According to House, its R&D staff spent more than 10 years studying the chemical properties of onions to develop onions that won’t make people cry.
In 2002, the R&D team also published a research paper describing the mechanism by which cutting onions makes people cry. This research also helped them win the Ig Nobel Prize. In the paper, the researchers made a hypothesis: The catalytic effect of enzymes that make people cry can be weakened while maintaining the original taste and nutritional value of onions.
In a recent statement from House, they claimed that this hypothetical theory has been turned into reality, because they can reduce the amount of tear gas in onion bulbs by bombarding them with radiated ions. Additionally, the technique is said to reduce the spiciness of onions.
Twenty of the company’s employees tasted the new onions in advance and confirmed that they were indeed not spicy. This means the new onions could also help people get rid of onion-related hand and mouth odors. House believes this change will be particularly beneficial to chefs.
However, some people have raised objections to this way of modifying onions. “Some components in onions can be used to prevent onions from being eaten by insects and other animals. So I believe that from the perspective of Darwinian evolution, a large part of the components in onions, whether we like them or dislike them, may be that onions are used from Tools I protect,” says chemist Eric Block. “These ingredients are not there to please us, but to help onions stand out from natural selection.”
Although this new onion won’t make you cry anymore, House has no plans to commercialize it in the near future. This news will probably disappoint the expectations of many chefs and housewives.