Low glycaemic index labels are set to make a comeback in the UK after scientists found a way round a long-running European ban.

Leatherhead Food Research plans to start licensing retailers and suppliers within weeks to use its logo - six years after being forced to withdraw it.

Having begun as an Australian craze but then introduced widely to the UK by Tesco in 2004, logos indicating low or medium GI products were aimed at people with diabetes or looking to control their diets.

However, they disappeared en masse after 2007 regulations were passed requiring EC approval for any labels suggesting a health benefit.

Now Leatherhead is exploiting a loophole that allows companies to use them until 2022, providing they were registered before 2005.

Its relaunch of the low GI logo follows legal rulings from the European Court of Justice in July that provided new clarity over the use of trademarks. Leatherhead said it had also received indications from the UK authorities that they would not intervene.

Claiming the obesity crisis had heightened interest in such foods, it said it had already been inundated with requests from retailers and suppliers looking to use the logo. It added that it now hoped to build a database of evidence in support of the continued use of low GI logos after 2022.

“Through our testing we hope to build up data to understand what characteristics make foods low GI, whilst allowing food business operators a responsible and permitted route to using our logo,” said Dr Roberta Re, nutrition research manager at Leatherhead.