Despite onions being a staple in most recipes and adding delicious flavours to dishes, they are renowned for causing tears in the kitchen as they are peeled and chopped. As mentioned in our previous blog, onions make you cry due to sulphoxides and onion enzymes reacting when chopped, this releases syn-propanethial-S-oxide gas; this gas triggers the production of tears by the lachrymal glands in an attempt to prevent the gas from harming the exposed eye. A new type of onion has been developed, named the Sunion, which boast the great taste of onions but promise a tearless preparation process, helping end the ordeal of chopping onions with tears flooding down your face. This article investigates how the Sunion was developed and most importantly, whether the onion actually lives up to the cry-free claim.
Sunions were developed through a natural cross-breeding programme; this means that the species has not been genetically altered to prevent the production of the tear-inducing gas. As typical onions age, the build-up of volatile compounds either stays the same or increases, resulting in eye irritation when chopped. This new type of onion does the exact opposite, as the Sunion ages the build-up of sulphoxides diminishes, this reduces the likelihood of syn-propanethial-S-oxide release and the need to cry. Sunions are naturally grown in areas of Nevada and Washington; they typically have a sweet taste and crunchy texture. Before the Sunions are delivered to shops, they are matured to ensure their sweet taste has developed and most importantly, they don’t contain the sulphoxides which trigger tears.
Now that the first harvest of Sunions is making their way from the farm to the shop shelf, it is time to put these claims to the test. Many food journalists have put the new onion type to the test, chopping and slicing the variety to test for tears. Although some claimed they felt slight irritation when leaning into the chopped onion, the vast majority reported that the Sunions removed 80%-90% of the irritation felt when chopping normal onions. But did the natural cross-breeding process influence the onion’s taste? Sunions were found to have a slightly sweeter and milder taste compared to the traditional yellow onion. With a possible solution to the age-old problem of crying when chopping onions, will Sunions eradicate this common issue and have cooks across the world crying tears of joy?
M&P Engineering is a UK based manufacturer of commercial onion peelers and other onion processing equipment. With over 50 years’ experience designing, manufacturing and supplying food processing equipment and food packaging machinery, M&P Engineering has experience assisting food manufacturers worldwide. M&P Engineering also offers a range of other technologies including their inline filler, custom depositors and thermoformer filling machines. With continuous investment into their products, they pride themselves on offering the latest innovation in food manufacturing technology.
M&P Engineering’s large onion peeler offers a dry peeling process, peeling, topping and tailing onions with diameters between 45mm to 115mm using self-adjusting floating knife assemblies. The onion peeler removes the skin using compressed air; this ensures optimum appearance is maintained throughout the entire peeling process. When working at optimum speeds, the large onion peeler has a raw material input rate of approximately 750kg per hour. M&P Engineering also stock a range of used food processing equipment, including their large onion peeler, to suit all budgets.
If you would like to find out more information about M&P Engineering’s large onion peeler, call on +44 (0)161 872 8378 or contact us here.