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Introducing the Sunion, an Onion That Doesn’t Make You Cry When You Chop It

If you’ve ever had to chop an onion, you probably know that it’s one of the most annoying cooking experiences. It just fills your eyes with tears and, apart from wearing goggles, there’s not too much you can do about it. Scientists and farmers have been working on a solution to this problem for decades, and they’ve apparently come up with a tearless onion.

Called the “Sunion”, this new vegetable is the result of a natural cross-breeding program that’s been going on farms in Nevada and Washington since the 1980s, which should put consumers worried about genetically-modified produce at ease. It’s supposedly a sweet, mild-tasting onion that doesn’t leave that strong, pungent aftertaste, but what really sets it apart from most other onion varieties is that it doesn’t cause teary eyes when it’s chopped.

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Japanese Company to Start Selling Tear-Free Onions This Fall

Onions may be one of the healthiest, most flavorful vegetables on the face of the Earth, but they’re definitely no fun to chop. However, your days of getting teary-eyed in the kitchen may be coming to an end as Japanese company House Foods Group prepares to launch the world’s first tear-free onion to the market.

Aptly named “Smile Ball”, because it puts a smile on your face rather than make you cry, this new type of onion is the result of two decades of research. In 2002, House Foods Group scientists published a paper in which they hypothesized that tear-inducing enzymes in onions could be weakened while retaining their full  flavor and nutritional value. Their research actually won an Ig Nobel Prize – an award handed out to honor achievements organizers consider unintentionally funny – but last year the company announced that their theory had finally become reality. Although the announcement mentioned that House Foods Group had no intention of producing Smile Ball onions commercially anytime soon, it appears the wonder vegetables will hit Japanese stores this fall.

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