Waitrose to stock the UK's first 'tearless' onions from next month
Waitrose has announced it will stock so-called Sunions, which are the first ‘tearless and sweet onions’ available in the UK.
The food product will be ideal for those with sensitive eyes and parents who enjoy cooking with their children.
Sunions are the invention of Rick Watson, a plant breeder working for the German chemical company BASF. He began working on the innovation in the late 1980s, using natural techniques rather than genetic modification to create the unique variety.
The brand said it took more than 30 years of breeding less pungent varieties of onion to find a variety where the vapours released on chopping are not powerful enough to bring tears to the eye.
Sunions said its onions are not a genetically modified product and were grown through an all-natural cross-breeding programme.
It said volatile compounds in onions are responsible for the tears and pungent flavour, and the amounts of those compounds in other onions remain the same or increase over time. In Sunions, these compounds do the opposite and decrease to create a tearless, sweet and mild onion.
Their arrival in the UK comes after being on sale across the Atlantic in the US for four years.
Selected Waitrose branches will stock the unique product from next Tuesday and will also be available to purchase via waitrose.com.
Sunions will come in packs of three and will be sold at £1.50 a pack.
It is unclear if any will be available in Scots stores.
Waitrose describes the products as: “Sunions are the first tearless and sweet onion variety, perfect for those with sensitive eyes as well as cooking in the kitchen with children.
“The mild flavour makes them perfect for use in cooking while they can also be used raw in salad.”
Paul Bidwell, Onion Buyer at Waitrose added: “We understand how a-peeling tearless onions are to our customers which is why we’re delight to launch Sunions at selected stores and via waitrose.com from January 18.
“Ideal for taking the tears out of the kitchen, the sweetness of this type of onion lends itself perfectly to a variety of dishes, from salads to hot meals."
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