A Kiwi chemist is developing a wine-flavoured butter for foodies who love flavour, but want to stay healthy.The red wine butter is supposed give diners the best of both worlds – a full fat taste without clogging the arteries.Mark Duxbury, who is leading a team at Auckland University, says the heart-preserving powers of red wine can be combined with butter to give a tasty cooking spread.Tannins in the grape skins, added before processing, counteract the harmful effects of cholesterol-laden butter. Known to improve blood flow, the tannins also add the red wine flavour, and act as a natural preservative because they contain antioxidants.Healthy volunteers are being used to trial the product, with the scientists insisting that the product will not be tested on people with heart disease.Duxbury said he was not claiming that the addition of red wine turned butter into a health food, but that it did reduce the harmful effects of cholesterol and was a tasty, healthier alternative.The team will be working on the product for the next few years. When it is ready to market, they will have to find a name for it – it cannot be sold as butter, which may have only salt added.Clare Blackburn

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