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Published:February 2nd, 2008 07:05 EST
A new variety of onion developed by scientists in New Zealand

A new variety of onion developed by scientists in New Zealand

By SOP newswire

A new variety of onion developed by scientists in New Zealand will make every chef forget about tears, and chopping onions is set to become a delight, local media said on Friday.

"What we have here is onions, which when you cut them they won't make you cry," Colin Eady, a senior scientist, was cited by TVNZ as saying.

The wonder onion looks like the ordinary variety, but "has up to 500 times less of the irritant that induces tears," the New Zealand Herald said. This is because scientists have cracked the genetic coding, which produces the annoying tear-factor enzyme released when the onion is cut open.

Six years of research and hundreds of kilograms of onions were spent to create the tear-free onions. So far, the new variety has only been grown in the laboratory and will not be available in supermarkets for at least a decade. But scientists say that it is already a breakthrough.