesting wild baobab."

He expects products containing baobab to appear on UK shop shelves within months.

"Baobab is an ideal ingredient for smoothies and cereal bars, and its well documented nutritional benefits provide manufacturers with a new opportunity to target the booming market in healthy foods," he said.

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Natural Resources Institute