FOOTBALL fans could soon enjoy a virtually guilt-free Scotch pie after the launch of a "healthy" version of the terrace staple.
The new pie has the flavour and character of the traditional mutton-based snack but has 20 per cent less saturated fat and salt than the industry average, its producer said.
An estimated three million Scotch pies are eaten at Scottish football matches every season.
The new pie was developed by the Quality Meat Scotland organisation, which promotes the red meat industry, as part of a scheme to find ways of making some of the country's favourite foods healthier.
QMS wants to lower the salt and saturated fat content of eight traditional Scots favourites, such as black pudding, sausages and bacon, while retaining their flavour.
The 40,000 project, funded by Scottish Enterprise, saw QMS working with seven different meat producers and the "food innovation" team at Abertay University to develop healthier recipes.
The new pies are only available from Kippen-based butcher TR Skinner, who helped develop the recipe.
It is hoped they will soon be widely available.
Mr Skinner, whose grandfather set up the family business 42 years ago, said: "The resulting pie has been such a success that we have now switched our range completely to the new recipe pie and our customers tell us they love them."
The pie was launched at Hampden Park yesterday by football pundit and restaurant reviewer Tam Cowan.
He said: "Pies have been around Scottish football for as long as I can remember.
"These pies are 20 per cent less saturated fat, 20 per cent less salt which makes them a wee bit healthier. It means that kids, when they come to the football, can eat them happily."