Thanks to Japanese company House Foods Group, tear-inducing onions could be a thing of the past! The company claims to have produced the world’s first ‘tear-free’ onion, by disabling the compounds that the popular vegetable releases when chopped.
According to a House Foods Group press release, their researchers have spent over a decade studying the chemistry of onions. In 2002 they published a study describing the biomechanical process of how chopping onions makes you cry, which won them them an Ig Nobel Prize – an award handed out to honor achievements organizers consider unintentionally funny. In their paper, the scientists hypothesized that it would be possible to weaken the tear-inducing enzymes while maintaining the onion’s flavor and nutritional value.
And, in their recent announcement, House Foods Group claims to have turned the theory into a reality, by bombarding onion bulbs with irradiating ions which causes them to produce low amounts of enzymes. Apart from facilitating a completely tear-free chopping experience, the technique also makes the onion less pungent.