Dry your eyes: Waitrose launches ‘tearless’ onions

Waitrose will be selling an exclusive variety of ‘tearless’ onions which are ideal for cooks with sensitive eyes, with the game-changing product launching as early as next week. 

Sunions, the naturally sweet tear-free onion which also offers a milder flavour, will be the first of its kind on sale in the UK when it hits shelves from 18 January.

However, the tear-free onion comes at a hefty price of 50p for an Sunion, compared to Watrose’s cheapest own-brand onion which costs just 14p.

Sunions boast a “consistently mild and crunchy” texture that must “certify as both tearless and sweet” through three separate tests before they are allowed to ship to grocery retailers. 

“We understand how a-peeling tearless onions are to our customers which is why we’re delighted to launch Sunions in selected stores and via Waitrose.com from 18 January,” Waitrose onion buyer Paul Bidwell said. 

“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.” 

READ MORE: Waitrose partners with Mindful Chef

Plant breeder Rick Watson began naturally crossbreeding sweeter varieties of onions in the 1980s to reduce the release of Syn propanetriol-S-oxide, which irritates glands in the eyes.

“Volatile compounds in onions are responsible for tearing and pungent flavour and the amounts of those compounds in other onions remain the same or increase over time,” the brand’s website states. 

“In Sunions, these compounds do the exact opposite and decrease to create a tearless, sweet and mild onion.” 

The variety hit US shelves four years ago and made its European debut in Spain last year before reaching the UK market. The agricultural company has since been bought by chemical firm BASF, which acquired part of its seed and crop business. 

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