A Moment of Science

No Crying Over Split Onions

It’s commonly known than chopping onions will cause a person to cry. Well, you’re in luck if you frequently find yourself weeping over this smelly vegetable. Food scientists in Japan have figured out how to genetically engineer an onion that doesn’t make you cry when you chop it.

Other scientists have tried to create tear free onions before, but they always affected the taste. They thought that the chemical causing tears was a by-product of reactions that produced the onion’s distinctive flavor. They ended up messing with the flavor-inducing chemical in order to knock out the tear- producing chemical. Who wants an onion that doesn’t taste like an onion?

The Japanese scientists later discovered an onion enzyme that causes eye irritation that has nothing to do with flavor-producing chemicals. If they genetically manipulate onions to grow without that enzyme, we’ll enjoy tear-free onion chopping without sacrificing that zesty onion taste.

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